Immense ingenuity and unprecedented levels of funding are available in the drug discovery ecosystem, yet pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) is failing to produce the medicines that can tackle the challenging diseases of today and tomorrow, many with devastating consequences for our society. New organisational models of drug discovery are clearly needed, and this policy paper argues that open science approaches represent the most promising path forward by addressing both scientific and organisational bottlenecks. It reviews open science based initiatives at the University of Oxford and beyond, and examines their potential to increase the productivity of pharmaceutical R&D. The paper concludes by presenting a series of recommendations that would nurture and grow the open science component of the drug discovery ecosystem, potentially transforming how the medical challenges of this century are tackled in a way that is beneficial to patients and producers alike.
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