That initial bet, which over time grew into a $150 million investment, has paid off in a big way. It led to the approval in 2012 of a breakthrough drug — the first that treats the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis rather than the symptoms, in a small subset of patients. On Thursday came another big win: The Food and Drug Administration approved a second drug for the group also helped fund development; that drug eventually could aid roughly half of the 30,000 cystic fibrosis patients in the United States.
[FDA approves drug that eventually could help half of people with cystic fibrosis]
And last fall, the CF Foundation sold its rights to future royalties from the drugs for $3.3 billion, the largest windfall of its kind for a charitable organization.
The pioneering success of Beall and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in the practice of “venture philanthropy” is prompting a growing number of nonprofit groups to explore whether they, too, might be able to benefit their patients, and bottom lines, by investing in similar ways.
Dozens of organizations, from the Michael J. Fox Foundation to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, have embraced the approach over the past decade. Typically, though not always, groups take an equity stake in a company or negotiate a percentage of future royalties for approved drugs in exchange for their investment. They also have shared their scientific expertise and patient registries, which can be invaluable for companies conducting clinical trials of new medicines.
For details: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/in-hunt-for-new-treatments-nonprofits-are-acting-like-venture-capitalists/2015/07/02/c6094578-19b8-11e5-93b7-5eddc056ad8a_story.html