27 Jan 2016

Harvard Business School Launches Precision Trials Challenge

An innovative competition funded by the Kraft Endowment for Advancing Precision Medicine, made possible by a gift from the Kraft Family Foundation, under the leadership of Foundation president Robert K. Kraft.
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BOSTON—The Health Care Initiative at Harvard Business School (HBS) today announced the launch of its Precision Trials Challenge (www.precisiontrialschallenge.org), a pioneering competition to generate ideas to bring precision diagnostics and therapies to market more quickly by reinventing the clinical trials process.

“Advancements in science and technology in the past ten years have led to great advances in precision medicine,” said HBS professor Richard Hamermesh. “However, many of the big challenges facing precision medicine today are actually business challenges. How can we develop business models that support the advancement of precision medicine? How can we get new therapies to market faster and at a lower cost? Our Precision Trials Challenge will help answer these questions by encouraging conversation and helping to put leading-edge ideas into practice.”

The clinical trials process is one of the costliest and most time-consuming parts of R&D in the health care industry. A typical therapeutic requires on average a $1.5 billion investment and more than a decade of trials to gain FDA approval. Generating innovative ideas from the medical, science, business, and patient communities, the Precision Trials Challenge aims to provide a roadmap for faster innovation, targeted medicine, and more effective treatments.

The challenge is open to all and will accept applications at (www.precisiontrialschallenge.org until March 13, 2016. A panel of judges will select one winner and two runners-up to share a $100,000 prize. The winner will be announced in April and have the opportunity to present at the prestigious 2016 Personalized Medicine Conference.

The Precision Trials Challenge is funded by the Kraft Endowment for Advancing Precision Medicine, established last fall by a $20 million gift from the Kraft Family Foundation under the leadership of Foundation president Robert K. Kraft.

About the HBS Health Care Initiative:
The HBS Health Care Initiative (HCI) connects MBA students, alumni, faculty, Executive Education participants, and practitioners by serving as a gateway for research, educational programs, and entrepreneurial projects across all sectors of the health care industry. This powerful alliance of key stakeholders encourages leadership that makes an immediate and lasting impact on health care practices to enhance services, reduce costs, and expand access with the goal of improving health outcomes.

About the Robert and Myra Kraft Family Foundation, Inc.:
The Kraft family, through its family Foundation, is committed to giving back to the community. The Foundation’s primary mission includes supporting education, health care, science, and the needs of underserved individuals by donating to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under Section 501 (c) (3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation has primarily been funded by the generous donations of Robert K. Kraft, its president.


Cara Sterling
Director, HBS Health Care Initiative

Jim Aisner
Director of Media & Public Relations

About Harvard Business School

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 250 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and PhD degrees, as well as more than 175 Executive Education programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching, to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. The School and its curriculum attract the boldest thinkers and the most collaborative learners who will go on to shape the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.