by Janet Babin
Pharmaceutical companies routinely spend more than $1 billion to bring a new drug to market. Drug patents help them recoup their investment — giving them a temporary monopoly.
But DCA is a cheap generic that’s been around for more than 30 years. The patent’s long gone. Companies have no economic incentive to study its potential to fight cancer.
So Dr. Evangelos Michelakis, a professor at the University of Alberta, set up a website to fund the research through public donations.
“We had people that sent a $10-dollar check and we had people that sent a $3,000 check — from Siberia, New Zealand, Africa, South America, the States,” says Dr. Michelakis.
Dr. Michelakis says donations paid for 90 percent of the study, which cost about $1 million. He’s asking the public to fund a second, larger clinical trial.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.