Aled Edwards

Ashoka Fellow
Toronto, Canada
Fellow Since 2014


This profile was prepared when Aled Edwards was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2014.
The New Idea
Transforming the way new drugs are discovered, Aled Edwards is re-imagining the public-private partnership model in order to produce an unprecedented system of open source research. Influencing all levels of the discovery chain, Aled is eliminating expensive redundancies and secretive practices through cross-sectoral collaboration. The result is a reversal of the current status quo in one of the world’s most expensive industries.

Aled is driven by the vision that the cures for many of the world’s most pressing illnesses are within this generation’s reach. He is realizing his vision by employing a social enterprise approach to drug research and development that promotes the sharing of formally proprietary information in a “no strings attached” manner. To support his approach, Aled has assembled and energized a global network of academics and researchers, backed by an alliance of top international pharmaceutical companies. Together, Aled’s network is unlocking pharmaceutical science faster, cheaper, and with more accessibility at the patient level.

Aled is also restructuring the historically complex financial models that are inhibitory to innovation, into a simpler funding strategy that leverages public, private, and academic resources. This is creating the conditions for more entrepreneurial practices within the drug discovery process, leading to more efficient distribution of resources through non-competitive strategic partnerships. Threading together the multiple layers of the drug discovery process in order to identify and rectify the blockages at every step, Aled’s work is through partnerships with multinational companies and universities from Canada to the United Kingdom, who have already changed how they find new drugs, Aled’s work has already transcended continental scale.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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