Biotech DAO

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Tyler Golato:

"The Biotech DAO Design Space

Let’s begin to understand biotech DAOs by walking through the steps of creating a DAO and how they function. An appropriate starting point for a biotech DAO is a clear vision and mission — what do these new, open organizational frameworks enable? Biotech DAOs can coordinate talent, enable decentralized fundraising and governance, or help create standardized methods of data collection and production, among other things. They can be philanthropic or for-profit. While biotech DAOs have a limitless design space their key innovation is their lack of gate-keeping and the use of technology to mediate decisions by large communities.

One element that all biotech DAOs have in common: they address a problem that has so far been unsolvable given the lack of incentive mechanisms for widespread collaboration in biotech.

To better understand this, we can take an example — VitaDAO, the first biotech DAO birthed by Molecule. VitaDAO is focused on funding early-stage preclinical drug development in the context of longevity. "



Tyler Golato:

"Biotechnology and pharma have been historically centralized in the form of large companies and organizations that lack incentive to work in open and collaborative ways. Put differently, pharma has a “closed source” culture. The decentralization trend is dethroning centralized entities with power monopolies and shifting towards networks of collaborators co-existing in flat hierarchies.

Decentralized communities are powered by sharing pre-competitive resources within a community to achieve a common goal. They promote an open-source culture to their members and incentivize them to collaborate using token-based mechanisms.

Decentralized networks provide a trustless environment where data reconciliation is improved, points of weakness are reduced, and resource distribution is optimized at scale. In the context of biotech, this means creating new organizational structures that have a low barrier to entry (logging onto Discord, for example), are intrinsically collaborative and incentive aligned (WAGMI), and can coordinate capital and work from any participant (even the general public and patients). These features are emerging in the form of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).

DAOs are relatively new smart contract-based entities that enable the coordination of capital, talent, and crowd intelligence at an unprecedented scale. Recently, a new decentralized science (DeSci) movement has been rapidly changing the way that coordination in science and biotech occurs by leveraging DAOs (see VitaDAO, PsyDAO, labDAO), with Molecule increasingly positioned as a core infrastructure provider in the space.

The DeSci movement is currently forming as a talent pool for entrepreneurial researchers and leading thinkers in biotech innovation that are frustrated by the status quo, whether it relates to funding, coordination, collaboration or other systemic issues that affect young founders and academics in biotechnology. The NIH, for example, allocates just 2% of its funding to scientists under 36, and 98% to those 36 and older. This trend, amongst others, has led to enough frustration that several new organizational types, such as FROs and DAOs, have emerged with an intention to revolutionize the biotech landscape."