Instruments of Transformative Governance. Product Development Partnerships for Neglected Diseases
Product Development Partnerships (PDPs) for neglected diseases bring different actors together aiming to provide accessible medicines for these complex diseases. Finding solutions requires advanced investments in R&D, expensive clinical trials, long medicine approval processes, and reliable drug production and distribution channels. PDPs aim at overcoming current market and government failures by pooling resources in the attempt to solve this global social challenge. Thus, PDPs are a case of instruments of transformative research and innovation, operating in a transnational governance context. They exhibit three novelties: they address strategic long-term problems in a holistic manner, set substantive output-oriented goals, and are implemented through new organizational structures. After characterizing the different types of current PDPs and the context in which they emerged, the paper examines in detail three cases of single- and multi-disease PDPs (DNDi, EVI, and MVI). The cases show that their functions have been evolving through time, as the PDPs are becoming more specialized and focused. Yet, their ability to mobilize the resources (funding, organizational, knowledge and legitimacy resources) to fulfill these functions depends largely on their capability as agents to adapt to changing opportunity structures.