Web3 and Scientific Research, Interview with Kamil Ramdani – Nosty

Continuing our exploration of Decentralized Science, the ResolvingPharma team is delighted to bring you an exclusive interview with Kamil Ramdani, co-founder of Nosty. This cutting-edge platform leverages Web3 tools to fund biomedical research projects. Its highly anticipated official launch is slated for the coming months. The interview was conducted by Alexandre Demailly.

Would you kindly introduce us to Nosty?

With pleasure! Nosty is not just a platform; it’s a revolutionary ecosystem that paves the way for participatory financing in healthcare research. We bring together researchers, biotech firms, and investors, utilizing blockchain technology to ensure transparent and secure transactions. Our initiative has a dual focus: firstly, we serve as a conduit for researchers to secure funding for groundbreaking projects, allowing investors to contribute to crucial causes while acquiring a stake in the resultant intellectual property. Secondly, we provide an avenue for biotech and medtech companies to garner funds for their research ventures in return for future royalties from the commercialization of the resultant product. Our vision is to overhaul the traditional funding approach for new drug development.

Could you delve into the technology underpinning your project and its novelty?

Certainly. We’ve adopted the Tezos blockchain, designing a decentralized, transparent ecosystem that’s custom-tailored to the demands of scientific research. Our innovative approach fuses the perks of blockchain technology with the necessities of researchers, fostering an environment that promotes collaboration and eases funding.

We utilize a unique instrument known as Science-Tokens. These are a specific class of non-fungible tokens that represent the prospective intellectual property generated by a scientific project.

Put simply, Science-Tokens facilitate the tokenization of a scientific research project’s intellectual property (Editor’s note: Drawing on blockchain technology, tokenization transforms tangible assets into a digital representation. By directly assigning an asset and its corresponding rights to a token, tokenization streamlines management, ensuring secure and instantaneous peer-to-peer exchanges) to simplify its management, transfer, and funding. For each research project that receives funding on our platform, a distinctive set of Science-Tokens is generated. The bearer of a Science-Token is thus granted financial rights over the project’s intellectual property during a liquidity event (such as a licensing contract, spin-off creation, patent assignment, and so forth), alongside the privilege to participate in a variety of masterclasses offered by the research team. This technology is particularly appealing to researchers and research institutions as it presents a novel method of financing and amplifying the value of their work.

Additionally, we’re in the process of developing another innovative offering, also slated for release on the Nosty platform: Royalties-Tokens. They operate under a similar premise, but cater to more advanced research projects led by biotech or medtech companies. Royalties-Tokens holders earn royalties from the commercialization of a project’s end product.

How can this project encourage the funding of innovative research projects?

With Nosty, we facilitate a more direct and efficient funding pathway for innovative research projects. By eliminating the need for intermediaries, we enable broad-spectrum participation in supporting these endeavors, regardless of one’s financial standing.

Our mission is to supplement existing investment options. Presently, investments in biotech entities can be made as Business Angels, though this requires considerable capital and isn’t universally attainable. Similarly, investments can be made in pharmaceutical companies through the stock market, but these firms are typically mature with a reduced risk profile and potential gains, as compared to early-stage ventures. We aspire to broaden the investment landscape, enabling even the smallest contributions towards research projects.

Where will the return on investment for project token holders come from?

The return on investment for Science Token holders is derived from the contractual financial rights they hold, which entitle them to profit in instances of patent commercialization. In parallel, Royalties Token holders receive financial returns upon the product’s commercial entry into the market. Additionally, these token holders can trade their tokens on the secondary market. This provides investors an opportunity to capitalize on a probable surge in demand as the project advances.

How might the decentralization of the pharmaceutical industry invigorate productivity?

Presently, the pharmaceutical industry is grappling with a significant R&D productivity crisis, encapsulated by the empirical phenomenon called “Eroom’s Law”. We argue that numerous factors responsible for this crisis are intertwined with the industry’s internal structure, which is increasingly proving to be inefficient and compartmentalized. We envision the future pharmaceutical enterprise as a responsive, adaptable ecosystem of start-ups. These entities, interconnected and mutually invested in each other’s successes, would share an array of human and material resources. The emergent work arrangements facilitated by CAD and Web3 are making this vision tangible. Our broader vision includes the formation of a DAO — a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (an entity steered by a computer program offering automated governance rules to a community) — constituting a truly decentralized innovation ecosystem for healthcare. This structure would enable the birth of spin-offs to maximize the value of intellectual property, partially owned by the community.

How might Nosty’s model transform patient engagement in the healthcare and biomedical research industry?

Nosty empowers patients and patient organizations to contribute directly to the funding and evolution of novel therapies. This approach could engender enhanced transparency and accountability within the healthcare sector, while amplifying patients’ influence over the research and development process.

At Nosty, our goal is to position the patient at the epicenter of the project. Hence, beyond raising funds, we are committed to hosting regular meetings with researchers to keep our investors updated about the progress of the research project they are supporting. We aim to cultivate a vital bond between the scientist and the patient.

How do you envision the forthcoming advancements and trends in Decentralized Science?

Decentralized Science is a rapidly advancing domain that’s revolutionizing drug research and development. We’ve recently observed the entry of major pharmaceutical entities into Decentralized Science ventures, including Pfizer’s participation in VITADAO and Roche and AstraZeneca’s involvement in the Guardtime blockchain research project. These developments illustrate that Decentralized Science is gaining recognition among traditional pharmaceutical industry players.

Moreover, a multitude of startups and initiatives are emerging in this sector, each striving to infuse scientific research with greater transparency and collaboration. Decentralized Science also holds the potential to mobilize community investments for research endeavors that might have otherwise been overlooked or discontinued.

Recently, Sarah Hamburg, a highly influential figure in the realm of Decentralized Science, made the following tweet: “I think soon AI will eat science and academia. “DeSci is a vehicle for autonomous AI-powered research. Humans in-the-loop will really just be crowdfunders (who are fractionally rewarded with IP rights associated with outcomes) and lab technicians.” At Nosty, we largely concur with this perspective and view Decentralized Science, given its inherent flexibility, as the optimal form of scientific organization to most effortlessly incorporate Artificial Intelligence. We plan to focus our efforts in this direction in the years to come.

Previously, the team at Resolving Pharma had the opportunity to engage in a discussion with the creators of the Decentralized Molecule Science project. So, how does Nosty set itself apart?

Even though Nosty and Molécule are driven by a mutual vision of decentralizing healthcare research, they pursue different methodologies. Nosty is centered on tokenizing intellectual property and royalty contracts, thereby facilitating public participation in funding innovative research initiatives. Conversely, Molécule is committed to developing the technical and regulatory infrastructure required for DAOs to finance research projects. In our model, the owners of Science-Tokens and Royalties-Tokens hold these tokens directly and can anticipate a return on their investment, albeit not guaranteed due to the inherent risk of capital loss.

What’s on the horizon for Nosty’s progression? And how can our readers contribute to the project?

The next milestone for us is to execute a full-scale Proof of Concept (POC). We are fortunate to have a renowned biotech company from the Hauts-de-France region on board as the inaugural research project for the Nosty platform. We look forward to divulging more specifics on this in due course. For starters, you can assist us by staying updated with our progress on various networks. Furthermore, we invite readers intrigued by our initiative to invest in this pioneering research project, available on the Nosty platform come spring. This will provide them with an opportunity to be an integral part of our concept’s realization and to fund scientific research. We are on the lookout for partners and contributors eager to assist in the growth of our decentralized healthcare innovation ecosystem. This includes researchers, professionals from the pharmaceutical industry, patients, or patient organizations. We welcome interested individuals to reach out to us to learn more about our projects and our developmental requirements at 

These articles should interest you


Introduction to DeSci

How Science of the Future is being born before our eyes « [DeSci] transformed my research impact from a low-impact virology article every other year to saving the lives and…
Illustration In Silico

Towards virtual clinical trials?

Clinical trials are among the most critical and expensive steps in drug development. They are highly regulated by the various international health agencies, and for good reason: the molecule or…

To subscribe free of charge to the monthly Newsletter, click here.

Would you like to take part in the writing of Newsletter articles ? Would you like to take part in an entrepreneurial project on these topics ?

Contact us at ! Join our group LinkedIn !

Entrepreneurship Exploratory research Generalities

Introduction to DeSci

How Science of the Future is being born before our eyes

« [DeSci] transformed my research impact from a low-impact virology article every other year to saving the lives and limbs of actual human beings » Jessica Sacher, Phage Directory co-founder

In a previous article, one of the very first published on Resolving Pharma, we looked at the problems posed by the centralizing role of scientific publishers, which in addition to raising financial and ethical issues, is a brake on innovation and scientific research. At that time, in addition to making this observation, we proposed ways of changing this model, mainly using NFTs and the Blockchain. For several months now, and thanks to the popularization of Web3 and DAOs, initiatives have been emerging from the four corners of the world in favour of a science that facilitates collective intelligence, redesigns the methods of funding and scientific publication and, ultimately, considerably reduces the path between the laboratory and patients. It is time to explore this revolution, which is still in its infancy, and which is called DeSci for Decentralized Science.

The needed emergence of DeSci

One story that illustrates the inefficiencies of current science is often taken as an example in the DeSci world: that of Katalin Kariko, a Hungarian biochemist who carried out numerous research projects from the 1990s onwards (on in vitro-transcribed messenger RNA) which, a few decades later, would be at the origin of several vaccines against Covid-19. Despite the innovative aspects of Kariko’s research, she was unable to obtain the research grants necessary to pursue her projects because of political rivalry: the University of Pennsylvania, where she was based, had chosen to give priority to research on therapeutics targeting DNA directly. This lack of resources led to a lack of publications, and K. Kariko was demoted in the hierarchy of her research unit. This example shows the deleterious consequences of centralized organization on funding allocation (mainly from public institutions and private foundations) and on the reputation of scientists (from scientific publishers). 

How many researchers spend more time looking for funding than working on research topics? How many applications do they have to fill in to access funding? How many promising but too risky, or unconventional, research projects are abandoned for lack of funding? How many universities pay scientific publishers a fortune to access the scientific knowledge they themselves have helped to establish? How many results, sometimes perverted by the publication logic of scientific journals, turn out to be non-reproducible? With all the barriers to data exchange related to scientific publication, is science still the collective intelligence enterprise it should be? How many scientific advances that can be industrialized and patented will not reach the market because of the lack of solid and financed entrepreneurial structures to support them (although considerable progress has been made in recent decades to enable researchers to create their own start-ups)? 

DeSci, which we could define as a system of Science organization allowing, by relying on Web3 technologies and tools, everyone to finance and take part in research and scientific valorization in exchange for a return on investment or a remuneration, proposes to answer all the problems mentioned above. 

This article will first look at the technical foundations of Decentralized Science and then explore some cases in which decentralization could improve Science efficiency.

Understanding Web3, DAOs and Decentralized Science

In the early days of the Web, there were very high barriers to entry for users wishing to post information: before blogs, forums and social networks, one had to be able to write the code for one’s website or pay someone to do it in order to share content. 

With the advent of blogs and social networks, as we mentioned, Web2 took on a different face: expression became considerably easier. On the other hand, it has been accompanied by a great deal of centralization: social networking platforms now possess the content that their users publish and exploit it commercially (mostly through advertising revenue) without paying them a cent.

Web3 is a new version of the Internet that introduces the notion of ownership thanks to the Blockchain. Indeed, whereas Web2 was built on centralized infrastructures, Web3 uses the Blockchain. Data exchanges are recorded in a Blockchain and can generate a remuneration in cryptocurrencies with a financial value but also giving, in certain cases, a decision-making power on the platforms used by the contributors. Web 3 is therefore a way of marking the ownership of content or easily rewarding a user’s action. Web 3 is without doubt the most creative version of the Internet to this day. 

Finally, we cannot talk about Web3 without talking about Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs). These organizations are described by Vitalik Buterin, the iconic co-founder of the Ethereum blockchain, as: “entities that live on the Internet and have an autonomous existence, while relying on individuals to perform the tasks it cannot do itself”. In a more down-to-earth way, they are virtual assemblies whose rules of governance are automated and transparently recorded in a blockchain, enabling its members to act collectively, without a central authority or trusted third party, and to take decisions according to rules defined and recorded in smart contracts. Their aim is to simplify and make collective decisions-making and actions more secure, transparent and tamper-proof. DAOs have not yet revealed their full potential, but they have already shown that they can operate as decentralized and efficient investment funds, companies or charities. In recent months, science DAOs have emerged, based on two major technological innovations.

The technological concepts on which DeSci relies on: 

To understand the inner workings of DeSci and especially its immense and revolutionary potential, it is important to clarify two concepts, which are rather uncommon in the large and growing Web3 domain, but which lie at the heart of a number of DeSci projects:

  • IP-NFTs: The concept of IP-NFTs was developed by the teams of the company Molecule (one can find their interview on Resolving Pharma). It is a meeting point between IP (intellectual property) and NFTs (non-fungible tokens): it allows scientific research to be tokenized. This means that a representation of a research project is placed on the Blockchain in the form of an exchangeable NFT. A legal agreement is automatically made between the investors (buyers of the NFT) and the scientist or institution conducting the research. The owners of the NFT will be entitled to remuneration for licensing the intellectual property resulting from the research or creating a start-up from this intellectual property.

Figure 1 – Operating diagram of the IP-NFT developed by Molecule (Source:

  • Data-NFTs: Many Blockchain projects are concerned with Data ownership , but one of the most successful project is Ocean Protocol.  A Data-NFT represents a copyright (or an exclusive licence) registered in the Blockchain and relating to a data set. Thus, it is possible for a user to exploit its data in several ways: by charging other users for temporary licences, by selling its datasets or by collectivizing them with other datasets in a “Data Union”.

These two concepts make it possible to make intellectual property liquid, and thus to create new models of financing and collaboration. To take a simple example, a researcher can present a project and raise funds from investors even before a patent is filed. In exchange, the investors have an IP-NFT that allows them to benefit from a certain percentage of the intellectual property and revenues that will potentially be generated by the innovation. 

Let’s now turn to some DeSci examples.

Transforming scientific reviewing

When researchers want to communicate to the scientific community, they write an article and submit it to scientific publishers. If the publishers accept the research topic, they will seek out other researchers who verify the scientific validity of the article, and a process of exchange with the authors ensues: this is called peer-reviewing. The researchers taking part in this process are not paid by the publishers and are mainly motivated by their scientific curiosity.

This system, as it is currently organized – centrally, gives rise to several problems:

  • It takes a long time: in some journals, it takes several months between the first submission of an article and its final publication. This avoidable delay can be very damaging to the progress of science (but we will come back to this later in the article!). Moreover, given the inflation in the number of scientific articles and journals, the system based on volunteer reviewers is not equipped to last in the future.
  • The article is subject to the bias of the editor as well as the reviewers, all in an opaque process, which makes it extremely uncertain. Studies have shown that by resubmitting a sample of previously published papers and changing the names and institutions of the authors, 89% of them were rejected (without the reviewers noticing that the papers were already published)
  • The entire process is usually opaque and unavailable to the final reader of the paper.

Peer-reviewing in Decentralized Science will be entirely different. Several publications have demonstrated the possibility of using thematic scientific DAOs to make the whole process more efficient, fair and transparent. We can thus imagine that decentralization could play a role in different aspects: 

  • The choice of reviewers would no longer depend solely on the editor , but could be approved collectively.
  • Exchanges around the article could be recorded on the blockchain and thus be freely accessible.
  • Several remuneration systems, financial or not, can be imagined in order to attract quality reviewers. We can thus imagine that each reviewer could earn tokens allowing them to register in a reputation system (see below), to participate in the DAO’s decision-making process but also to participate in competitions with the aim of obtaining grants. 

Decentralized peer-reviewing systems are still in their infancy and, however promising they may be, there are still many challenges to be overcome, starting with interoperability between different DAOs.

Creating a new reputation system

The main value brought about by the centralized system of science is that of the reputation system of the actors. Why do you want to access prestigious schools and universities, and why are you sometimes prepared to go into debt over many years to do so? Having the name of a particular university on your CV will make it easier for you to access professional opportunities. In a way, companies have delegated some of their recruitment to schools and universities.  Another system of reputation, which we mentioned earlier in this article, is that of scientific publishers. Isn’t the quality of a researcher measured by the number of articles he or she has managed to have published in prestigious journals?

Despite their prohibitive cost (which allows scientific publishers to be one of the highest gross margin industries in the world – hard to do otherwise when you are selling something you get for free!), these systems suffer from serious flaws: does being accepted into a university and graduating accurately reflect the involvement you had during your studies and the skills you acquired through various experiences at the intersection of the academic and professional worlds? Is a scientist’s reputation proportional to his or her involvement in the ecosystem? Jorge Hirsch, the inventor of the H-index, which aims to quantify the productivity and scientific impact of a researcher according to the level of citation of his or her publications, has himself questioned the relevance of this indicator.  Peer-reviews, the quality of courses given, the support of young researchers and the real impact of science on society are not considered by the current system.

Within the framework of DeSci, it will be possible to imagine a system based on the Blockchain that makes it possible to trace and authenticate a researcher’s actions – and not just the fact of publishing articles – in order to reward him or her through non-tradable reputation tokens. The main challenge of this reputation system will be the transversality, the interoperability and  adoption by different DAOs. We can imagine that these tokens could be used to participate in votes (in the organization of conferences, in the choice of articles, etc.) and that they will themselves be allocated according to voting mechanisms (for example, students who have taken a course will be able to decide collectively on the number of tokens to allocate to the professor). 

Transforming the codes of scientific publication to bring out collective intelligence

Science is a collective and international work in which, currently, as a researcher, you can only communicate with other research teams around the world through:

  • Publications in which you cannot give access to all the data generated by your research and experiments (it is estimated that about 80% of the data is not published, which contributes to the crisis of scientific reproducibility)
  • Publications that other researchers cannot access without paying the scientific publishers (in the case of Open Science, it is the research team behind the publication that pays the publisher so that readers can access the article for free)
  • Publications which, because of their form and the problems linked to their access, make it very difficult to use Machine Learning algorithms which could accelerate research 
  • Finally, scientific publications which, because of the length of the editorial approval mechanisms, only reflect the state of your research with a delay of several months. Recent health crises such as COVID-19 have shown us how important it can be to have qualitative data available quickly.

The Internet has enabled a major transformation in the way we communicate. Compared to letters, which took weeks to reach their recipients in past centuries, e-mail and instant messaging allow us to communicate more often and, above all, to send shorter messages as we obtain the information they contain, without necessarily aggregating it into a complex form. Only scientific communication, even though most of it is now done via the Internet, resists this trend, to the benefit of scientific publishers and traditional forms of communication, but also and above all at the expense of the progress of science and patients in the case of biomedical research.

How, under these conditions, can we create the collective intelligence necessary for scientific progress? The company thinks it has the solution: micro-publications, consisting of a title designed to be easily exploited by an NLP algorithm, a single figure, a brief description and links giving access to all the protocols and data generated. 

Figure 2 – Structure of a micro-publication (Source:

This idea of micro-publications, if not directly linked to the Blockchain, will be, since it allows for the rapid and easy sharing of information, a remarkable tool for collective intelligence and certainly the scientific communication modality best suited to the coming era of Decentralised Science. The objective will not be to replace traditional publications but rather to imagine a new way of doing science, in which the narrative of an innovation will be built collectively throughout successive experiments rather than after several years of work by a single research team. Contradictory voices will be expressed, and a consensus will be found, not fundamentally modifying the classic model of science but making it more efficient.

Facilitating the financing of innovation and the creation of biotechnology start-ups

Today, the financing of innovation, particularly in health, faces a double problem: 

  • From the point of view of scientists and entrepreneurs: despite the development of numerous funding ecosystems, non-dilutive grants and the maturation of venture capital funds, the issue of fundraising remains essential and problematic for most projects. Many projects do not survive the so-called “Valley of Death”, the period before the start of clinical studies, during which raising funds is particularly complicated. 
  • On the investor side: It is particularly difficult for an individual to participate in the financing of research and biotech companies in a satisfactory way. 
  • It is possible to be a Business Angel and to enter early in the capital of a promising start-up: this is not accessible to everyone, as a certain amount of capital is required to enter a start-up (and even more so if one wishes to diversify one’s investments to smooth out one’s risk)
  • It is possible to invest in listed biotech companies on the stock market: the expectation of gain is then much lower, as the companies are already mature, and their results consolidated
  • It is possible to fund research through charities, but in this case, no return on investment is possible and no control over the funded projects can be exercised.
  • It is possible to invest through crowdfunding sites, but here again there are structural problems: the choice of companies is limited, and the investors are generally in the position of lenders rather than investors: they do not really own shares in the company and will be remunerated according to a predefined annual rate.

These days, one of the pharmaceutical industry’s most fashionable mantras is to put the patient at the center of its therapeutics, so shouldn’t we also, for the sake of consistency, allow him to be at the center of the systems for financing and developing therapeutics?

DeSci will allow everyone – patients, relatives of patients or simply (crypto)investors wishing to have a positive impact on the world – via IP-NFT, data-NFT or company tokenization systems to easily finance drug development projects whatever their stage, from the academic research of a researcher to a company already established. 

This system of tokenization of assets also makes it possible to generate additional income, both for the investor and for the project seeking to be financed:

  • The “Lombard loan” mechanisms present in DeFi will also allow investors to generate other types of income on their shares in projects. Indeed, DeFi has brought collateralized loans back into fashion: a borrower can deposit digital assets (cryptocurrencies, but also NFTs or tokenized real assets (companies, real estate, etc) in exchange for another asset (which represents a fraction of the value they deposited, in order to protect the lender) that they can invest according to different mechanisms specific to Decentralized Finance (we will not develop in this article). Thus, in a classic private equity system, the money invested in a start-up is blocked until the possibility of an exit and does not generate returns other than those expected due to the increase in the company’s value. In the new decentralized system, part of the money you have invested can be placed in parallel in the crypto equivalent of a savings account (let’s simplify things, this site is not dedicated to Decentralized Finance!)
  • Furthermore, another possibility for biotech projects, whether they are already incorporated or not, to generate additional revenues is to take advantage of the liquidity of the assets (which does not exist in the traditional financing system): it is quite possible to apply a tax of some % to each transaction of an IP-NFT or a data-NFT.

We are in a world where it is sometimes easier to sell a picture of a monkey for $3 or $4 million than to raise that amount to fight a deadly disease. It’s time to understand this and pull the right levers to get the money where it is – sometimes far off the beaten track. 

Conclusion: a nascent community, a lot of work and great ambitions

Despite the high-potential initiatives presented in this article, and the growing involvement of a scientific community throughout the world, DeSci is still young and has yet to be structured. One of the main ones, apart from the aspects related to the regulatory framework, will undoubtedly be that of education in the broadest sense, which is not yet addressed by the current projects. By using Web3 tools to reinvent the way in which a high-level curriculum can be built and financed (tomorrow you will be paid to take online courses – yes!), the DeSci will give itself the means to integrate the most creative and entrepreneurial minds of its time, in the same way that large incubators or investment funds such as Y Combinator or Tech Stars have relied on education to create or accelerate the development of some of the most impressive companies of recent years. The DeSci Collaborative Universities need to emerge, and the connection between Ed3 (education and learning in the Web3 era) and DeSci has yet to be implemented.

Figure 3 – Presentation of the embryonic DeSci ecosystem at the ETH Denver conference, February 17, 2022 (in the last 3 months, the burgeoning ecosystem has grown considerably with other projects)

Web 3.0 and DAOs have the great advantage of allowing people to be rewarded with equity, or the equivalent, for contributing their skills or financial resources to a project at any stage of its development.  Thus, in a decentralized world where skills and research materials are at hand, and where the interests of the individuals involved in a project are more aligned, the time between the emergence of an idea and its execution is significantly shorter than in a centralized world. This model, which can reinvent not only work but also what a company is, applies to all fields but is particularly relevant where collective intelligence is important and where advanced expertise of various kinds is needed, such as scientific research. 

In the same way that we can reasonably expect Bitcoin to become increasingly important in the international monetary system in the coming years and decades, we can expect DeSci, given its intrinsic characteristics and qualities, to become increasingly important in the face of what we may in the next few years call “TradSci” (traditionally organized Science). By allowing a perfect alignment of interests of its different actors, DeSci will probably constitute the most successful and viable large-scale and long-term collaborative tool of Collective Intelligence that Homo Sapiens will ever have. Whether it is the fight against global warming, the conquest of space, the eradication of all diseases, or the extension of human longevity, DeSci will probably be the catalyst for the next few decades of scientific innovation and, in so doing, will positively impact your life. Don’t miss the opportunity to be one of the first to do so!

Further reading: 
  • General information on DeSci: 
  • Understanding DAOs:
  • Understanding Web3:
  • On the IP-NFTs concept:
  • On the Data-NFTs concept:
  • On the decentralized peer-reviewing:
  • On the micro-publication concept:
  • On the decentralized construction and financing of Biotechs:
  • On the ED3:

Credits for the illustration of the article :
  • Background: @UltraRareBio @jocelynnpearl and danielyse_, Designed by @katie_koczera
  • Editing: Resolving Pharma

These articles should interest you


Introduction to DeSci

How Science of the Future is being born before our eyes « [DeSci] transformed my research impact from a low-impact virology article every other year to saving the lives and…
Illustration In Silico

Towards virtual clinical trials?

Clinical trials are among the most critical and expensive steps in drug development. They are highly regulated by the various international health agencies, and for good reason: the molecule or…

To subscribe free of charge to the monthly Newsletter, click here.

Would you like to take part in the writing of Newsletter articles ? Would you like to take part in an entrepreneurial project on these topics ?

Contact us at ! Join our group LinkedIn !

Entrepreneurship Entrevues

Interview – Molecule, the start-up that wants to revolutionise the financing of drug development with the Blockchain

The Resolving Pharma team is pleased to inaugurate a series of interviews with start-ups creating the pharmaceutical world of tomorrow with this interview with Molecule, a young and ambitious German company willing to change the rules of Drug Development by using Blockchain technology in a new way.

We would like to thank the Molecule team for this exchange and especially Heinrich Tessendorf.

Some of the terms used in this interview are technical and very specific to the field of Blockchain, in order to facilitate the understanding of the project, a glossary has been added at the end of the interview. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or wish to discuss the subject. Have a good read!

This interview was conducted by Alexandre Demailly and Quentin Vicentini.

Resolving Pharma: With Molecule, you are trying to reinvent, among other things, the financing of pharmaceutical research and development. Can you explain how your platform works?

Molecule: Our platform is a marketplace that moves early-stage IP into web3 via NFTs. This is coupled with frameworks to build biotech DAOs and communities coming together to fund research in specific therapeutic areas. These communities consist of patients, researchers, and enthusiasts.

Practically, all of this comes together when researchers upload a project on our website. From here on forward, other researchers, investors or patient communities can discover these (and other) projects and decide where to invest. Once these role players have decided where to invest, they can connect their web3 wallet (e.g. Metamask) and fund the project by purchasing it as an IP-NFT. IP rights could immediately be transferred to the purchaser and funds could be transferred to the researcher at the exact same time.

Resolving Pharma: What are your company’s goals? What is your vision?

Molecule: Our vision is simple – we see patient, researcher, and investor communities forming to fund and govern end-to-end drug development. We enable this by making IP a highly liquid, data-driven asset class.

Over the next 2+ years, our goal is that our protocol will fund as much R&D as a mid-sized pharma company. With this, we’re ambitious to double our team, launch Molecule V2 and the Molecule DAO, see the first asset out licensed to Pharma, and realize the first patient-led use cases just to name a few.

Our hope is that decentralised biotech will do for access to therapies and medicine what FinTech and Decentralised finance did for how we manage and get access to financial services.

Resolving Pharma: How are submitted projects selected and evaluated? 

Molecule: Projects can be submitted on Molecule’s Discover App or VitaDAO’s Project Submission Form.

On Molecule’s Discover App, any researcher can upload their project and investors can discover them. Currently we have over 300 projects listed on this platform. We, as Molecule, don’t evaluate these projects – it’s up to investors to decide what projects they want to invest in. 

On VitaDAO’s Project Submission Form you can submit your longevity-focused project, but the concept is different in that there, you apply for funding for your project from VitaDAO. We do due diligence in ways similar to how the biopharmaceutical industry currently operates. Namely, they evaluate assets and research as a business opportunity where they’ll take into account market size, competition, team, etc. However, VitaDAO wants to pursue more high-risk and earlier stage projects than those in which traditional funding mechanisms show interest. Also, they want to focus on projects that promote longevity/healthspan/lifespan per se. This is notable because aging isn’t recognized as a disease by government agencies such as the FDA. Therefore, its market can’t be estimated traditionally. They accept this risk and have strategies including pursuing clinical trials in countries with favorable legal framework and/or countries willing to work together to design clinical trials with biomarkers that are relevant to longevity/healthspan/lifespan per se.

Projects submitted for funding through VitaDAO are evaluated by VitaDAO’s scientific evaluation board. They’ll then come up with a suggestion for or against funding. Evaluation is independent of the final decision for funding. If a project qualifies for funding it moves over to an on-chain funding proposal and VitaDAO token holders eventually vote for or against funding the project.

Resolving Pharma: How to invest in a research project using your platform?

Molecule: Currently, every investor needs to be a verified user on Molecule to invest in research projects. To enable you to directly invest in a research project, we need some information from the investor. Our platform is web3 enabled, so once investors have been whitelisted and selected a project they would like to fund it would be similar to how you would purchase an NFT on OpenSea.  Practically, the steps would look like this:

  1. Create an investor account on

  2. Explore research projects in your field of interest. If you want to get in touch with specific researchers that have no contact information listed, feel free to reach out to us via

  3. Get whitelisted for IP-NFT sales: To participate in IP-NFT sales and make binding offers to researchers, Molecule needs to collect certain information from investors. This information will be used primarily to enable investors to sign the underlying legal agreements connected to IP-NFTs. To trigger the whitelisting process, please get in touch with

  4. Bid on IP-NFTs: You are now ready to make offers for new research projects or existing IP-NFTs. We will keep you informed of new funding opportunities arising on Molecule Discovery. If you are interested in funding research projects which are not listed on Molecule yet, feel free to put the researcher in touch with the Molecule team.

  5. Transfer of funds and receiving the IP-NFT: After your bid has been accepted by a researcher, you will be asked to transfer the funds to an escrow account. As soon as the funds are received, the escrow contract will release the IP-NFT to the origin address of the funds.

  6. Manage your IP-NFT: After you have received the IP-NFT, you are now able to manage it on the molecule platform. View the IP-NFT, make selling offers, or review the underlying legal agreement and data (to be added) via the Molecule platform.

Resolving Pharma: How can individual investors choose between different projects?

Molecule: Individual investors will need to do their own due-diligence (DYOR) and consult a scientific advisor. Individuals will most likely choose projects that interest them personally, e.g. someone with a family member living with a certain disease. A lot of the information they require will be on the project page, but they can reach out to individual researchers through the project page on our Discovery app to ask further questions.

In the case where a DAO (e.g. VitaDAO) funds a project, the DAO has a group of subject matter experts (the scientific evaluation board) which advise the DAO on which projects to fund. The decision is then formalised by a governance proposal which is put up to a vote and the final decision is made by all token holders ($Vita in this case). Token holders then vote on these proposals through a simple yes or no vote.

Resolving Pharma: What are the advantages of decentralizing drug development?

Molecule: If IP is siloed and owned by individual companies, these companies could have a very strong bias towards only publishing positive data and this leads to information asymmetry. That’s not how science is supposed to be done. The research community could achieve desired outcomes much faster if research were done more openly and collaboratively. Learning can be done much faster and costs saved by reducing the duplication work through failed experiments. One thing which can help facilitate this is getting attention on research projects through a global public marketplace.

Resolving Pharma: How does your model differ from that offered by crowdfunding platforms?

Molecule: Molecule’s platform is different from crowdfunding, because novel approaches to democratised ownership mean stakeholders can directly co-own the therapies that affect them. Imagine a world where a new insulin treatment is collectively owned by diabetics – what would that do to access and pricing? What if patients could have a direct impact and say in the drugs developed for them? Communities help bring drugs to market through crowd intelligence and curation markets, not just funding, but co-owning.

Resolving Pharma: Can you explain the concept of IP-NFT? How is it secured from a legal point of view?

Molecule: The IP-NFT is a new NFT standard that we’ve developed. IP-NFTs represent the full legal intellectual property rights and provide data access to biopharma research. Think of the IP-NFT as a unique token on the Ethereum blockchain. This token will link to a legal agreement that the researcher will have concluded with investors. Through fractionalization, frictionless transfer, and collateralisation of IP in decentralised financial (DeFi) systems, it unlocks new value in biopharma IP. Fundamentally, IP-NFT enables funding, liquidity and valuation of the IP and research. 

From a legal perspective, the IP-NFT transacts real-world legal rights/licences of the IP. It does this by means of a legal contract and a smart contract that cross-references one another. The legal contract is an IP license with language referencing blockchain transactions, addresses, and signatures. The smart contract is an NFT with code referencing the IP licensing agreement, obfuscating certain data components and storing them on decentralised file storage networks. Combined, the legal contract and the smart contract create the IP-NFT. This gives secure access control to the IP and data to buyers and in the process speeds up due diligence and saves costs. You can learn more about the technical and legal setup of an IP-NFT in this Medium article.

Resolving Pharma: How are decisions made regarding the management of the project’s intellectual property? What is the role of the DAO?

Molecule: VitaDAO is governed by its members. All decisions undergo a pre-defined decision-making process that is inclusive and transparent to all members. Smaller decisions are made informally on VitaDAO’s Discourse forum or Discord, but can be escalated to require an on-chain vote where anyone who owns Vita tokens can vote. Decisions that are contested, have a notable impact on VitaDAO’s stakeholders, affect processes in a fundamental way, or involve a significant use of funds, always undergo an on-chain vote and require a relative majority of token holders to agree.

Resolving Pharma: In this regard, can you introduce us to VitaDAO? How could this project extend human life expectancy?

Molecule: VitaDAO is a decentralised organisation funding longevity research and governing biotech IP and data via IP-NFTs. Think about VitaDAO as the vehicle towards the democratization of access to therapeutics in the biotech world in order to make these assets widely accessible to people across the globe. 

Considering the project’s role in extending human life expectancy, VitaDAO funds early stage research, and could, for example, turn these research projects into biotech companies. As an example, the first project that VitaDAO funded is seeking to validate longevity observations through a series of wet lab experiments and if successful, this work could potentially result in the repurposing of several FDA-approved therapeutics to extend human lifespan, at a lower cost and over faster timelines than conceivably possible with de novo drug discovery.

Resolving Pharma: If our readers want to help you and participate in your projects, what can they do?

Molecule: The best way is to join our Discord, introduce yourself and talk to us there. You can also reach out to our community manager via email at  

If you wish to learn more about the project, you can refer to

  • The company’s website:
  • The company’s Medium blog:
  • As well as the various talks and conferences given by Tyler and Paul, the two co-founders of Molecule: https ://

Glossary :

  • Web3: “Web3 refers to a third generation of the Internet where online services and platforms move to a model based on blockchains and cryptocurrencies. In theory, this means that infrastructures are decentralised and anyone who has a token associated with that infrastructure has some control over it. This model of the web represents a financialised vision of the internet.”
  • NFT for Non-Fungible Token: “An NFT refers to a digital file to which a digital certificate of authenticity has been attached. More precisely, the NFT is a cryptographic token stored on a blockchain. The digital file alone is fungible, whether it is a photo, video or other, the associated NFT is non-fungible.”
  • DAOs: “A DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) is an entity powered by a computer program that provides automated governance rules to a community. The DAO is a complex, smart contract deployed on the Ethereum blockchain, similar to a decentralised venture capital fund. These rules are immutably and transparently written into a blockchain, a secure information storage and transmission technology that operates without a central controlling body. A DAO differs, in theory, from a traditional entity in three ways: it cannot be stopped or closed, no one or no organisation can control it (and thus manipulate its numbers) and, finally, everything is transparent and auditable, all within a supranational framework. A DAO is based on computer code: its operating rules are public and it is not based on any jurisdiction.
  • WhiteList: “The term whitelist defines, in the context of Blockchain projects, a set of people who are assigned a maximum level of freedom or trust in a particular system.

These articles should interest you


Introduction to DeSci

How Science of the Future is being born before our eyes « [DeSci] transformed my research impact from a low-impact virology article every other year to saving the lives and…
Illustration In Silico

Towards virtual clinical trials?

Clinical trials are among the most critical and expensive steps in drug development. They are highly regulated by the various international health agencies, and for good reason: the molecule or…

To subscribe free of charge to the monthly Newsletter, click here.

Would you like to take part in the writing of Newsletter articles ? Would you like to take part in an entrepreneurial project on these topics ?

Contact us at ! Join our group LinkedIn !

Entrepreneurship Generalities

Blockchain, Mobile Apps: will technology solve the problem of counterfeit drugs?

« Fighting counterfeit drugs is only the start of what blockchain could achieve through creating [pharmaceutical] ‘digital trust’.»

Andreas Schindler, Blockchain Expert

20% of the medicines circulating in the world are counterfeit, most of them do not contain the right active substance or not in the right quantity. Representing 200 billion dollars per year, this traffic – 10 to 20 times more profitable for organized crime than heroin – causes the death of hundreds of thousands of people every year, the majority of whom are children, whose parents think they are treating them with real medicine. To fight this scourge, laboratories and international health authorities must form a united front, where technology could be the keystone.

The problem of counterfeit drugs

It is an almost invisible scourge, which contours are difficult to define, a low-key global epidemic, which does not provoke confinements or massive vaccination campaigns, but which nevertheless kills hundreds of thousands of patients every year. Counterfeit medicines, defined by the WHO as “medicines that are fraudulently manufactured, mislabeled, of poor quality, conceal the details or identity of the source, and do not meet defined standards”, generally concern serious diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria, and lead to the death of approximately 300,000 children under the age of 5 from pneumonia and malaria. In fact, the general term “counterfeit drugs” covers very different products: some containing no active ingredient, some containing active ingredients different from what is indicated on the label, and others containing the indicated Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) in different quantities. In addition to their responsibility for the countless human tragedies, counterfeit medicines also contribute to future issues by increasing antibiotic resistance in areas of the world where health systems are already failing and will probably not be able to cope with this new challenge.

Now, from a financial perspective. Apart from public health considerations, counterfeit medicines are also an economic and political problem for countries: this traffic, which represents 200 billion dollars per year, feeds organized crime networks and represents a very high cost for health systems. As far as the pharmaceutical industry is concerned, the problems caused by this traffic are numerous: it represents a 20% loss of revenue of their worldwide sales; a lack of confidence from their patients – not knowing, most of the time, that the counterfeit drugs are not the originals; and finally considerable expenses in order to fight the counterfeits.

Initiatives against counterfeit drugs

Counterfeit medicines are usually distributed through highly complex networks, which makes it particularly difficult to curb their spread. In its “Guide for the development of measures to eliminate counterfeit medicines”, the WHO identifies various legal-socio-political initiatives that can be put in place for States in order to limit the spread of these counterfeit medicines. While these recommendations are relevant, they are particularly difficult to implement in regions of the world where countries have few resources and whose structures are plagued by endemic corruption. In this article, we will therefore focus on solutions implemented by private companies: start-ups specialized in fighting against counterfeit drugs or large pharmaceutical companies.

One of the methods used by various start-ups – such as PharmaSecure based in India, or Sproxil based in Nigeria, and actively collaborating with the government of that country – is to use the widespread access of the populations to smartphones to allow them to identify counterfeit drug boxes according to the following model: drug manufacturers collaborate with these start-ups to set up codes (in the form of numerical codes or QR codes) concealed  inside the box  or on the packaging of the drug, under a surface that needs to be scratched or removed. Patients can download a free app and scan these codes to verify the medication is authentic. These applications also allow patients to receive advice on their treatments. They function as a trusted third party to certify the patient, the final consumer of the drug, that no one has fraudulently substituted the legitimate manufacturer.

Figure 1 – Model for drug authenticity verification using mobile apps

The system described above works almost the same way as serialization. The implementation began several years ago and is described in European Regulation 2016/61; with the exception that the verification is performed by the patient and not by the pharmacist.

Other mobile apps, such as CheckFake and DrugSafe, are developing a different verification system, taking advantage of the smartphone’s camera to check the shape, content, and color compliance of drug packaging. Finally, another category of mobile apps implements a system that analyses the shape and the color of the drugs themselves to identify which tablets they are, and certify they are authentic.

These different solutions have a number of qualities, in particular their ease of deployment and use by patients in all over the world. On the other hand, they have the disadvantage of being launched in a speed race with counterfeiters, pushed to produce more and more realistic and similar counterfeits. Nevertheless, these technologies can hardly be applied in other circuits: securing the entire supply chain or tracking the circuit of drugs in hospitals. This is why many large pharmaceutical groups, such as Merck or Novartis for example, bet on a different technology: the Blockchain. Explanations.

Presentation of the Blockchain technology

Blockchain is a technology conceived in 2008, on which cryptocurrencies have been built since then. It is a cryptographically secured technology for storing and transmitting information without a centralized control body. The main objective is to allow a computer protocol to be a vector of trust between different actors without an intermediary third party. The Blockchain mechanism allows the different actors participating to obtain a unanimous agreement on the content of the data, and to avoid their subsequent falsification. Thus, the historical method of consensus between actors is the so-called “proof of work”: a number of actors provides computing power to validate the arrival of new information. In the context of cryptocurrencies, these actors are called miners: very powerful computing machines with high energy expenditure are all given a complex mathematical problem to solve at the same time. The first one to succeed will be able to validate the transaction and be paid for it. Each of the participants, called “nodes”, has therefore an updated history of the ledger that is the Blockchain. The way to corrupt a proof-of-work blockchain is to gather enough computational power to carry out a so-called “51%” attack, i.e., to carry the consensus towards a falsification of the chain: the double spending in particular. In fact, this attack is hardly conceivable on blockchains such as Bitcoin, as the computing power to be developed would be phenomenal (perhaps one day the quantum computer will make what we currently consider to be cryptography obsolete, but that is another debate…) Other validation techniques now exist; such as proof of participation or proof of storage. They were essentially designed to address the issues of scalability and energy sustainability of blockchains.

Figure 2 – Diagram of how to add a block to a blockchain.

Conceived in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, this technology has a strong political connotation, and Bitcoin’s philosophy, for example, is to allow individuals to free themselves from banking and political control systems. Thus, the original blockchains, such as Bitcoin, are said to be “open”: anyone can read and write the chain’s registers. Over time, and for greater convenience by private companies, semi-closed blockchains (everyone can read but only a centralizing organization can write) or closed blockchains (reading and writing are reserved for a centralizing organization) have been developed. These new forms of blockchains move away considerably from the original philosophy, and one can legitimately question their relevance: they present some disadvantages of the blockchain in terms of difficulty of use while also retaining the problems associated with a centralized database: a single entity can voluntarily decide to corrupt it or suffer from a hacking.

This closed configuration often allows for greater scalability but raises a question that is as much technological as it is philosophical: is a blockchain, when fully centralized, still a blockchain?

Prospects for the use of technology in the fight against counterfeit drugs

At a time when trust is more than ever a central issue for the pharmaceutical industry, which sees its legitimacy and honesty questioned relentlessly, it is logical that the players in this sector are interested in this technology of trust par excellence. Among the various use cases, which we will no doubt come back to in future articles, the fight against counterfeit drugs is one of the most promising and most important in terms of human lives potentially saved. For example, Merck recently began collaborating with Walmart, IBM, and KPMG on an FDA-led pilot project to use blockchain to allow patients to track the entire pathway of the medication they take. This concept is already being functionally tested in Hong Kong on Gardasil, and using mobile applications downloaded by pharmacists and patients. Thus, the entire drug supply chain is built around the blockchain, making it possible to retrieve and assemble a large amount of data concerning, for example, shipping dates or storage conditions and temperatures. The aforementioned consortium is also exploring the use of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT): unique and non-interchangeable digital tokens. Each box of medication produced would have an associated NFT, which would follow the box through its circuit, from the manufacturer to the wholesaler, from the wholesaler to the pharmacist and from the pharmacist to the patient. Thus, in the future, each patient would receive an NFT at the same time as the medication in order to certify the inviolability of its origin. None of the actors in the supply chain could take the liberty of fraudulently adding counterfeit drugs since they would not have their associated NFT. Future is probably pleasing and in favor of increased drug safety, but it will only be achievable after significant work, on the one hand to educate stakeholders and on the other hand to set up digital interfaces accessible to all patients.


With the emergence of e-commerce and its ever-increasing ease of access, the problem of counterfeit drugs has exploded in recent years, and it will be necessary for the pharmaceutical ecosystem to mobilize and innovate in order to curb it, as well as to restore the deteriorated trust. Several fascinating  initiatives using blockchain technology are currently being carried out by various stakeholders in the health sector, we can see in these projects the outline of a potential solution to drug counterfeiting, but we must however consider them with a certain critical mind. The temptation to market the buzz-word “blockchain” since the explosion of crypto-currencies in 2017 can be strong – and even, unfortunately, when the issues could be perfectly satisfied with a centralized database. Can we go so far as to think, as some specialists in this technology do, that blockchain is only viable and useful when it is used for financial transfers? The debate is open and there is no doubt that the future will quickly bring an answer!

Would you like to discuss the subject? You want to take part in the writing of articles for the Newsletter? You want to participate in an entrepreneurial project related to PharmaTech?

Contact us at! Join our LinkedIn group!

To subscribe to the monthly Newsletter for free: Registration

For further information:

These articles should interest you


Introduction to DeSci

How Science of the Future is being born before our eyes « [DeSci] transformed my research impact from a low-impact virology article every other year to saving the lives and…
Illustration In Silico

Towards virtual clinical trials?

Clinical trials are among the most critical and expensive steps in drug development. They are highly regulated by the various international health agencies, and for good reason: the molecule or…

To subscribe free of charge to the monthly Newsletter, click here.

Would you like to take part in the writing of Newsletter articles ? Would you like to take part in an entrepreneurial project on these topics ?

Contact us at ! Join our group LinkedIn !