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Strategic Plan

In 2006, the Board of Directors of AIDS Research Alliance adopted a Strategic Plan that will serve as an organizational road map for the next five years.  The data used to create the Plan was gathered from internal and external stakeholders, including current and past ARA staff, donors, board members, members of the Institutional Review Board and Scientific Advisory Committee, leaders in other scientific organizations, physicians specializing in HIV and people in the community at large who have relationships with ARA

In gathering data for this Plan, we found that AIDS Research Alliance is unique in the AIDS research arena.  We set out to determine how a small, non-profit organization like AIDS Research Alliance could have an impact on a global crisis that claims over 3 million lives each year and is dominated by a multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry.  We reviewed the global AIDS research industry, forecasted emerging scientific and funding trends, and examined our own strengths and weaknesses, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of our peers.  What we learned is that no other community-based, nonprofit organization is conducting HIV research as we are.  We discovered that our work is having an impact on the science of HIV/AIDS and drug development.

Analysis

Approximately 200 companies and organizations perform research for the treatment, prevention and eradication of HIV/AIDS.  While pharmaceutical companies and biotech firms make up only 35% of these, they represent a majority of the influence in HIV/AIDS research and are responsible for approximately 90% of all spending in the field.  The other 65% are mostly universities and large non-profit research institutions that focus on questions of basic research as opposed to drug development.  Due to an overwhelming dependence on government funding, they are limited by regulatory burdens and a tendency toward institutional conservatism that keeps them from pushing their research beyond accepted political boundaries.

ARA’s strengths include a compelling mission/vision [click here] to cure AIDS; a committed Board of Directors [click here]; an exceptional Institutional Review Board [click here]; and core competencies in clinical trials management. The proven ability of ARA to recruit study subjects is widely known in the pharmaceutical industry.  [click here]. 

In addition, ARA balances strong individual donor revenue against clinical trials income, which makes it possible to conduct research without regard to political controversy or shareholder profits.  [click here]  ARA enjoys a long track record; we are known in the industry and we enjoy a solid reputation in the HIV/AIDS community. ARA is the only nonprofit medical research organization to be awarded an exclusive license by the National Institutes of Health to develop a drug for the treatment of HIV.   Our small size is another strength.  It gives us the agility to quickly respond to emerging scientific information and trends, and quickly move projects forward.
 
ARA faces challenges as it moves forward with the Plan, including the outsourcing of clinical trials overseas; slower market growth with fewer drugs in the pipeline; less dependence on new drugs by patients; donor fatigue; and increasingly complicated regulatory burdens.  We have also outgrown our facilities, which are in any event, part of a planned development of the City of West Hollywood that will require the relocation of our Clinic.

Our Strategic Plan is a living document meant to be modified, as necessary, when changes occur.  It will be used as the basis for creating annual objectives and related strategies.  Departmental operating plans will also tie into the objectives and strategies of the plan.  The short and long-term objectives set forth in the Plan will be used as a measure of ARA’s performance in the years that lie ahead.

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