More about Becoming a Diviner

What is Diviner?
Mark Gordon, CEO/Founder

What is Diviner?

Diviner uses collective intelligence methodology and biopharma professionals’ expertise to forecast probabilities of success for clinical-stage drugs. We plan to monetize this capability by creating biotech funds. Our first area of focus is small-cap, clinical-stage biotechs whose valuations are highly dependent on a small number of clinical trial outcomes.

Our First Proof of Concept (POC)

We ran our first proof of concept (POC) in a one-day event in September 2020 to experiment with gathering a diverse set of industry professionals and engaging them in forecasting clinical-stage outcomes. A summary of that exercise is here. Although the purpose of the first POC was simply to see how participants would engage, we had some promising signals of efficacy. We forecasted the outcomes of seven clinical-stage events, one FDA approval, and which COVID vaccine would be first. Three of the clinical-stage events have been announced: We had assessed two as unlikely to progress, and they haven’t, another as unlikely to progress, and it has. And we predicted that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine would be the first COVID vaccine approved by the FDA. It was.

Our Proof of Concept
Jason Kralic, Co-Founder

Our Second Proof of Concept – POC2

POC2 is much more extensive, designed to assess the efficacy of our prediction methods by forecasting the outcomes of approximately thirty Phase 2 and/or Phase 3 trials over a period of several months.

We are including many more participants who invest time and work together, via both a wiki-type collaboration zone and in live Zoom sessions, to put the power of proven collective intelligence methods to work via our own unique methodology. POC2 will establish a forecasting track record and evaluate those predictions via biotech stock investments.


The Diviner Method

Diviner Methodology
Dan Mytelka PhD MBA, Head of Methodology

Diviner starts with published, peer-reviewed, proven techniques shown to work in forecasting outcomes of complex topics ranging from geopolitical events to rates of adoption of new technologies to how investments will pay off to how rapidly COVID spreads. It combines these techniques with our team’s expertise in drug development, resulting in the proprietary Diviner Method.

Why Should You Participate in POC2?

  1. You will share in the upside of Diviner when we monetize our capability. The industry and healthcare professionals who join our POC as forecasters will earn a portion of an equity pool — a 5% stake in the founders’ equity of Diviner — set aside for this purpose. A points system defines how that pool is allocated among participants, using a combination of how many opportunities were participated in and contributions made.
  2. Be part of how we address the industry’s Achilles Heel. You will have the opportunity to interact with your peers in a unique exercise where you apply your insights in addressing the high failure rate of drug discovery.
  3. You can leverage collective intelligence to invest in the biotech stocks we assess after hearing the views of diverse, seasoned industry experts and making your own call on those insights.*
  4. Our standard methods are designed to accommodate anonymity; if this is important to you, we will help you keep your identity confidential.
  5. After POC2, we plan to pay a significant part of fund fees and profits to Diviners, providing continued economic incentives for participation.

* Once we have active funds, further down the line, Diviners will no longer be able to trade on their own, although they will be able to invest in the funds.

How will the upside pool be allocated?
Anthony Japour MD
Member of Diviner’s Forecaster Network

How much time is required?
Martin Eglitis PhD
Member of Diviner’s Forecaster Network

How Much Time is Required?

That’s up to you! You will do better and earn more points in the Upside Pool if you put more into the exercise. However, you can estimate 2-3 hours per week during each 2 week forecasting exercise in which you choose to participate.

Some of the participants will choose to take the lead in shepherding a drug through the review process. Others will choose to do research to inform the assessment and asynchronous discussion. These optional additional activities will earn more points in the Upside Pool.


Do I have to be a scientist, physician, drug developer? What expertise do I need?

You’d be surprised at what you’d be able to contribute, even if you aren’t a therapy area or other deep expert. Collective intelligence research shows five ways people can be useful in contributing to strong predictions.

  1. Identifying questions to ask about a specific topic (e.g., how likely is a given drug to succeed in its current clinical trial). These usually require expertise in either drug discovery, drug development, or something like market access or regulatory approval.
  2. Contributing information and insights via asynchronous and synchronous discussions — again, applying domain-specific expertise.
  3. Researching the answers to questions identified as being key to forecasting the outcome. These require less deep expertise.
  4. Identifying “comps” — what the topic is like and what it shares with similar topics. Smart people with an understanding of the biopharma industry can excel here.
  5. Estimating a probability of success by applying what others have summarized. Open-minded, probabilistic thinkers excel at this, and domain expertise is less important.

The domain expertise needs to be diverse to achieve the most predictive forecasts.

  • Participants who know the area of research being assessed.
  • Participants that aren’t familiar with the research assessment but know the industry, bringing experience ranging from discovery science to negotiating licensing deals.
  • Participants who do not bring inside-industry views and biases but have the cognitive and psychometric traits to contribute to forecasting teams.

Expertise needed?
Michael Dombeck MBA MPP, Advisor

How Does the POC work?

We are selecting drugs from a list of small-cap, pre-revenue biotech drugs with key Phase 2/3 trials expected to announce their results in the next few months.
We prepare background materials to include an overview of the company, the drug, and the specific trial outcomes we are planning to predict, along with success rate benchmarks.
Participants review the background material and participate in discussion and sharing of insights via a combination of online work on their own time and live Zoom sessions.
Forecasters make individual predictions based on their judgment and experience and from knowledge gained through the process.
Diviner analyzes the predictions of the forecasters and aggregates them in a Diviner forecast.

We will share a more detailed overview of the confidential Diviner Method with participants who have signed the POC agreement.

Participation Agreement

Participants are asked to sign a POC participation agreement which allows them to earn points in the equity pool in exchange for agreeing to:

  • Conflict disclaimers. Participants must commit to opt-out of participating in any opportunity where they are restricted by an NDA with the company we are forecasting or have insider information on the company, drug, or trial being assessed.
  • Confidentiality and IP Assignment. The scope of the POC, the methods used, and the insights and forecasts created are confidential to and the intellectual property of Diviner.
  • A narrow non-compete. Participants agree not to advise a directly competing company (one which applies human-centered, collective-intelligence / crowdsourced expertise prediction techniques to forecast drug development outcomes as core business) on its methods.

Participation agreement
John Keenan, Project Management