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Autism Speaks Looks To Commercial Market


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The nation’s largest autism organization is launching a secondary entity with an eye toward bringing everything from medical innovations to apps for those on the spectrum to market.

Officials at Autism Speaks said this week that they are creating a new nonprofit known as Delivering Scientific Innovation for Autism, or DELSIA. The spinoff, which will be led by some of the organization’s existing staffers, will not raise any money of its own, but will rely exclusively on grants from Autism Speaks to fund promising new innovations.

DELSIA will work with outside entities including biotech startups, academic-industry incubators, entrepreneurs and small businesses to provide seed money to develop new products and services for public use, Autism Speaks officials indicated. In return, the nonprofit will arrange to receive royalties in cases where new innovations are commercially successful so that profits can be used to fund further investment.

“There is an urgent need for autism therapies, medications and devices now, and we are committed to leading both the research and the developments that will benefit the thousands of people who struggle with autism every day,” said Geraldine Dawson, Autism Speaks’ chief science officer who will chair DELSIA’s board of managers, in a statement. “Autism Speaks has funded important research that holds great promise for delivering more effective ways to diagnose and treat autism and it’s crucial that we apply what we are learning in the lab to real world solutions that can improve the lives of people living with autism today.”

The new nonprofit will serve a similar purpose to business entities created by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, both of which have proved successful at spurring the development of new treatments, Autism Speaks officials said.

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Comments (4 Responses)

  1. Autistic says:

    A non-profit targeting the market for profit

    Autism Speaks is a scam. Whether it’s a eugenic scam or an exploitation scam I’m not sure

  2. Sonja L says:

    Auti$m $peak$ sucks needed funding from nonprofits and orgs that do a much better job at outreach and service provision. They go into your town and steal money with their “walks”. Not a dime stays in the community to help those with autism whom their neighbors think are benefiting when participating in these fundraisers.. Now they want us to pay twice – once for donating, and again to buy something they now want to sell. For all the money they make – they should be providing free service options to families in need…

    This group has ruined and scattered any possibility of a united front for autism research and service provision. They are not like Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or National Multiple Sclerosis Society because those orgs don’t compete with other like agencies for the same funds. I see such a thinning of resources due to the inception of Auti$m $peak$. They are political and run as a business, not as a nonprofit.

  3. Barbara Johnson says:

    Autism Speaks was founded, and continues to exist, to DIVERT necessary funding from looking at the REAL ELEPHANT in the room. Backed by BigPharma and the Insurance lobbies, not one penny of the Autism Speaks budget will be used to conduct research into a possible vaccine-related causation. The cumulative effects of a burgeoning vaccine schedule have NEVER been studied. Keep your hands in the sand, sheeple . . . Autism. Coming soon to a family near you (perhaps even YOURS).

  4. KA101 says:

    I’d like to take this opportunity to say that Autistic, currently the first comment, also speaks for me in this case. Sonja L is pretty much on-target as well: ASAN checked on aut$peaks’ tax returns and found that the vast majority of the funds went toward cures, rather than therapy or other services that would benefit current autistics.

    And as for the antivaxers? Ms. Johnson did give me a good idea for a Halloween costume, so thanks for that. (Little late for this year, but who knows?)

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