VitaDAO Study Case by the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano


The fintech research group of Politecnico di Milano proposes to study VitaDAO as an innovative and unique way of funding biotech research, and then publish the results in a peer-reviewed journal, with our support.


Simone Fantaccini, a PhD candidate from Politecnico di Milano and MD working for Novartis, investigates novel models of research financing, such as medical crowdfunding. Coming across VitaDAO, he recognized it as an excellent research opportunity to study a unique expression in the field of decentralized drug development organization.
Indeed, a case study is reserved for those outstanding cases which are so recent and at the cutting edge of technological (or business) innovations that escape the standard, large-scale research methodologies, hence are not present yet in the scientific literature.
An example of the type of of paper that could result from this research has been recently published by Simone: An overview of Fintech applications to solve the puzzle of health care funding: state-of-the-art in medical crowdfunding - PubMed


VitaDAO is a unique financing model, which deserves to be brought to the attention of the financial community. From VitaDAO’s standpoint, this research project is an opportunity to increase our visibility, helping to attract talent, project opportunities, and funding.


Project Lead: Simone Fantaccini for Politecnico with the support of Paolo Binetti for VitaDAO (Paolo#8987 on Discord)

Team: Simone Fantaccini, Laura Grassi, and potentially other contributors for Politecnico di Milano with the support of a few key VitaDAO members with a good global understanding of the organization.

Description: a case study is defined as “an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon (the ‘case’) in depth and within its real-world context”. For reference, see Robert K. Yin, 2014 – Case Study Research Design and Methods (5th ed.). It is an established research design that is used extensively in a wide variety of disciplines, particularly in the social sciences. In practice, the main steps of the work are structured around a qualitative and a quantitative study:

  1. Key representatives of the organization are interviewed for roughly 50 minutes, covering different parts and perspectives on operations of the organization, depending on the roles of the interviewees and the very focus of the study.

  2. On the other hand, quantitative assessments investigate data, like financial records, programs funded, geographical footprint, and so on. In this case, most of these data are already available to the public through the VitaDAO website.

  3. Based on this body of knowledge a draft paper is prepared by the researchers

  4. The draft paper is reviewed by VitaDAO, and then submitted to a relevant peer-reviewed journal


Success Metrics: publication in a high-impact journal, such as “Financial Innovation”

Timeline: the work would take place in the coming months

Budget: no budget needed.

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That sounds awesome, let us know how we can all support to provide relevant information to Simone! Maybe worth joining a few chats with members of the longevity working group specifically


Sounds good. At least one PhD may come out of VitaDAO, lol.

For the draft for review, would that be via a pre-print server for the whole community, just VitaCORE, or some other mix? What review period would be expected?

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Love it! Nice find Paolo. Cool that Simone works with Novartis as well. Happy to help in any way. We have plenty of info and data we can share. Maybe he can get published in Nature Biotechnology, which already covered our last fundraise. We could provide help with graphic design of the figures.

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Might be cool to give Simone some Vita so he can try it all out by himself. Might create a COI though.

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Thank you for the question. A first draft would be reviewed by the interviewees, then the manuscript would be open to the community before submission to the selected journal. I have not discussed the review period with Simone, but I am used to a couple of weeks.

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Thank you for the suggestion. As soon as we confirm the study, we will come up with a list of people to interview. I have some in mind already, including from the longevity WG, but please let me know your ideas.

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Thank you for your feedback and for offering your help, more than welcome. And yes, Nature Biotechnology is also a great choice, I will suggest for Simone’s consideration.

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Thank you for the idea, I am favorable, let’s have others’ opinion too.

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