The question of the costs and efficiency (i.e. timeframes and attrition rates) of biomedical research & development (R&D) has long been of interest to scholars, industry practitioners and policymakers alike. The past two decades have witnessed significant growth in non-commercial R&D initiatives, particularly for neglected diseases, which predominantly affect people in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We defined “non-commercial” R&D initiatives as those undertaken with a not-for-profit purpose. Understanding is limited, however, of the ways in which these alternate business models compare with traditional commercial R&D, particularly in terms of their overall costs, timeframes and attrition rates. This study compared existing non-commercial R&D initiatives to the averages used in the Portfolio-to-Impact (P2I) v2.0 model on these three parameters. The P2I averages are derived from historical data mostly from commercial R&D for a range of diseases. A literature review was conducted to compare P2I averages with other published estimates.