Science superstars unite to fight Alzheimer’s, other diseases

NIH, Drug Companies, Non-Profits join forces.

Science superstars unite to fight Alzheimer’s, other diseases

NIH, Drug Companies, Non-Profits join forces.

Published on February 28

A powerhouse collection of researchers, scientists and experts across the private and public sectors are joining forces and taking direct aim at Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and lupus.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the American biopharmaceutical industry recently launched a bold new initiative to tackle those and other diseases in a new way: by sharing data that had previously been kept private.

The $230 million Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) will harness public and private research pools from government, business and academia in order to make the cutting-edge findings available to the broad biomedical community—putting the wisdom of knowledgeable crowds to work on elusive disease targets.

“This collaboration comes at a time when public-private partnerships are increasing in number, but are still far from the norm,” says Dr. Bill Chin, executive Vice President of science and regulatory affairs at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). “Together, the partners intend to show the strength of bringing multiple members of the scientific community together to solve significant public health challenges.”

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As a result of the technological revolutions in genomics, proteomics, imaging and elsewhere, researchers can now identify startling changes in genes, proteins and other molecules that cause disease and influence its progression. Biopharmaceutical companies use the new information—almost unimaginable even a decade or two ago—to develop targeted therapies with enormous potential to help patients.

However, transforming the new data into the next generation of treatments has been extremely difficult and staggeringly expensive. Developing a new drug—from early discovery to Food and Drug Administration approval—can take over a decade, cost more than $1 billion, and carries a 95% failure rate. Partnerships like this one help spread the cost and risk across organizations, while drawing from the collaboration’s broader research strength.

In addition, the new dream team will continue after it confronts Alzheimer’s, diabetes and lupus. Lessons learned can become best practices to increase success rates and cut costs in the battle against many other diseases.

In addition to PhRMA, other non-profit organizations in the AMP include the Alzheimer’s Association, American Diabetes Association, Lupus Foundation of America, Rheumatology Research Foundation, Geoffrey Beene Foundation and USAgainst Alzheimer’s. The biopharmaceutical partners are AbbVie, Biogen Idec, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Lilly, Merck, Pfizer, Sanofi and Takeda.

For more information on AMP and its mission please go to www.fromhopetocures.com.

Published on February 28