Bold Public-Private Partnership aims to AMP-lify Medical Innovation

Image credit: National Institutes of Health

Image credit: National Institutes of Health

Technological advances have paved the way for researchers to access a wealth of data about the biological cause of disease. Yet translating these discoveries into treatments remains a challenge. Promising drugs often fail in late phase clinical trials, costing time and money, and leaving patients’ lives hanging in the balance. One reason is that the right biological targets were not chosen from the start.

To improve the current model for developing new diagnostics and treatments, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and several biopharmaceutical companies and non-profit organizations formed the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP),  “The good news is that recent dramatic advances in basic research are opening new windows of opportunity for therapeutics…But this challenge is beyond the scope of any one of us and it’s time to work together in new ways to increase our collective odds of success,” NIH Director Francis Collins, MD said in a press release. “We believe this partnership is an important first step and represents the most sweeping effort to date to tackle this vital issue.”  Dr. Collins will be among the distinguished panelists at the “AMP-lifying Innovation” discussion on Wednesday, June 25 at the BIO International Convention in San Diego  #BIO2014

AMP will provide research stakeholders with an opportunity to reach their mutual goals in developing new treatments by pinpointing the right biological targets early in the process. According to the NIH, developing a new drug from early discovery to approval can take more than a decade, cost upwards of $1 billion and produce a failure rate of more than 95 percent. The partnership, managed through the Foundation for the NIH (FNIH), will allow participants to share expertise and resources to target three disease areas: Alzheimer’s, Type 2 Diabetes and Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus. All project data and analysis will be accessible to the biomedical community.

Alzheimer’s disease affects more than five million Americans. In 2014, the cost of caring for those with this debilitating disease is estimated at $150 billion and is expected to rise to $1.2 trillion in 2050. While several biopharmaceutical companies have developed therapies for the disease, none to date has demonstrated clinical efficacy in patient trials. The AMP approach will include identifying biomarkers that can predict clinical outcomes and conducting a large-scale analysis of brain tissue samples to increase understanding of the molecular pathways involved. The analysis will help researchers identify new potential therapeutic targets.

AMP’s partners include Research!America members  AbbVie, GlaxoSmithKline, Lilly, Alzheimer’s Association, PhRMA, American Diabetes Association, Foundation for the NIH, the Geoffrey Beene Foundation and others. The budget for the five-year program for the three disease targets is approximately $230 million. Robust funding for the NIH in the short and long-term will enable researchers to expand their work in other disease areas and conditions.

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