Alzheimer’s, diabetes, arthritis focus of new collaboration

Those with Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus will be the first beneficiaries of a new venture between the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration, 10 drug companies and several disease-focused nonprofit organizations, the NIH announced today.

The $230 million Accelerating Medicines Partnership will last three to five years and will be overseen by the Foundation for the NIH. Participating drug companies have agreed to make data and analyses from the project available to others in the biomedical community in an effort to develop new methods of diagnosing and treating the diseases more quickly and at less cost. After the initial pilot project, efforts are expected to be extended to other health issues.

“The entire biomedical research community and the public have a shared interest in compressing the timelines, reducing the costs and increasing the success rates of new targeted therapies,” the NIH said in an announcement. “Given the amount and complexity of the data, this goal will require a systematic approach in which government, academia, industry and patient groups work collaboratively to sift through the flood of disease targets and find the ones most likely to prove responsive to treatments.”

A steering committee related to each disease will meet regularly to define research agendas, develop project plans and review ongoing progress, according to the NIH.

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