This Tuesday, the NIH announced a collaborative effort between major pharmaceutical companies, the federal government, nonprofits, and research foundations to expedite the search for treatments for some of the most devastating diseases – Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.
The initiative, called the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP), aims to fundamentally change the way biomedical research is conducted and will involve the sharing of talent, data, blood samples, and tissue samples between major competitors. Currently, work on new drugs is conducted by trial-and-error, but this collaboration will save time and money by collectively looking at the big picture and prioritizing the most promising targets for treatment.
“NIH Director Francis S. Collins said such mind-sharing and data-sharing will compress the timeline for developing new drugs and reduce costs at the same time.” “We are going to try to increase the odds of picking the right targets to go after for the next generation of drug development,” he said.
“D. Lansing Taylor, director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Drug Discovery Institute, said the announcement comes at a time of increasing pressure on pharmaceutical companies’ finances. With the patents for many of the industry’s blockbuster drugs expired or expiring and a controversy simmering over toxicity issues related to some new therapies, drug makers are seeking new ways of doing business.”
“Collaboration is a necessity. It’s not an option anymore,” Taylor said. “It’s too expensive to develop and utilize the new technologies on your own.”
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