Changing the Dynamic of Biopharmaceutical Research Starts with Collaboration

Changing the Dynamic of Biopharmaceutical Research Starts with Collaboration

03.05.14 | By John Castellani

Patients, physicians, biopharmaceutical companies, and the federal government all want the same thing: New treatment options to save lives from diseases that claim far too many. Recently, a new partnership was launched by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), PhRMA, 10 major biopharmaceutical companies, and several non-profits to change the formula for discovering new research, therapies, and hopefully cures for some of society’s most complicated diseases. The collaboration, called the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP), begins with three five-year pilot projects for Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, and the autoimmune disorders of rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus).

AMP provides the medical community with a unique opportunity for collaboration and progress, which is why in our Conversations forum we asked the following question:

NIH, 10 biopharmaceutical companies, PhRMA and several non-profit disease foundations joined forces to transform the model for developing new medicines and diagnostics. What are some expectations that can come from the Accelerating Medicines Partnership?

Lon Cardon, Senior Vice President of Alternative Discovery and Development with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), shared why his company largely exited the neurodegenerative ailments space several years ago. It was because diseases like Alzheimer’s are too complex for any one organization to solve. By joining AMP, however, he noted that GSK join forces with both the public and private sectors as a team to combat this disease.

Cardon’s comments speak to the larger goal of AMP, which is to bring the best and brightest minds together to address some of medicine’s most difficult diseases to cure.

Dr. Gary Nabel, Chief Scientific Officer for Sanofi, explained that science itself relies on experimentation. Nabel pointed out that “in large part, the AMP is an experiment,” emphasizing that this new research and discovery formula is “laying the groundwork for next-generation therapies and the possibility for cures.” Sanofi is a contributing partner on the AMP’s work surrounding type 2 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis/lupus.

While some participants appreciate the science and pooled knowledge that will result from this partnership, for others it’s about hope. Virginia Ladd, President and Executive Director of the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, highlighted this point by noting that as a result of the additional research from this partnership “patients of rare autoimmune disease could see new found hope – and everyone can agree that’s a good thing.”

PhRMA is excited to be part of this new program, and we greatly appreciate this week’s contributions to our Conversations discussion. By changing the formula to increase collaboration, AMP strives to improve the research and development process and give hope to patients.



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