Delivering Better Results through Partnership

Public-Private Partnerships Can Serve as Important Levers of Innovation

07.02.14 | By Stephanie Fischer

Collaboration was a central theme of the recent BIO International Convention, which featured panel discussions on AMP-lifying Innovation: NIH, Patient Organizations & Leading Biopharma Firms Mobilize to Tackle Tough Diseases and Playing Nice in the Sandbox: Pre-Competitive Research Consortiums Offer Quicker, Less Expensive Path to Better Medicines.

Accelerating Medicines Partnership Aims to Speed Validation of Disease Targets

The Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP), an initiative of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), several non-profit disease foundations, 10 biopharmaceutical companies and PhRMA, has the lofty goal of transforming the current model for developing new diagnostics and treatments for patients by joining forces to identify and validate promising biological targets of disease. AMP was launched earlier this year with pilot programs in Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes and autoimmune disorders of rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus).

In the super session on AMP, Dr. Jan Lundberg of Lilly Research Foundation explained why biopharmaceutical companies invest their time and resources in public private partnerships: to accelerate breakthroughs and increase the efficiency of bringing new medicines to patients.

Pre-Competitive Consortia Tackle Shared Challenges

AMP is only one of many ongoing public-private partnerships that harness the collective strength, resources and creativity of their members to help solve significant public health challenges.  Dr. Salvo Alesci of PhRMA participated in a panel at the BIO Convention which examined how precompetitive collaborations enable biopharmaceutical companies, academia and other stakeholders to unite to tackle shared drug discovery and development challenges.

In that session, Richard Lindberg of Pfizer explained how Pfizer’s Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI) bring together the best of industry and academia to work side-by-side, bridging the gap between early scientific discovery and translation into new medicines.  CTI currently includes more than 23 academic institutions working on 25 projects across a variety of disease areas.

Dr. Alesci highlighted the critical value of partnerships as “important levers of innovation” to address challenges in clinical trials as well as the need to more consistently involve patient and provider advocacy groups in public private partnerships, such as the Lung Cancer Master Protocol (Lung-MAP). 

Collaboration Launches New Clinical Trial Model for Lung Cancer

Earlier this month, Lung-MAP was launched as a revolutionary clinical trial model by the National Cancer Institute, SWOG Cancer Research, Friends of Cancer Research, Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, five biopharmaceutical companies, Foundation Medicine and several lung cancer advocacy organizations.to help match patients with promising new therapies based on their unique tumor profiles. Lung-MAP uses a multi-drug, targeted screening approach to match squamous cell lung cancer patients with investigational treatments. It is designed to improve the sharing of information and infrastructure, improve access for patients to new medicines and for researchers to relevant enrollees based on their genomic profiles, and minimize time and money needed to test these therapies.  The goal is to help patients find treatments that will work faster and more effectively.

Collaboration across the biomedical ecosystem can leverage the diversity of thought and experience, and reduce potential duplication with the goal of increasing the number of new therapies for patients while reducing the time to develop them.  After all, as Dr. Lundberg said last week, “we will all be patients in the end.”

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