Partnership Formed to Develop Drugs to Treat Alzheimer’s and Other Diseases

The New York Times reported that the National Institutes of Health, ten drug companies and seven nonprofit organizations have initiated  a partnership intended to speed up development of drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease, Type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Participants in this five-year, $230 million effort will share data, meet regularly and work together to determine which findings are likely to lead to effective treatments. Their findings and data will be made publicly available.

The project is unique, said Dr. Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health.

“We are getting together in a way that has not happened before,” Dr. Collins said. “We are bringing scientists from different perspectives into the same room. They will leave their egos at the door, leave their affiliations at the door.”

“This is the type of ADNI-like partnership many of us have seen an urgent need for,  and I am excited Francis Collins has made this happen,” said John Q. Trojanowski, MD, PhD, Co-Director, Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research (CNDR) and Director, Alzheimer’s Disease Core Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

The goal of the partnership is to find new drug targets: molecules that can be attacked in order to stop or slow a disease. The Alzheimer’s initiative also aims to find reliable molecular signals of whether dementia is progressing, so that new drugs can be tested early enough to avert irreversible brain damage.

Read the full New York Times article here.

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