The National Institutes of Health is joining forces with the tech and pharmaceutical industries to speed the development of new drugs for Parkinson’s disease and identify biomarkers for the debilitating condition.
Companies participating in the public-private partnership include Celgene (NSDQ:CELG), GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK), The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) and Verily. Combined the groups plan to commit $12 million to effort, which the NIH is slated to match.
“Advancing treatments for Parkinson’s disease is hampered by insufficient understanding of biological networks; drugs aimed at seemingly promising therapeutic targets fail in clinical trials,” NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins said in prepared remarks. “By combining our expertise and resources, [Accelerating Medicines Partnership] PD partners hope to increase our collective odds of success in accelerating the development of effective treatments for a million Americans who suffer from this debilitating disease.”
“There is a wealth of biosamples and data already collected by NIH and MJFF from people with Parkinson’s disease,” Dr. Walter Koroshetz, director of the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, added. “Sharing resources from public-private partnerships to generate and analyze ‘big data’ made available through AMP may be our greatest opportunity for accelerating the pace of discovery for translation into more effective treatments for PD.”
As part of the collaboration, Verily plans to develop a shared Knowledge Portal that will house the data from cerebrospinal fluid, RNA, plasma and DNA samples collected from more than 3,000 people with Parkinson’s disease, alongside samples from 1,700 healthy participants.
The group will them comb through the datasets to find biomarkers that could help predict disease progression and prognosis. Results from these analyses will be shared on the Knowledge Portal across the companies in the partnership and to the broader research community, according to the NIH.
“The AMP PD Knowledge Portal will provide data storage, pipelines and visualization tools that could enable unique opportunities for data science solutions for human disease modeling and for the identification of the underlying biology related to PD pathogenesis,” Margaret Sutherland, NINDS program director and co-chair of the AMP PD steering committee, said.