SOURCE: The Boston Consulting Group

The Boston Consulting Group

February 04, 2014 10:01 ET

The Accelerating Medicines Partnership Will Invest $230M to Identify and Validate New Ways to Target Hard-to-Treat Diseases

To Speed the Search for Medicines for Serious Diseases, National Institutes of Health Launches Initiative With Unprecedented Level of Partnership Among Industry, Academia, and Government

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Feb 4, 2014) - The National Institutes of Health (NIH) today announced the launch of the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP), an innovative public-private collaboration developed with guidance from The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) over the last year and a half. AMP is the first systematic investment in understanding the biology of difficult-to-treat diseases that was designed from the start by industry, academic, and government partners working together.

"Currently, we are investing too much money and time in avenues that don't pan out while patients and their families wait," said NIH director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD. "All sectors of the biomedical enterprise agree that this challenge is beyond the scope of any one sector, and it's time to work together in new ways to increase our collective odds of success."

AMP -- cofounded by the NIH, ten leading pharmaceutical companies, and a number of nonprofit organizations -- will invest $230 million over five years to support the large-scale characterization of the underlying pathology of Alzheimer's disease, type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus. BCG was pleased to have supported AMP's initial conception, organization design, and detailed research plans for each of the diseases targeted.

"Too many hoped-for drugs fail during R&D, and the reason for this is that we don't fundamentally understand the biology we're trying to modify," said Michael Ringel, JD, PhD, a BCG partner and coleader of the firm's team facilitating the partnership. "AMP is the sort of systematic effort that is needed to help us really understand these diseases, ultimately leading to better medicines."

Powerful Push to Understand Disease

Leading scientists from academia, industry, and government came together with one mission: to design a series of large-scale human studies that will deepen understanding of how each disease unfolds and how it differs across patients. Through the consortium, each new effort will augment the new data being generated by technological revolutions in fields such as genomics and proteomics.

"The exciting thing about this approach is that bringing together academic, industry, and government scientists creates a unique mixture of ideas and skills and ensures that the relay race between these sectors is as seamless as possible, so patients get new therapies faster," said Sarah Cairns-Smith, PhD, a BCG partner and coleader of the team facilitating the partnership.

Initial findings are expected to be available for some of these efforts within two years. By the five-year mark, the work should have produced not only a greater understanding of the diseases being studied but also insight into how the conditions differ across individuals -- information that will lead to better understanding of drug targets in different patient groups.

Following are the ten pharmaceutical companies that participated in establishing AMP: AbbVie, Biogen Idec, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly and Company, Merck & Co., Pfizer, Sanofi, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company.

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