The Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP)’s scientific aims are ambitious, but so too is its goal of getting researchers to work together on sweeping projects. Not only do the researchers and their data need to be brought together. In the case of the four systems biology Alzheimer’s disease projects, AMP has tapped Sage BioNetworks to solve both problems. Sage Bionetworks, a non-profit organization that provides tools for collaborative research, will use its Synapse software platform to enable the four funded groups to share their data with one another on a quarterly basis. After 1 year it will release the data into the public domain.
On a Saturday afternoon in mid-2011, several heads of pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) to plant the seed of an idea for a grand collaboration between industry and academia. After the meetings , the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) has sprouted, with the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and ten pharmaceutical companies pitching in US$230 million to search a haystack of human data for biological insight into Alzheimer’s disease.
Proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin 9 (PCSK9) provides a generalized model for AMP’s aims, but the means and methods for the three component projects differ considerably from one another. Joining the NIH in this multifaceted hunt are AbbVie, Biogen Idec, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Lilly, Merck, Pfizer, Sanofi and Takeda, as well as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and ten non-profit organizations.