How can collaboration accelerate the speed of innovation? Today's BIO Super session explored this question via the recently launched Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP), a partnership between the National Institutes of Health, patient advocacy organizations, and pharmaceutical companies. AMP demonstrates that collaboration between diverse groups can lead to faster medicine development and better outcomes for patients.
The AMP initiative, launched earlier this year, aims to increase the number of new diagnostics and treatments for patients and reduce the time and cost of developing them. In its early stages, the AMP program will focus on Alzheimer's disease, type 2 diabetes, and autoimmune disorders, specifically lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. "There's a lot of really critical science to get done here," said Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health. "AMP focuses on transforming our wealth of shared scientific data into medicines that benefit patients."
AMP is a new initiative, but it isn't the only effort to accelerate patient access to breakthrough medicines. The fifth iteration of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA V), which went into effect in 2011, highlights another way the U.S. has been committed to bringing new medicines to patients faster through collaboration. This latest version of PDUFA includes an enhanced risk/benefit analysis that gives those living with a disease an unprecedented opportunity to have a voice in the FDA review process. "We must consider how patients view the benefits and risks of new medicines," stated moderator Kay Holcombe, Senior Vice President of Science Policy at BIO.
So what lesson can we learn from initiatives like AMP and policies like PDUFA? It's simple: collaboration is key to speeding new medicines to patients in need. Collaboration stretches beyond the laboratory, where sharing data can make developing new medicines more streamlined and efficient. It must include the viewpoints of patients, their families, and caregivers, who come face to face with disease every day. "Disease has made me fearless," declared Meryl Comer--President of the Geoffrey Beene foundation and a caregiver for her husband, who has Alzheimer's--as she encouraged patients, families, and caregivers to share their intimate knowledge of disease with the scientists and organizations who can use it to advance new treatments.
By pooling together knowledge from all sectors, including doctors, researchers, and patients, we look forward to collaboratively making progress against all diseases, bringing patients the medicines they need. Check out our PDUFA timeline for events and opportunities to join the movement.