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Accelerating Medicines

The Washington Post Editorial Board is intrigued by the new NIH plan to partner with drug companies, biotech firms, and patient groups to jumpstart translational drug targets and diagnostics development.

The $230 million Accelerating Medicines Partnership NIH and its industry and non—profit partners unveiled last week is an "ambitious and unconventional" project, the Washington Post says, and represents an effort by the partners to join forces and do together what they could not do alone – harness the data biomedical researchers are churning out and turn it into treatments.

Translating "the explosion of data" from genomics research and from other disciplines is one of "the great challenges of our age," the board says.

"This is a major change from the model that has dominated drug development, in which pharmaceutical companies each worked alone in walled-off research divisions, hoping to find a blockbuster drug that would lead to lucrative profits," the Washington Post says.

But when the cost of developing one drug ca be over $1 billion, it is no surprise that industry has been cautious about their investments, the board writes.

This effort, which will search for gene and protein biomarkers, among other things, will make its data available to the broader research community and will be a resource that companies can then use to spur their drug and diagnostics initiatives.

"We hope his approach succeeds in translating the surge of scientific data into concrete advances for human health," the board says.