IBJNews

U.S. venture gathers drugmakers to take on major diseases

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Eli Lilly and Co., Pfizer Inc. and eight other large drugmakers will partner with the U.S. government in a $230 million effort to identify new approaches to treat Alzheimer’s, diabetes, lupus and arthritis.

Data generated from the work will be made public for other scientists to use, a move that the U.S. National Institutes of Health called groundbreaking. The targeted diseases are some of the most prevalent conditions among Americans, costing the nation billions of dollars in treatment and lost productivity.

The venture may be particularly important in Alzheimer’s research. Since 1998, there have been more than 100 attempts to develop a treatment, and all have failed. The last two years have featured setbacks by both Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher has said his company won’t pursue therapies there because the science isn’t advanced enough to justify the risks and costs to develop a drug.

“Currently, we are investing a great deal of money and time in avenues with high failure rates, while patients and their families wait,” NIH Director Francis Collins, said in a prepared statement. “All sectors of the biomedical enterprise agree that new approaches are sorely needed.”

More than 5 million Americans suffer with Alzheimer’s disease, and the number is expected to triple by 2050. The only drugs approved for the condition ease symptoms for a few months while the debilitating brain disease rampages on. Still, they generate more than $5 billion annually.

Biomarker research

Research coordinated by the NIH will include collecting tissue samples from thousands of patients to look for common “biomarkers” that might be good targets for new drugs, the NIH statement said. The first projects are expected to last three to five years, and may lead to collaborations on other diseases if the research is successful, the agency said.

The coordinated effort “rallies scientific key players of the innovation ecosystem in a more unified way,” said Mikael Dolsten, president of worldwide research and development for New York-based Pfizer, in a prepared statement.

Rupert Vessey, senior vice president at Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Merck & Co., identified new, innovative ways to develop drugs as the most critical health challenge facing the industry. The collaboration “will be important to unravelling the mysteries of the diseases that cause suffering for individuals and are a burden to our society,” he said in an e- mailed statement.

Other companies involved are AbbVie Inc., Biogen Idec Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., GlaxoSmithKline Plc, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will also participate, as well as not-for-profit advocacy groups representing patients suffering from the diseases, the government said.

The NIH is the largest source of funding for biomedical research in the world, with an annual budget of more than $30 billion. Much of that money is consumed by basic research into human biology and research into major causes of death, including cancer and infectious diseases.

The agency expects to spend about $1.1 billion on diabetes this year; $562 million on arthritis; $260 million on arthritis and $109 million on lupus. The agency will spend $3.1 billion researching HIV and AIDS, by comparison, the most of any single disease.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. The Walgreens did not get a lot of traffic. It was not located on the corner of the intersection, and not really visible from Emerson. Meanwhile the CVS there is huge and right on the corner. I am guessing a lot of people drove by a million times and never knew the Walgreens was there. Although, with the new Walmart market going in, that area could really see a lot of increase in traffic soon.

  2. You folks don't have a clue. There is a legal way to enter this country and to get aid. This left unchecked could run us to ruin quickly. I also heard that 'supporters' were getting major $$ to take them in? Who's monitoring this and guess who pays the bill? I support charitable organizations... but this is NOT the way to do it!

  3. Apparently at some time before alcohol has been served at the fair. The problem is that beer or wine used to be a common drink for people before soft drinks and was not thought to be that unusual. Since many folks now only drink to see how much they can drink or what kind of condition they can end up in it becomes more problematic. Go to Europe and its no big deal just as if you had sodas of milk to drink everyday. Its using common sense that is lacking now days.

  4. To address the epic failure of attracting race fans to both the Indy 500 and Brickyard 400 would take too much of my time to write. Bottom line Boles is clueless and obviously totally out of touch with the real paying fan base. I see nothing but death spin coming for the Brickyard, just like Indy. Get somebody in a place of power that understands what race fans want.

  5. I am a race fan through & through. It doesn't matter if it's Indy cars or Nascar. I love a great race. I go to several other tracks each year and you can see the entire track. I know Indy has tradition, but fans want to see the entire race. I sit in the Penthouse, am almost 60 years old, and would like to see a better TV screen in turn 1 so you can see the entire race. Then I think Indy needs to install an escalator so us old folks can make it up to the Penthouse and down again if we want more options to purchase food and drinks. Just a race fans opinion. Lights won't make the race any better, but you might be able to see the TV better at night. Turn 1's screen needs replaced with a better and bigger screen.

ADVERTISEMENT