The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research has announced the launch of a public-private partnership aimed at advancing the understanding, measurement, and treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD).
The Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) PD initiative, which includes MJFF, the National Institutes of Health, and five life-sciences companies, will apply cutting-edge technologies to tease out microscopic differences in the cells of people with Parkinson's disease. Over the next five years, MJFF and its five industry partners will contribute a total of $12 million to AMP PD, while NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) will match those funds with an additional $12 million.
The initial phase of the project will investigate previously collected data and biosamples using state-of-the-art "omics" technologies (e.g., genomics, proteomics, metabolomics) to define the molecular fingerprint of Parkinson's disease. NIH launched the AMP program in February 2014 with initiatives focused on Alzheimer's disease, type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus. A cornerstone of AMP PD is the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative, an $80 million, MJFF-led longitudinal biomarkers study that is collecting data and biosamples from more than fifteen hundred volunteers enrolled at thirty-three clinical sites around the world. According to MJFF, the availability of these samples was a driving factor in the partners' decision to invest in AMP PD.
The partnership initially will fund analysis of data and biosamples from PPMI; the NINDS Parkinson's Disease Biomarker Program; BioFIND, which is funded by MJFF and NINDS; and the Harvard Biomarkers Study. Data and analyses generated through the program will be made publicly available to the biomedical community through the AMP PD Knowledge Portal, which was developed and made possible by an in-kind contribution of software and services by research organization Verily.
"The Michael J. Fox Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, industry partners, and thousands of research volunteers have built robust datasets and biosample banks ripe for inquiry with the latest technologies," said MJFF chief executive Todd Sherer. "Leveraging those previous investments and partnering together can move us faster toward greater understanding of Parkinson's and therapies to slow or stop disease, patients' greatest unmet need."