Drug Companies Join Together to Accelerate Alzheimer's, Parkinson's Research


A number of major pharmaceutical companies have agreed to share data from clinical trials for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease in an effort to speed the development of new treatments for the brain disorders.

Some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies have agreed to share data from their clinical trials for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease in an effort to speed the development of new medications to treat the brain disorders.

The database, a public/private partnership unveiled on June 11, will give academic and industry researchers across the world access to information from more than 4,000 patients with neurodegenerative diseases.

The project, which is coordinated by the Coalition Against Major Diseases (CAMD), an organization of patient groups and drugmakers that is part of the Critical Path Institute, is the first database of combined clinical trials to be openly shared by pharmaceutical companies and made available to qualified researchers around the world.

It is also the first effort of its kind to create a voluntary industry data standard that will help accelerate new treatment research on brain disease, as patients with other related brain diseases are expected to be added. The scope of this database will enable researchers to more accurately predict the true course of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and other neuro-degenerative diseases, which CAMD says will enable the design of more efficient clinical trials.

In addition to sharing data, the pharmaceutical members of CAMD have agreed to use the new common data standard established for Alzheimer’s disease by the standard-setting organization, the Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC), in their future submissions for drug approvals. The CDISC is a non-profit organization that has established standards to support the acquisition, exchange, submission, and archive of clinical research data and metadata.

“This unprecedented data sharing is game-changing for companies that are developing new therapies for neuro-degenerative diseases,” said Raymond Woosley, MD, PhD, president and CEO of Critical Path Institute. “Scientists around the world will be able to analyze this new combined data from pharmaceutical companies, add their own data, and consequently better understand the course of these diseases.”

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