NIH-Led Partnership Launches Alzheimer’s Big Data Portal

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A public-private partnership led by the National Institutes of Health to accelerate Alzheimer’s disease drug development has launched a new portal to serve as a data sharing and analysis resource for researchers.

Part of the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP), the AMP- Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) Knowledge Portal and its release of the “first wave” of data “will enable sharing and analyses of large and complex biomedical datasets,” according to NIH. Developed by Sage Bionetworks, a Seattle-based non-profit organization promoting open science, the portal will house several big data projects over the next five years.

Data scientists, bioinformaticists and drug discovery experts will work collectively to apply cutting-edge analytical approaches to integrate molecular and clinical data from over 2,000 postmortem brain samples. Given the fact that there is no publication embargo imposed on the use of the data once its is posted to the AMP-AD Knowledge Portal, officials believe this open policy will lead to increases in the transparency, reproducibility and translatability of basic research and discoveries.

“We are determined to reduce the cost and time it takes to discover viable therapeutic targets and bring new diagnostics and effective therapies to people with Alzheimer’s. That demands a new way of doing business,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D. “The AD initiative of AMP is one way we can revolutionize Alzheimer’s research and drug development by applying the principles of open science to the use and analysis of large and complex human data sets.”

AMP is a joint venture among NIH, the Food and Drug Administration, 10 biopharmaceutical companies and multiple non-profits, managed by the Foundation for the NIH. The goal is to identify and validate promising biological targets of disease. AMP-AD is one of the three initiatives under the AMP umbrella; the other two are focused on type 2 diabetes and the autoimmune disorders rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.



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