Reps. Maloney, King and Van Hollen ask NIH to elevate Parkinson’s disease research

Jun 20, 2014
Press Release

Press Contact: Mike Morosi (202) 225-7944

WASHINGTON – House Co-Chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Parkinson’s Disease, Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Peter King (R-NY) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), are urging the National Institutes of Health to do more to spur medical advancements in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease. The lawmakers sent a letter to NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins to request that Parkinson’s be added to the next phase of the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) program, which would aid in the discovery of biomarkers that can help provide earlier diagnosis and drug development treat the disease.

“Even though Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurological disease in the United States, currently there is no cure, therapy, or drug that slows or halts the progression of the disease,” wrote Maloney, King and Van Hollen in their letter to Collins. “It is clear that there is work to be done and the new approaches underway through the AMP program could have a very positive impact on Parkinson’s research.”

About AMP:

The Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) is a bold new venture between the NIH, 10 biopharmaceutical companies and several non-profit organizations to transform the current model for developing new diagnostics and treatments by jointly identifying and validating promising biological targets of disease. The ultimate goal is to increase the number of new diagnostics and therapies for patients and reduce the time and cost of developing them.

Presently, AMP is engaged in three to five year pilot projects on Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and autoimmune disorders of rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. For each pilot, scientists from NIH and industry have developed research plans aimed at characterizing effective molecular indicators of disease called biomarkers and distinguishing biological targets most likely to respond to new therapies.

Through this cross-sector partnership, which will be managed through the Foundation for the NIH (FNIH), NIH and industry partners are sharing expertise and resources — $230 million — in an integrated governance structure that enables the best informed contributions to science from all participants. A critical component of the partnership is that industry partners have agreed to make the AMP data and analyses publicly accessible to the broad biomedical community. These pilot projects will set the stage for broadening AMP to other diseases and conditions.

The full text of the letter to Collins follows:

June 16, 2014

Dr. Francis S. Collins
Director
National Institutes of Health
Building 1, One Center Drive
Bethesda, MD  20892-0160

Dear Dr. Collins:

Thank you for your renewed efforts to spur medial advancements in Parkinson’s disease research. The recent two-day conference held by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Parkinson’s Disease 2014: Advancing Research, Improving Lives, and the stakeholder planning meeting at the beginning of this year, demonstrate NIH’s commitment to doing everything possible to treat and understand Parkinson’s.

As you set priorities for the next phase of the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) we encourage you to expand the projects to include Parkinson’s disease. The discovery of biomarkers for this disease would help in both earlier diagnosis and drug development. The strength of this program is in bringing together federal agencies, biopharmaceutical companies, and stakeholder organizations to facilitate drug development and diagnostics. Even though Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurological disease in the United States, currently there is no cure, therapy, or drug that slows or halts the progression of the disease.

It is clear that there is work to be done and the new approaches underway through the AMP program could have a very positive impact on Parkinson’s research.

Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

 

 

CAROLYN B. MALONEY                      PETER T. KING                    CHRIS VAN HOLLEN

Member of Congress                         Member of Congress        Member of Congress