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Big Pharma superteam joins NIH to share data

The National Institutes of Health has persuaded 10 rival drugmakers to briefly set aside their competitive spirits and collaborate on drug discovery projects in four major diseases, pooling their data and expertise to kick-start early-stage efforts.

Under the 5-year plan, the drugmakers will contribute some of their brightest minds in Alzheimer’s, Type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, working with NIH in a $230 million initiative to identify new treatments for the diseases. Participants are required to share their current relevant research, and no one is allowed to launch a commercial effort based on any of the group’s findings until the data is made public.

The ambitious effort, called the Accelerating Medicines Partnership, unites Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), AbbVie ($ABBV), Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY), Merck ($MRK), Pfizer ($PFE), Sanofi ($SNY), GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), Takeda, Biogen Idec ($BIIB) and Eli Lilly ($LLY), plus nonprofits including the American Diabetes Association and the Alzheimer’s Association.