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Two NIH initiatives launch intensive efforts to find roots of common diseases

ict disease, develop more precise therapies and, ultimately, pre-empt the development of disease in the first place."Public-Private Partnership

At the same time, a public-private partnership between NIH, FNIH, which is a non-profit foundation established by Congress to support the mission of the NIH; Pfizer and Affymetrix is being created to further accelerate this important research on the genetic association studies.

The new partnership, called the Genetic Association Information Network (GAIN), is being launched with a $5 million donation from Pfizer to set up the management structure and $15 million worth of laboratory studies to determine the genetic contributions to five common diseases. Affymetrix, a biotech company that develops the types of tools used in these kinds of genetic studies, will contribute enough laboratory resources to study two additional common diseases. On average, it costs about $3 million to carry out one study.

"We've translated early information from genetic research into valuable medicines for HIV/AIDS, heart disease and the prevention of organ rejection," said Martin Mackay, Ph.D., Senior Vice President Worldwide Research & Technology, Pfizer Research & Development. "But these advances have only scratched the surface of possible revolutionary approaches to treat and cure diseases. Pfizer, the NIH and other public/private biomedical research interests have complementary missions greater than the sum of their parts. Our hope is that this public/private initiative will encourage a deeper collective understanding of the genetic factors of disease for major new therapeutic advances."

GAIN will be an FNIH-managed partnership that includes NIH, industry, foundations, individuals and advocacy groups. Governance will include an executive committee, a steering committee, as well as peer review and data access committees.

"Our partnership with pharmaceutical and biotech companies to speed up this r
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Source:NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute


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