Big-data attack targets schizophrenia

Add schizophrenia to the list of conditions being targeted by competitors now willing to share data to speed up drug development. Novel Methods leading to New Medications in Depression and Schizophrenia (NEWMEDS) is a collaboration among nine big pharma companies and six academic groups that channels collaborator data from 67 clinical trials on 11 licensed drugs into one huge database for the use of all.

Project leaders hope to use the dataset to identify ways to make trials smaller and faster while decreasing volunteer exposure to experimental drugs. They want to reverse the "drought of new medications in psychiatry," Reuters reports. Drugmakers will share development data on drugs already marketed, but they won't disclose information about experimental drugs.

NEWMEDS bears some resemblance to a project by the Coalition against Major Diseases targeting Alzheimer's. In that effort, drugmakers are pooling clinical trial data from Alzheimer's drug candidates that didn't make the grade to see what they can learn.

Drugmakers participating in the NEWMEDS project include Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Roche, Johnson & Johnson, Lundbeck, Novartis, Orion and Servier.

- see the Reuters article

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