Collaboration in drug development is spreading almost as quickly as social media projections of pandemic flu. Pharma giants Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Sanofi-Aventis and Abbott Labs are pooling clinical trial data from Alzheimer's drug candidates that didn't make the grade to see what they can learn.
"Innovation no longer happens solely in one company's lab," says Frank Casty, AstraZeneca's VP for technical evaluations, in the Wall Street Journal. Neither is it the purview of the big pharma participants alone. The data sharing will spread to outside researchers on an as-needed basis. And organizers hope that other drugmakers and the National Institutes of Health will contribute data.
The Coalition Against Major Diseases, an organization of patient groups and drugmakers, is leading the charge. Among the funders is the FDA.
The collaboration marks a different kind of project than the Merck Oncology Collaborative Trials Network, but there's no mistaking the scale of the data collection, storage and sharing effort, and the likely communications challenges.
- here's the WSJ article