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Open the portal door to Alzheimer's Big Data

Suzana Petanceska
Director, Office for Strategic Development and Partnerships,
Division of Neuroscience (DN)

The explosion of Big Data promises to transform biomedical research, but all too often researchers are stymied by limited access to these complex biomedical data sets. To overcome some of these barriers, we’ve recently helped launch an important new data resource—the AMP AD Knowledge Portal.

Freely accessible to the wider research community, it provides entrée to large scale human “omics” data sets needed to discover and select the next generation of therapeutic targets for Alzheimer’s disease. Just a few weeks ago, the first wave of data was released—I invite you to take a look at what’s available and consider using it in your research.

This is a screenshot of AMP AD Knowledge Portal. There are three tabs: Wiki, Files, and Tables.  The box on the left is titled AMP AD Knowledge Portal. The categories under it are: The AMP-AD Data, Data Terms of Use, AMP AD Studies Master Table, Data Releases, Human Sample Sources, Animal and Cell Models, Analytical Results, The AMP-AD Target Discovery Project, Broad-Rush Team, Mt. Sinai Team, U Florida-Mayo-ISB Team, Emory Team, Publications, Working Groups, How to Use the AMP-AD Portal, Querying the AMP-AD data, and FAQs. The title of the section displayed is Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP), Alzheimer’s Disease, and there are numerous sponsors shown, including National Institute on Aging at the NIH, FNIH, FDA, Abbvie, Biogen Idec, Lilly, Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, US Against Alzheimer’s, and Geoffrey Beene Gives Back. There are four sections: Data Sources, Data Contributors, How to Use this Portal, and Browse AMP-AD Data. The text on the page reads, “This is the public knowledge portal for the Accelerating Medicine Partnership for Alzheimer’s Disease (NIA-AMP AD) Target Discovery and Preclinical Validation Project. The AMP-AD program is a precompetitive partnership between government, industry and non-profit foundations focused on the discovery of novel, clinically relevant therapeutic targets and the development of biomarkers to aid the validation of existing therapeutic targets. The goal of the Target Discovery and Preclinical Validation project is to shorten the time between discovery of potential drug targets to development of new drugs for the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, by integrating the analysis of large scale molecular data from human brain samples with network modeling approaches and experimental validation, and by enabling rapid and broad sharing of data and analytical tools. The project is a consortium of 4 NIA supported multi-institutional, multidisciplinary cooperative agreement grants. The grant awardees are expected to engage in broad sharing of biological data and analytical methodology prior to publication. This portal will host…”Bringing open science to Alzheimer’s drug discovery

The Alzheimer’s Knowledge Portal is the first product of the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP), an exciting new collaborative, risk-sharing model of drug development. The venture is led by NIH and involves the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, industry, and academia and non-profits. It has programs in three chronic disease areas: Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis/lupus.

Knowing that we needed to put our heads—and labs—together on a precompetitive basis, NIA brought together academia, pharma and advocacy groups to develop the AMP Alzheimer's Disease (AMP AD) program. This unprecedented, multi-sector effort to ramp up the discovery of therapeutic targets and biomarkers is strengthened by the unique capabilities each stakeholder brings to the table.

We hope that the portal, developed by Sage Bionetworks, will help realize the central goal of AMP AD, which is to engage all qualified researchers in the development of better models of Alzheimer’s that will inform decisions on which therapeutic targets to pursue.

What’s in the AMP AD Knowledge Portal?

The Knowledge Portal is the home for data coming out of the AMP AD Target Discovery and Preclinical Validation Project. In the course of this five year Project, four large academic teams are joining forces with data scientists at Sage Bionetworks and bioinformatics and drug discovery experts from industry to build and test network models of the disease using many layers of “omic” data from over 2,000 human brains and various cell-based and animal models. These predictive models will help identify molecular changes that drive various disease traits and provide new insights into the molecular and physiological context within which potential new therapeutic targets operate.

Data will be released on a quarterly basis—take a moment to visit the portal and sign up for data updates.

Not just data

Not only does the portal enable you to rapidly access these datasets, it will also provide access to analytical tools and results of the collaborative analyses. A wealth of information on how you can use the portal, including how you may add your own data, can be found on the portal’s FAQ page. Please contact me if you have questions about this and other Alzheimer’s drug discovery efforts at the NIA.

Biomarkers and more

Email Laurie Ryan to discuss the AMP AD Biomarkers Project, a consortium of three NIA-supported Phase II/III secondary prevention trials testing anti-amyloid treatments. We can both be reached at 301-496-9350.

The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health manages AMP AD. Industry and advocacy groups seeking information should contact David Wholley.


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