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An Unusual Partnership to Tackle Stubborn Diseases

The National Institutes of Health, 10 large drug companies and seven nonprofit organizations announced an unconventional partnership on Tuesday intended to speed up development of drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease, Type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

But now many drug companies are chastened. They have invested staggering amounts of money in developing drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease, for example, but again and again the medications have failed in testing. Effective treatments for the three other diseases to be studied have also been elusive.

The goal of the partnership is to find new drug targets: molecules that can be attacked in order to stop or slow a disease. The Alzheimer’s initiative also aims to find reliable molecular signals of whether dementia is progressing, so that new drugs can be tested early enough to avert irreversible brain damage.

Read about this in the article written in the New York Times on Feb 4,2014 in the Health section written by Gia Kolata.

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