NIH launches collaborative program with industry and researchers to spur therapeutic development Scientists will gain access to select compounds from Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Lilly

National Institutes of Health (NIH): Thursday, May 3, 2012.
The National Institutes of Health today unveiled a collaborative program that will match researchers with a selection of pharmaceutical industry compounds to help scientists explore new treatments for patients. NIH’s new National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) has partnered initially with Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Eli Lilly and Company which have agreed to make dozens of their compounds available for this initiative’s pilot phase.

“Americans are eagerly awaiting the next generation of cures and treatments to help them live longer and healthier lives. To accelerate our nation’s therapeutic development process, it is essential that we forge strong, innovative, and strategic partnerships across government, academia, and industry,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

In recent years, researchers have succeeded in identifying the causes of more than 4,500 diseases. But it has proven difficult to turn such knowledge into new therapies; effective treatments exist for only about 250 of these conditions. NCATS was established last year to help address this gap. It supports rigorous scientific research designed to reengineer elements of the development pipeline to move basic research findings into new treatments for patients. Read more