Drug companies open up and create a database for clinical trials

The Coalition Against Major Diseases created a database of more than 4,000 Alzheimer's disease patients from clinical trials. Up next are databases for Huntington's and Parkinson's.

Drug companies are beginning to think more along the lines of Google co-founder Sergey Brin and his wife, Anne Wojcicki — hoping that tapping into data will help them understand diseases better, so better treatments will emerge.

Enter the Coalition Against Major Diseases, a group that links drug companies, research foundations, patient-advocacy groups, and regulatory agencies together. The consortium created a database of 4,000 Alzheimer's disease patients from 11 clinical trials and made it publicly available, reports Chemical and Engineering News.

Next, the group will create a database for Huntington's and Parkinson's.

C&EN reports:

“Scientists from around the world will be able to analyze this new combined data from pharmaceutical companies, add their own data, and consequently better understand the course of these diseases,” says Raymond Woosley, CEO of Critical Path Institute, a nonprofit funded by FDA that will manage the database.

This will help drug companies have a drug standard for Alzheimer's disease. The information will also help the companies discover biomarkers of neurological diseases and hasten clinical trial designs, which will improve treatment.

Ultimately, the companies want to "identify people susceptible to neurological disease before their symptoms emerge." The drugs, apparently, work better if the disease hasn't progressed that far.

Some companies contributing to the database are:

  • AstraZeneca
  • Abbott Laboratories
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Novartis
  • Pfizer
  • Sanofi-Aventis

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com