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‘Big Data’ Embraced by Alzheimer’s Researchers

(CN) - Researchers of Alzheimer's disease have a new "Big Data" portal to share their drug discoveries more quickly, the National Institutes of Health said.

Wednesday's launch of the AMP-AD Knowledge Portal accompanies the first wave of large, complicated sets of biomedical data, the NIH reported.

The portal is a part of the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP), a collaboration of scientists with the NIH, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other disciplines who are working to discover the molecular changes that lead to the symptoms of Alzheimer's.

"We are determined to reduce the cost and time it takes to discover viable therapeutic targets and bring new diagnostics and effective therapies to people with Alzheimer's," NIH director Francis Collins said in a statement.

Seattle-based Sage Bionetworks developed the portal, and the company will distribute data over the next five years from academic teams working with 2,000 postmortem brain samples.

The National Institute of Aging coordinates the academic groups working on the project. The Alzheimer's Disease project is being run by a steering committee that includes government agencies, pharmaceutical companies and nonprofit groups.

When new data reaches the portal, it will become available to researchers around the country immediately, Suzana Petaneska, the leader of the portal's target discovery project, said.

"Simply stated, we can work more effectively together than separately," Petaneska said in a statement.

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