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Accelerating Medicine Partnership (AMP)

What is AMP?

The Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) is a public-private partnership among the National Institutes of Health (NIH), drug companies, medical research institutions, and non-profit disease organizations, including the Lupus Foundation of America. The partners work together to identify and validate the most promising biological targets for potential new treatments. AMP aims to increase the number of new medicines and tools to diagnose and monitor complex diseases such as lupus, and reduce the time and cost to develop them.  

What diseases are being studied? 

The NIH launched AMP in 2014 with a budget of $52.3 million. The focus then was on four disease areas: rheumatoid arthritis (RA), lupus, Alzheimer’s disease, and type 2 diabetes. AMP also later expanded to include common metabolic diseases (CMD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and schizophrenia (SCZ).

Why is this partnership important?

We need more targeted and tolerable treatments for lupus and better tools to diagnose and monitor the disease. Developing new lupus therapies historically has been lengthy, costly and risky. Scientific knowledge developed through AMP will accelerate identifying and validating specific drug targets in autoimmune diseases that may share immune and inflammatory pathways.

How is the Lupus Foundation of America supporting AMP?

  • Providing direct financial support through the Foundation of the NIH (FNIH)
  • Serving on the steering committee to help guide the initiative
  • Advocating for increased NIH funding for lupus research efforts
  • Educating people with lupus about clinical trial opportunities
  • Disseminating research findings to all stakeholders
  • Encouraging industry participation 
  • Supporting initiatives to improve clinical trial designs and disease monitoring tools

What has AMP Accomplished to Date?

AMP funded the AMP RA/Lupus Network, composed of medical research institutions across the United States. Researchers collected kidney biopsies from people with lupus people and from people without lupus (healthy controls) and compared their RNA-seq signatures. They also performed single-cell RNA-seq on paired urine and skin samples and analyzed paired blood from people with lupus and people without lupus.   

Following the comparison of the biopsies, skin samples and blood samples, the NIH released datasets that characterized individual cells in RA and lupus disease tissue. This information holds clues for potential research targets that may lead to future treatment options.

The AMP RA/Lupus program has advanced the concept of disease deconstruction by establishing the value and probability of using state-of-the-art technology to analyze biopsy samples in RA and lupus. Scientists were able to make meaningful progress in understanding the cell populations, disease pathways, and potential drug targets that drive these diseases.

What is Next for AMP?

In early 2021, the NIH announced the AMP Autoimmune and Immune-Mediated Diseases (AMP AIM) Program. This new initiative seeks to build upon the critical outcomes of the earlier AMP RA/Lupus program. In addition to lupus and RA, the new initiative also will examine psoriatic spectrum diseases and Sjögren’s Syndrome. 

The new cornerstone of AMP AIM is disease reconstruction based on the sophisticated study of cell interactions. AMP AIM will use novel analytics to discover how innate and adaptive immune cells and tissue-resident cells interact to cause inflammation and clinical disease. 

The NIH plans to develop a knowledge/data portal within the AMP AIM program to leverage existing AMP infrastructure and tools. The new knowledge portal will serve as an interface for data access where researchers can integrate, analyze, and visualize all data.

While AMP RA/Lupus was designed to identify all pieces of the puzzle, AMP AIM seeks to put the puzzle back together. More information about AMP is available from the NIH website.