Sage Bionetworks is launching the Washington Partners Program (WPP) on November 1, 2010. This new initiative offers biomedical researchers rapid and cost-effective advanced genomics analysis capabilities thanks to support from the Washington Life Sciences Discovery Fund.
Projects will leverage Sage Bionetworks’ cutting edge knowledge and computational disease models to support research and development analysis and decision-making to address:
- Novel drug targets
- Key genes driving physiological or pharmaceutical mechanisms
- Biomarkers of disease pathology or therapeutic response
- Clinically relevant subpopulations to guide drug trials
- Strategies for repositioning drug candidates
The WPP is designed to accelerate academic and commercial research and improve healthcare outcomes in the state of Washington and features active next-generation network biology collaborations between Sage Bionetworks scientists and select biomedical research teams. The goal is to rapidly develop internal partner capabilities by leveraging the analytical expertise of Sage Bionetworks’ researchers and to achieve research and development goals with greater speed and success than is currently possible.
Details of the 2010 Call for Proposals are posted on the Sage Bionetworks website. Interested researchers can apply using a linked on-line form. WPP projects will be designed to achieve tangible outcomes through Sage Bionetworks-partner collaborations including the efforts of up to one full time Sage Bionetworks analyst during the expected six to twelve month duration of each project. Inquiries are also welcome regarding larger projects that might extend beyond the scope of the Washington Partners Program.
While there is little disagreement that global biomedical research and development is in crisis, there are many perspectives on the causes and potential solutions. Some of the most exciting strategies to emerge are unorthodox partnerships among both commercial and academic entities to pool data resources, expand the depth and breadth of tools and accelerate the progress of oncology product development. Many of these collaborations involve a dynamic balance between public data resources existing in an intellectual property-free ‘pre-competitive’ space and proprietary commercial assets that biotech and pharmaceutical companies require to succeed.
The National Cancer Policy Forum of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) sponsored a workshop in February 2010 titled “Extending the Spectrum of Precompetitive Collaboration in Oncology Research.” The participants have published a thoughtful commentary featuring an in-depth look at the goals, models, and challenges of the array of novel partnerships that have emerged in recent years. Science Translational Medicine is providing free access to the article through links on the Sage Bionetworks news page.
Sage Bionetworks and the Life Sciences Discovery Fund have created the Washington Partners Program (WPP) to help commercial and academic researchers in Washington State achieve their genomics goals. This is a competitive program in which participants can can leverage Sage’s advanced integrative genomic analytical skills and disease models through active collaborations that will accelerate advance internal research and development. Projects will achieve tangible outcomes through the efforts of up to one full time Sage analyst within six to twelve months.
Sage Bionetworks is hosting an informational forum on integrative biology and the Washington Partners Program on November 1st featuring leading experts. See the WPP web page for further details.