The Biomarkers Consortium has launched a Web site to encourage researchers to submit biomarker project concepts. Financial support for concepts approved for development will be procured through fund-raising efforts by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.
Available at http://www.biomarkersconsortium.org/, the site is geared to biomedical, clinical, and technology-oriented health researchers and others in the health field. Principal investigators, research managers, prospective grantees in government, non-profit, and industry sectors, and science and health policy organizations and advocacy groups will find it to be a useful source of support.
The Web site provides easy access for submitting biomarker project concepts to therapeutic area steering committees within the consortium. The first three steering committees are composed of experts in neuroscience, metabolic disorders, and cancer. A fourth steering committee in inflammation and immunity is being assembled. When approved, concepts are developed into formal project proposals and, when approved by the consortium's executive committee, the Foundation for NIH seeks the funds to implement them. To date, over $6 million has been raised to support the consortium's lung cancer and lymphoma biomarker projects.
Visitors to the Web site will also find information about The Biomarkers Consortium's policies and procedures, its partners and members, executive and steering committee operations, lists of participants, and details on how to become a consortium member. The site includes the latest news from the consortium, and, in time, information and announcements of new consortium programs, consortium-sponsored meetings and meeting reports.
The Biomarkers Consortium Web site is enhanced by links to the Web sites of the consortium's participating partners and members. "In time, we will expand the Web site's coverage to include a members-only section, and provide comprehensive information about biomarkers, such as cutting edge research from the scientific and regulatory community," consortium director C. Anthony Altar, Ph.D., said. "Information and research findings from consortium projects will be made publicly available as quickly as possible to promote the use of biomarkers in improving public health," he added.
The Biomarkers Consortium is a public-private biomedical research partnership managed by the Foundation for the NIH. Unprecedented in breadth, The Biomarkers Consortium embraces government, industry, patient advocacy groups and other non-profit, private sector organizations. In addition to the Foundation for NIH, founding members include: the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. To date, 28 companies and non-profit, trade associations, and advocacy groups are participating in the consortium's contributing membership program, which funds the consortium.
This large-scale, public-private biomedical research partnership was formed in late 2006 to identify and qualify new, quantitative biological markers ('biomarkers'), for use by biomedical researchers, regulators, and health care providers. The Biomarkers Consortium will harmonize approaches to identifying viable biomarkers, verify their individual value, and formalize their use in research and regulatory approval.
The overall aim of The Biomarkers Consortium is to accelerate delivery of technologies, medicines, and therapies for successful prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. The identification of biomarkers is an essential element for the new era of predictive, preventive, and personalized medicine in which the accuracy of individual health assessments will exceed those of today. Biomarkers will accelerate basic and translational research and the development of safe and effective medicines and treatments for a wide range of diseases and help guide clinical practice.