APA Foundation Joins NIH Public-Private Partnership To Advance Early Interventions for Schizophrenia

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 15, 2020 – The American Psychiatric Association Foundation (APAF), the philanthropic and educational arm of APA, joins a new public-private partnership launched today by the National Institute of Health (NIH) that is aimed at meeting the urgent need for early therapeutic interventions for people at risk of developing schizophrenia. It is part of the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) that promotes development of effective, targeted treatments.

AMP Schizophrenia brings together NIH, the Food and Drug Administration and multiple non-profit and private organizations. These partners will work to discover promising biological markers that can help identify people at risk of developing schizophrenia as early as possible, track the progression of symptoms and other outcomes and define targets for new treatments.

“Schizophrenia is a complex, sometimes debilitating, disorder that affects one percent of the population. While we’ve made strides in treating its symptoms over the years, more research and tools for physicians are needed to help our patients, particularly to identify and treat those who are at high risk for psychosis,” said Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A., chair of the APAF. “The American Psychiatric Association Foundation is pleased to support the Accelerating Medicines Partnership for Schizophrenia, which brings together a robust group of organizations from the public, nonprofit and private sectors to research biomarkers that will improve our success in treating those with this disorder.”

Symptoms of schizophrenia typically appear in adolescence or early adulthood and can include alterations to a person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and loss of contact with reality (psychosis). Early diagnosis and treatment are key to better outcomes.

AMP Schizophrenia aims to develop measures that further define early stages of risk and predict the likelihood of progression to psychosis. This work will allow for early intervention and testing of treatments that may prevent the development of schizophrenia. All data and analyses will be publicly available through the NIMH Data Archive.

In addition to the APAF, private partners in the AMP Schizophrenia initiative include Boehringer Ingelheim; Janssen Research & Development LLC; National Alliance on Mental Illness; One Mind; Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization Inc.; and Wellcome.

Over five years, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) expects to contribute $82.5 million. Together the private partner organizations will invest $16.5 million through the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), a non-profit organization, which manages the project.

American Psychiatric Association Foundation

The American Psychiatric Association Foundation is the philanthropic and educational arm of APA. The APA Foundation promotes awareness of mental illnesses and the effectiveness of treatment, the importance of early intervention, access to care, and the need for high-quality services and treatment through a combination of public and professional education, research, research training, grants, and awards.

American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 38,800 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information please visit www.psychiatry.org.

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