Accelerating Medicines Partnership® Autoimmune and Immune-Mediated Diseases (AMP® AIM)

AMP AIM investigates how cells of the immune system interact in tissue to cause inflammation and autoimmune disease

The Problem
Better tools to define and map immune cell interactions and pathways are needed to improve patient care and more targeted drug development in autoimmune disease.
The Solution
AMP AIM will accelerate identification and validation of specific drug targets in autoimmune diseases that may share immune and inflammatory pathways.

Overview

Many autoimmune diseases share common inflammatory pathways, comorbidity risks, and even responses to disease-modifying therapies. Although more than 25 million people in the U.S. are affected by these chronic diseases, many remain undertreated and underdiagnosed, and no cure has been found. Complex differences in patient genetics and immune function make developing new treatments particularly challenging and complicate patient care. Better tools and biomarkers that define and map these shared and unique immune cell interactions and pathways are critical for the design of new drug targets and effective interventions.

The Accelerating Medicines Partnership® Autoimmune and Immune-Mediated Diseases (AMP® AIM) Program is a precompetitive partnership that brings together the collective expertise and resources of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), industry, and patient advocacy organizations to improve current efforts to develop new therapies for these complex, heterogeneous diseases. The cornerstone of the AMP AIM program will be the utilization of a suite of next-generation tools and technologies to map how cell types, cell states, and cell-to-cell interactions network to cause inflammation, abnormal function, and tissue injury in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic spectrum diseases, Sjögren’s disease, and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). 

The program builds on the success of the AMP RA/SLE program, which pioneered a transformational approach to dissect how these diseases occur at the individual cell level. AMP RA/SLE advanced new technologies and analytical methods using biopsy and blood samples of diseased tissue from major organs, such as the kidney in lupus and the joints in arthritis. As a result, novel cell populations and pathways have been discovered, suggesting promising new targets for drug development. As a next step, AMP AIM is working to refine and extend the single-cell analysis of biopsy (e.g., synovium, kidney, skin, salivary glands) and blood samples to include additional diseases, including psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis and Sjögren’s disease. The program will generate a comprehensive 3D atlas of integrated single cell multi-omics and identify inflammatory mediators to clarify regulatory mechanisms that govern functions within and between cells. This integrative analysis will provide valuable insights into shared and differential molecular and cellular signatures of the pathogenic immune responses in these diseases. The resulting data will accelerate our understanding of the fundamental mechanisms and causes of autoimmune and immune-mediated diseases, allow more informed selection of patients for clinical trials, and generate new targets for drug development.

AMP AIM brings together the resources of 17 partner organizations spanning the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors, with combined commitments totaling over $58.5 million. The FNIH provides program and project management for the effort over its five-year lifespan. 

Goals

  • Dissecting mechanisms of disease at the cellular level in affected tissues and blood in rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjögren’s disease, and psoriatic spectrum diseases
  • Spatial mapping of key molecular and cellular types and states to identify the pathways of crosstalk between cells that drive inflammation, abnormal immune function, and damage
  • Comparison of mechanisms of autoimmune and immune-mediated diseases across tissues to facilitate the identification of shared and independent druggable pathways and targets
  • Creation of a dedicated Knowledge Portal to host clinical, cellular, and molecular datasets, standardized methods, and computational tools to allow rapid and efficient data sharing and interrogation by the research community

Media

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ACCELERATING MEDICINES PARTNERSHIP and AMP are registered service marks of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.