AHA CEO Nancy Brown announced Sunday the formation of a strategic business relationship between the AHA and the XPRIZE Foundation, which is known for creating “grand challenge domains” that encourage “moonshot” thinking to solve the unimaginable — from space exploration to global literacy for children.
“Everyone here knows that cardiovascular diseases and stroke are by far the most urgent threat to worldwide health today in terms of mortality, suffering and economic burden. We also know that if diverse populations continue to be disproportionally affected, our ability to build healthier lives is compromised,” Brown said during the Opening Session of Scientific Sessions. “The AHA and XPRIZE Foundation will reimagine and bring to life health and well-being for people everywhere, not just for privileged populations.”
Brown said the AHA and XPRIZE will invite creative people from the United States and around the globe to design a roadmap, including prizes that can inspire courageous thinking and breakthrough solutions.
“Bringing together the brightest minds in science and industry, innovators and the voices of the underserved, we will solve seemingly unsolvable problems by redefining what the future can look like for people everywhere,” Brown said.
Brown also announced the launch of the AHA Center for Accelerated Drug Discovery, part of a new strategic business relationship with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The goal is to combine world-class technology and high-impact biology to develop a comprehensive reference atlas of cell-protein targets to accelerate drug discovery.
“It takes 10 years, on average, for a new medicine to be commercialized in the marketplace and an average cost of $2.6 billion,” Brown said. “Imagine if we could reduce the time to market by half.”
Leveraging one of the world’s most powerful computer facilities at LLNL, the goal is to create a simulated environment that precisely predicts how drugs bind to their target proteins and to generate a robust drug discovery pipeline. Just as cloud technology is empowering researchers to find new answers, Brown said machine-learning will allow the biomedical community to validate targeted drug hypotheses that have higher probabilities of success while reducing time to market.
“The AHA’s leading science combined with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s leading-edge computational engines will speed progress and give rise to high-value treatments, making therapeutic innovations more readily available and more affordable,” Brown said.