LONDON, April 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The HIV Resistance Response Database Initiative (RDI) announced today that Bristol-Myers Squibb, a leading research-based pharmaceutical company in the HIV/AIDS field, has joined its Corporate Sponsorship program for 2005. Under the terms of the agreement Bristol-Myers Squibb is a Corporate Partner to RDI - providing core funding to the not-for-profit initiative and collaborating on research programs and data collection.
"We are delighted that Bristol-Myers Squibb is working with us," commented Dr Brendan Larder, Scientific Chairman of the RDI. "The company has a track record of scientific excellence in this field and, in joining the RDI, has demonstrated its commitment to exploring innovative new ways to improve HIV management in the future."
The RDI is using artificial intelligence to predict how patients will respond to different combinations of drugs, based on the genetic code of their virus and other information. Specifically the group uses a technique called neural networks to explore and 'learn' the relationships between changes in HIV genes that cause drug resistance and the response of patients to different treatments. Ultimately the aim is to make the system available free of charge over the Internet as a research tool to aid the individualisation of treatment.
"We hope that working with the pharmaceutical industry will help us to collect data and build accurate models for all the drugs that are available. This agreement is an important step towards us doing so for Bristol-Myers Squibb products," commented Dr Larder.
The RDI is a not-for-profit organisation based in the UK. It was set-up two years ago in order to collect the substantial amounts of clinical data necessary for neural network modelling. To date the RDI has collected data from approximately 12,000 patients from more than 250 clinics worldwide.
The group is working with a number of institutions including the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, Vancouver, Canada; the US Military HIV Research Program; ICONA; the Italian ARCA database, co-ordinated by the University of Siena; the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, Spain; Fundacio irsiCaixa, Badelona, Spain; Northwestern University Division of Infectious Diseases, Chicago, USA; National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Sydney, Australia; Ramon y Cajal Hospital, Madrid, Spain; The Italian MASTER cohort, University of Brescia, Italy, The Community Program for Clinical Research in AIDS (CPCRA) and others.