Therapy dogs that visit hospital patients are seen at the gates of NIH where they were denied access due to the U.S. federal government shutdown
© Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
Burton and Shellie Goldstein of Gaithersburg, Maryland hold their therapy Shih Tzu dogs "The Bear" and "Emma" outside the gates of the U.S. Government's National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, October 4, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
updated 2/4/2014 2:39:06 AM ET 2014-02-04T07:39:06

(Reuters) - Ten big rival drug companies have formed a pact to cooperate on a government-backed effort to accelerate the discovery of new drugs, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The companies and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will share scientists, tissue and blood samples, and data, to identify targets for new drugs for diseases such as Alzheimer's, Type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, the Journal said.

The collaboration, called the Accelerating Medicines Partnership, will cost about $230 million and involves drugmakers such as Bristol-Myers Squibb Co, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi. (http://link.reuters.com/guw56v)

The agreement prohibits participants from using any discovery for their own drug development until the project makes data public on that discovery.

The NIH, GlaxoSmithKline, Bristol-Myers, Sanofi, Takeda, and Johnson & Johnson could not be immediately reached for comments by Reuters.

(Reporting by Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane)

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