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Accelerating Medicines Partnership® Program for Schizophrenia (AMP® SCZ)

What is AMP SCZ? 

The Accelerating Medicines Partnership® (AMP®) program for Schizophrenia (SCZ) is a public-private partnership between the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Medicines Agency, and multiple public and private organizations.

Launched in 2020 and managed by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health , the AMP SCZ program addresses the critical need for more effective treatments for people with schizophrenia and related mental health conditions.

The overarching aim is to improve our understanding of disease pathways and identify new and better targets for treatment.

As part of this innovative partnership, all AMP SCZ data and analyses will be available to the biomedical community through the NIMH Data Archive .

The AMP SCZ website  provides a centralized space for up-to-date program information and the latest AMP SCZ news.

AMP SCZ Partners

Public-sector partners

  • National Institute of Mental Health
  • FDA
  • European Medicines Agency

Private-sector partners

  • American Psychiatric Association Foundation
  • Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Foundation for the NIH
  • Janssen Research & Development, LLC
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
  • One Mind
  • Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc.
  • Schizophrenia & Psychosis Action Alliance
  • Wellcome

Why is AMP SCZ a priority for NIMH?

About schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness associated with significant health, social, and economic concerns, and it is one of the top 15 leading causes of disability worldwide.

Schizophrenia affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves and can include a loss of contact with reality, known as psychosis.

These symptoms typically emerge in adolescence or early adulthood and, if untreated, can be persistent and disabling, interfering with a person’s ability to engage in typical school, work, and social activities.

People with schizophrenia often experience a delay between diagnosis and the start of treatment. This delay, which can range from 1 to 3 years, is often associated with poorer response to treatment and significantly worse long-term outcomes.

About clinical high risk

Young people may start to show signs of risk for psychosis months or even years before they receive a diagnosis. Researchers often refer to this early period as “clinical high risk,” meaning that people who show these signs may be more likely to develop schizophrenia later.

Being able to identify people who are at clinical high risk can help clinicians treat people early before their symptoms worsen. It can also help researchers understand who is likely to develop schizophrenia, who is likely to develop other mental health conditions, and who is unlikely to experience longer-term issues.

A primary goal of the AMP SCZ program is to establish an international research network focused on recruiting young people who are clinical high risk for schizophrenia.

Researchers will look for measurable indicators of illness, known as biomarkers, that can help predict the likelihood that a person will progress to psychosis and other health outcomes. These biomarkers will also help researchers study how well treatments work for different groups of people and develop new treatments to reduce or even stop symptoms as early as possible.

What is NIMH’s Role?

Budget: 5 years ($117.7 Million Total Project Funding)

The private-sector partners will invest a combined total of $18.3 million over five years through the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. NIMH will contribute $99.4 million over five years, pending availability of funds.

Additionally, FDA will be a critical partner in providing regulatory guidance on biological markers of disease progression, outcome measures and endpoints for clinical trials.

NIMH-supported research projects

NIMH is currently supporting three research projects as part of the AMP SCZ initiative:

Trajectories and Predictors in the Clinical High Risk for Psychosis Population: Prediction Scientific Global Consortium (PRESCIENT) 

  • Principal investigators:
    • Barnaby Nelson, Ph.D. , head of ultra-high risk for psychosis research at the Center for Youth Mental Health at the University of Melbourne and at Orygen, Melbourne, Australia
    • Patrick McGorry, M.D., Ph.D. , head of the Center for Youth Mental Health at the University of Melbourne and executive director of Orygen
  • Project description:
    • A multisite project, including 16 international sites, focused on developing models that can predict a wide range of clinical outcomes in CHR individuals. As part of this project, Nelson and colleagues will collect a diverse set of biomarkers along with clinical data to develop CHR trajectory-prediction tools that can be used to facilitate the selection of CHR individuals to enroll in clinical trials and monitor disease progression and outcomes.

ProNET: Psychosis-Risk Outcomes Network 

  • Principal investigators:
    • Scott Woods, M.D. , professor of psychiatry at Yale University
    • Carrie Bearden, Ph.D. , professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences and psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles
    • John Kane, M.D. , professor and chair of psychiatry at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
  • Project description:
    • A multisite project, including 26 international sites, mapping a wide range of biomarkers (including brain structure and function, psychopathology and cognition, genetics, behavior, and natural language and speech) onto a set of CHR trajectories and outcomes. Woods and colleagues will then test whether data-driven variation in these biomarkers can be used to predict individual clinical trajectories.

Psychosis Risk Evaluation, Data Integration, and Computational Technologies (PREDICT): Data Processing, Analysis, and Coordination Center 

  • Principal investigators:
    • Martha Shenton, Ph.D. , professor of psychiatry and radiology at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital
    • Rene Kahn, M.D., Ph.D. , chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Project description:
    • A project to create a data processing, analysis, and coordination center that will integrate and analyze CHR biomarker and clinical data generated by the two multisite research networks (listed above) as well as key existing CHR-related datasets. Using these data, the researchers plan to develop algorithms that can identify biomarkers predictive of CHR outcomes—biomarkers that can then be used to identify clinically useful subtypes of CHR.

Data access

All data and analyses will be available through the NIMH Data Archive . This will allow researchers to translate findings into key tools and therapies quickly and efficiently. The NIMH Data Archive currently holds raw and processed data from approximately 500,000 research participants, including clinical, biological, genetic, and outcome measures.

All AMP SCZ data stored in the archive will adhere to the NIMH Data Archive terms and conditions and the NIMH Data Sharing Policy. Participant data will be aggregated and protected by practices that include removing personally identifiable information. Accredited users will have secure, role-based access to the data.

AMP SCZ steering committee

The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health organizes the AMP SCZ steering committee, which includes representatives from each partner organization.

The steering committee operates under the direction of the AMP Executive Committee and is responsible for the following:

  • Defining and maintaining the research plan
  • Reviewing project progress
  • Providing detailed assessments of milestones

Working groups created under the direction of the AMP SCZ steering committee will provide detailed technical analyses of key scientific, policy, or informatics issues that arise during implementation.

Learn more about AMP SCZ

Additional resources

Science news and research highlights

Last Reviewed: November 2022

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