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The mission of the National Biomarker Development Alliance (NBDA) is to address the complex and urgent challenge of creating the standards needed to support evidence-based biomarker development. The ultimate goal is to significantly advance precision (personalized) healthcare. The alliance is an independent, nonprofit organization with sponsorship from the ASU Foundation and led by Anna Barker, founding director and president of the alliance, and a professor in the School of Life Sciences at ASU. Professor Barker also serves as codirector of the Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative, an organizing construct to understand and solve multi-dimensional problems in the biological and social sciences.
Biomarkers are markers of normal or disease-related processes, or measures of response to drug therapy. They are the key to realizing a future in which patients are treated based on identifying molecular changes in their disease. These molecular profiles empower physicians to select targeted therapies, versus a "one size fits all" approach. The alliance is disease "agnostic" and was the first independent trans-sector organization to bring together key stakeholders from academia, the private sector, payers and patients/advocates to ultimately change the current dismal success rate of biomarker discovery, development and validation. The alliance is breaking new ground by establishing a network of stakeholders that integrate knowledge to successfully eliminate fragmented approaches to biomarker development.