Neurology News

Follow our Neurology News blog for the latest news on neurologic diseases and research.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Alzheimer’s Disease Summit Calls for Reforms to Drug Research and Development

The burden of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) continues to grow exponentially, but the rate of drug discovery and development is falling short. The "Alzheimer's Disease Summit: The Path to 2025," held yesterday and today at the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS), is calling for reformation of the AD drug development process so that it is more streamlined — in order to reduce costs and speed the progress towards drug approval. This Summit will continue to be held biannually in hopes of identifying necessary actions for preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer's disease by 2025.

      A new report "Economic Analysis of Opportunities to Accelerate Alzheimer's Research and Development," commissioned by the NYAS, will be discussed at the Summit as a working draft, with a final version of the report to be published in in early 2014. The Summit is co-convened by the NYAS, the Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer's Disease (CEOi), and the U.S. National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health (NIH), and brings together global leaders from government, academia, non-governmental organizations, and industry. (The first Alzheimer's Disease Research Summit was convened by the NIH in 2012.)

     "Alzheimer's disease is a global emergency. It robs people of dignity in their final years and takes a debilitating toll on national economies," said New York Academy of Sciences President and CEO Ellis Rubinstein in a
press statement. "Progress in developing new therapies has been unacceptably slow, and so we must rethink how Alzheimer's research is carried out so that we can accelerate our understanding of what causes this complex disease."

     The new report estimates a $6 billion total cost for bringing an effective Alzheimer's treatment to market, which is nearly three times the industry average for drug development. In response, the report suggests the following reforms: 

·          Developing reliable disease markers to predict the progression of Alzheimer's disease in different patients and better match people with treatments likely to work for them;


·          Making clinical trials more efficient and less costly by establishing global trial-ready cohorts of eligible clinical trial participants as well as using adaptive trial designs that will enable the testing of multiple drugs, in combination, tailored for different at-risk populations;


·          Establishing data-sharing arrangements for companies to share precompetitive research results so that other scientists can learn more rapidly how to slow or stop Alzheimer's; and


·          Promoting public-private partnerships that pool resources from governments, academia, industry, and patient advocates to co-invest in Alzheimer's drug development and testing.

     Presentations and discussions at "The Path to 2025" focus on ways for public and private sector organizations, including those in the biopharmaceutical, academic, government, technology, financial services, healthcare delivery, philanthropic, and patient advocacy communities, to collaborate more strategically and efficiently on Alzheimer's research and drug development goals. For more information on the Summit, including the agenda and speaker biographies, visit

     See our previous coverage of national Alzheimer’s initiatives in Neurology Today: