ACT-AD Hosts Ninth Annual Meeting

On November 16, the ACT-AD (Accelerate Cure/Treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease) Coalition hosted its Ninth Annual FDA/Alzheimer’s Disease Allies Meeting in North Bethesda, Md., to discuss the current state of Alzheimer’s disease treatment development.

The theme of this year’s meeting was “Starting with the End in Mind: Aligning the Science to Close Gaps in Alzheimer’s Disease Therapeutic Development.”  It followed up on the discussion from last year’s meeting and explored the most recent Alzheimer’s research, efforts to advance biomarkers in treatment trials, and approaches to improve behavioral and psychiatric aspects of Alzheimer’s disease.

The meeting featured Richard Hodes, M.D., National Institute on Aging, Carole Ho, M.D., Denali, Vissia Viglietta, M.D., Ph.D., Biogen, and Paul Rosenberg, M.D., Johns Hopkins.

Ho, who presented on novel biomarkers and how to incorporate these biomarkers into clinical trials to accelerate drug development, noted, “The hope is to have a coordinated effort across NIH, FDA, industry, and academia to develop biomarkers that can be used across multiple pathways targeted with therapeutics for AD.”

She went on to say, “I really liked this meeting. It was a small meeting with some critical players in the field. This format allowed for an open and collaborative discussion. It was a terrific way to have a dialogue. “

There was also a panel discussion, moderated by Rachelle Doody, M.D., Ph.D., of Roche, that included experts from the public and private sectors who discussed scientific and regulatory considerations for developing more meaningful Alzheimer’s disease treatments for patients.

Doody said,  “I think it was an excellent discussion with a uniquely constituted group of people who don’t always get together, including academics, people from industry – early stage drug development, as well as late stage drug development – and people from the FDA. And I think we got a chance to explore from a lot of different angles some of the topics that we all struggle with.”