August 2015


Register Now for the ACT-AD FDA/AD Allies Meeting!

The ACT-AD Coalition holds its 8th Annual FDA/Alzheimer’s Disease Allies Meeting on Wednesday, September 16, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Bethesda, Md. This year’s theme is “Assessing the Scientific Foundation for Alzheimer’s Disease Therapeutic Development.”  On July 13, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a report on targeted drug therapy. This report highlighted the lack of success to date in bringing transformative therapies to market for Alzheimer’s disease as well as the factors behind the robust pipelines of treatments that exist today for HIV/AIDS and cancer. FDA’s report emphasized that basic information about the causes of Alzheimer’s disease and pathways to slow its progression is lacking.  This meeting will take participants back to basics, examining lessons from pioneering studies that incorporated Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers and surrogate endpoints. Participants will also explore how genetics and processes like neuroprotection, immunity, metabolism, and inflammation are changing the conceptualization of Alzheimer’s disease. The program will conclude with a candid exchange on practical considerations aimed at improving the prospects for Alzheimer’s disease treatment and prevention trials such as target validation, disease models, endpoint selection, and effect size.  The event is free to attend, but registration is required. Please go here to register. For more information or questions, please email Ryne Carney.

ACT-AD Executive Director Speaks at PDUFA Briefing on September 2

ACT-AD’s Executive Director Cynthia Bens will be speaking at a briefing cohosted by BIO and PhRMA on the next steps in the reauthorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA VI). The briefing will be held on Wednesday, September 2, 2015, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Washington, DC. If you would like to attend, please RSVP here.

ACT-AD Member Hosts International Conference on Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery, October 5-6

ACT-AD is proud to be a media sponsor of the 16th International Conference on Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery to be held on October 5-6, 2015, in Jersey City, N.J. Hosted by the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, a founding ACT-AD member, the conference “brings together academic and industry scientists intent on accelerating the development of innovative treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.” Go here for more information.

An Examination of Medical Costs Due to AD Misdiagnosis among Medicare Beneficiaries

A study published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association focuses on the costs created when Medicare patients are misdiagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease prior to diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease or vascular dementia. It finds that “patients with prior AD diagnosis used substantially more medical services every year until their VD/PD diagnosis, resulting in incremental annual medical costs of approximately $9,500-$14,000.” See more here.

Experts ID Risk Factors That May Lead to Development of AD

A study in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry suggests effective interventions in diet, medications, biochemical exposures, psychological condition, preexisting disease, and lifestyle could contribute to decreasing new incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. However, study lead author Jin-Tai Yu, M.D., Ph.D., also cautions that “what is seen here is an association rather than a direct cause-and-effect relationship between any one factor and Alzheimer’s risk.” Read more here.

MIND Diet May Slow Cognitive Decline, Say Researchers

Researchers say that the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, or MIND diet, may help slow cognitive decline in seniors.  In fact, a new study reveals older adults who religiously followed the diet were 7.5 years younger cognitively than their peers who utilized it the least.  This study adds further evidence for the potential of the diet in reducing the development risk for Alzheimer’s. Read more here.

Study Finds Age Affects the Brain’s Ability to Dispose of Amyloid Beta Protein

In a new study, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found a “highly significant correlation between increasing age and slowed (amyloid beta) turnover rates.” The study focuses specifically on amyloid beta 42. Notes author Randall J. Bateman, M.D.  “We found that people in their 30s typically take about four hours to clear half the amyloid beta 42 from the brain. In this new study, we show that at over 80 years old, it takes more than 10 hours.” Read more in The Annals of Neurology.