February 2015

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Q & A with Anavex President and CEO Missling

We would like to welcome a new small business sponsor to ACT-AD: Anavex Life Sciences Corp. To help you learn more about the company, we interviewed its President and CEO Christopher U. Missling, MS, Ph.D., MBA, and asked him to share his views on the state of Alzheimer’s disease research and development. (Read More)

ACT-AD Responds to 21st Century Cures Legislation

ACT-AD’s chair offered a response to the House Energy and Commerce Committee draft 21st Century Cures legislation released on January 27, 2015. These comments  acknowledged Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) for their desire to accelerate the development of treatments, particularly for diseases with high unmet needs. Some modifications were recommended to sections of the draft bill related to Patient-Focused Drug Development and endpoint qualification, among others. To see the complete response, (Read More)

NIH Alzheimer’s Research Summit Available for Viewing

The National Institute of Health’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Summit 2015: Path to Treatment and Prevention (of which ACT-AD was a sponsor) took place on February 9-10 in Bethesda, Md. The event brought together some of the field’s best minds to share insights on the state of AD research and make suggestions on research directions that will help the U.S. better treat and provide care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. If you were not fortunate enough to make the event, we are happy to share that you can watch both sessions. To watch, please go here.

ACT-AD Meeting on Combination Therapy Featured in Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics

Last month, we shared that ACT-AD had two papers outlining the regulatory pathway and rationale for developing combination therapies for Alzheimer’s disease accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed journal, Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics (ERN). These manuscripts detail the proceedings from two consecutive landmark discussions led by ACT-AD in 2012 and 2013 on the action steps necessary for pursuing this promising approach to Alzheimer’s disease treatment. The first paper, “Charting a path toward combination therapy for Alzheimer’s disease,” was published in the January 2015 issue of ERN. The second paper, “Building a roadmap for developing combination therapies for Alzheimer’s disease,” is now available. (Note, only the abstract to the journal article is available without a fee.)

‘SuperAgers’ Research Could Offer Hope for Alzheimer’s Patients

While many studies have explored what goes on in the brain as we age, not as many focus on those whose memories stay largely intact.  Researchers at Northwestern Medicine took a look at these “SuperAgers,” age 80 and above, to see why their brains don’t decline at the same rate as their peers. The experts found that their memories were as good as the memories of those 20 to 30 years younger. It is hoped this research will help those with Alzheimer’s and dementia to lead a better quality of life. The study is published in The Journal of Neuroscience. (Read More)

Conversation with FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg

The Friends of Cancer Research conducted an interview with Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D.  She provides insights into the FDA and the issues that are of most importance to it. (Read More)

Dietary Advanced Glycation End Products Could Increase Alzheimer’s Risk, Says Study

Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are compounds that have been linked to the formation of Alzheimer’s. In a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, experts sought “to determine whether estimated dietary AGEs estimated from national diets and epidemiological studies are associated with increased AD incidence.” Their conclusion? Dietary AGEs indeed appear to be risk factors for AD.

Alzheimer’s Association Releases New Report on AD Trajectory

The Alzheimer’s Association released a must-read report called Changing the Trajectory of Alzheimer’s Disease: How a Treatment by 2025 Saves Lives and Dollars. According to the report,” a treatment introduced in 2025 that delays the onset of Alzheimer’s by five years would reduce the number of individuals affected by the disease by 5.7 million by mid-century and save all payers, including Medicare, Medicaid, and families, more than $220 billion within the first five years.” (Read More)

‘Rebalancing’ of Immune Cells Could Fight Alzheimer’s

Researchers at the University of Southern California identified a method to use the body’s immune cells to target Alzheimer’s-associated plaques. The study appears in the journal, Neuron. Noted Terrence Town, Ph.D., the study’s senior author. “Our study shows that ‘rebalancing’ the immune response to wipe away toxic plaques from the brain may bring new hope for a safe and effective treatment for this devastating illness of the mind.” (Read More)