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SHARING Knowledge on Alzheimer’s Disease

27-03-2017

A call for the international scientific community to create an intercontinental coordination unit to share knowledge about Alzheimer’s Disease amongst public and private initiatives in the European Union and the United States. The initiative was launched at the 2017 World CNS Summit in Boston, which focused on neurodegenerative diseases biomarkers.

Claudio Babiloni, Professor at the “Vittorio Erspamer” Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at Sapienza University, was a workshop leader at the Pre-Conference Workshop Day of the World Summit on Neurodegenerative Diseases held in Boston on February 20.

The CNS World Summit brings together experts from public and private organizations around the world to analyse the state of the art in the field of neurodegenerative diseases every year. This year, the main theme were the new strategies to fight Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s using biomarkers. These diseases have acquired an incredibly high social cost due to the lack of therapies available to stop their progress, despite the large number of clinical and pharmacological studies conducted over the course of the years.

From 2010 to 2015, Prof. Babiloni was task leader of the European project on "Prediction of cognitive properties of new drug candidates for neurodegenerative diseases in early clinical development (PharmaCog)". As part of that project, he coordinated university and pharmaceutical industry research groups striving to develop Alzheimer’s Disease biomarkers based on electroencephalographic recordings. The initiative allowed Italy to become a leaders in this new field of study.

During the Summit, starting from this project, Babiloni and other experts with similar experience of close collaboration between public and private international organizations made an appeal to universities, private research centres, SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), patient organizations, government agencies and large European and US pharmaceutical companies, asking for the development of joint research calls, shared scientific protocols, free databases for placebo experimental conditions, common tools for data analysis and other research resources to be made available on the web. The guiding principle is to extend the sharing of scientific knowledge for the development of biomarkers that could allow an accurate evaluation of the effectiveness of new drugs for Alzhheimer’s. The appeal was shared and discussed by the assembly of participants and, at the end of the works, the assembly decided to formalize what had been discovered about the disease in an article for an international magazine. The working plan for the development of an intercontinental coordination unit to share knowledge on Alzheimer amongst the important public-private European and US initiatives present at the Workshop Day would be delineated in the article.

In particular, the following public-private initiatives attended the Workshop Day with high level representatives: Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI) for Europe and the National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institute of Health (NIH), the Coalition Against Major Diseases (CAMD) of C-Path, the Accelerating Medicines Partnership-Alzheimer's Disease (AD-AMP) and the Global Alzheimer's Foundation Platform (GAP-NET) for the United States.  

Other professors who attended the workshop include: Samuel Agus (Lundbeck A/S), Andrew Satlin (Eisai, IMI-EPAD), Suzana Petanceska (NIA / NIH, AMP-AD), Stephen P Arnerić (CAMD) and Richard Mohs (GAP-NET).