Today's Top Alzheimer's News

Researcher calls for 12 years of market exclusivity for Alzheimer's drugs to spur innovation, India's new focus on pharma innovation and Alzheimer's, and the latest on the Allen Institute for Brain Science's efforts to decipher the language of the brain (read more). 

Must reads

  • A February 28, 2014 Huffington Post opinion piece by Dr. Sam Gandy called on regulators to grant 12 years of market exclusivity for Alzheimer's drugs to accelerate Alzheimer's research. According to Dr. Gandy, "To lure companies and scientists back to Alzheimer's disease drug discovery research, we must rethink our regulatory protection policies. Thirty years ago, the Orphan Drug Act offered 12 years of market protection for the development of drugs that treat diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 Americans. The result was a 40-fold increase in FDA-approved orphan drugs…Let's motivate medical research in this area by granting 12 years of market exclusivity. Until we do, generations of people will continue to watch helplessly as their loved ones leave them, one memory at a time." Dr. Sam Gandy is the Director of the Center for Cognitive Health at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York City. 
  • A February 28, 2014 NBC News Q&A with Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) highlighted Seth Rogen's efforts to raise awareness of Alzheimer's. According to Rep. Fattah, "Part of their role is that they attract press attention to their cause. Seth Rogen was speaking to discuss a hugely important subject, one that was very personal to him and his family, and also happens to be one of my own priorities, so I welcome his advocacy. The day after he testified on Alzheimer’s in the Senate, my colleagues and I on the House CJS Appropriations Subcommittee held a major hearing on neuroscience, where there was bipartisan agreement to increase funding for brain science in order to cure diseases like Alzheimer’s and autism."

Research and science 

  • A March 3, 2014 The Parma Letter article reported on India's new focus on Alzheimer's and the "pharmaceutical and biosimilars sectors, moving away from its traditional role in generics and active pharmaceutical ingredients."  According to the article, "Forging ties was also imminent for Neuroscience Victoria, from Melbourne, Australia, which has teamed up with Indian biopharma companies, to develop drugs, diagnostic systems and are keen to enter into transfer of technologies related to diseases, and brain and mind disorders. The three-year collaboration, spanning 2014 to 2016, has already taken its first step, by teaming up with All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, for road trauma, and setting up imaging centers to detect Alzheimer’s."
  • A February 28, 2014 Boston Globe article highlighted the importance of funding "oddball science" because of unforeseen links to discovering cures for diseases like Alzheimer's. According to the article, "There is a huge zeitgeist for research that translates existing knowledge into cures, treatments, and technologies. That’s in part because it’s easy to explain the relevance to the public -- it might cure Alzheimer’s or cancer or lead to a technology that transforms society and creates jobs. Who could argue against those lofty goals? But the idea that marshaling existing knowledge into products will solve the biggest problems facing society is naive, Brennan argues. Translational research is essential, but it is just the top of the pyramid. And that pyramid depends on a large foundation of basic research that provides the surprising insights and knowledge that can translate into important advances."
  • A February 24, 2014 New York Times article reported on the efforts of researchers at the Allen Institute for Brain Science to discover the "brain's inner language" to advance cures for neurological disorders. According to the article, "There are many ways to map the brain and many kinds of brains to map. Although the ultimate goal of most neuroscience is understanding how human brains work, many kinds of research can’t be done on human beings, and the brains of mice and even flies share common processes with human brains. The work of Dr. Reid, and scientists at Allen and elsewhere who share his approach, is part of a surge of activity in brain research as scientists try to build the tools and knowledge to explain — as well as can ever be explained — how brains and minds work. Besides the Obama administration’s $100 million Brain Initiative and the European Union’s $1 billion, decade-long Human Brain Project, there are numerous private and public research efforts in the United States and abroad, some focusing on the human brain, others like Dr. Reid’s focusing on nonhumans." 

 

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