New Analysis Provides Insights into Late-Stage Alzheimer’s Drug Pipeline

ResearchersAgainstAlzheimer’s calls on governments, industry, entrepreneurs, and world leaders to improve healthcare system to respond to today's patients and caregivers and accommodate future Alzheimer’s disease treatments  

Chicago, IL (July 22, 2018) – Today, ResearchersAgainstAlzheimer’s (RA2), a network of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s (UsA2) that represents leading Alzheimer’s scientists across the globe, released its 2018 annual Drug Pipeline Analysis, The Current State of Alzheimer’s Drug Development: 2018 Alzheimer’s Drug Pipeline – Phase 2 and 3, at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. The report shows that the number of drugs in Phase 2 clinical trials has increased 17 percent over just the past year, from 58 to 68 drugs. This rapid expansion of Phase 2 drugs is important as it provides us with more opportunities to treat Alzheimer's disease.

At the same time as drug development continues to move forward, we must ensure that the healthcare system is prepared. Those responsible for our healthcare system seem to believe they have ample time to secure the resources and set up the physical spaces and processes that will be needed to deliver cures to Alzheimer’s patients. Today, under-diagnosis and lack of detection is stalling patient and caregiver support. The impact of an unprepared healthcare system will only grow if the state of the healthcare system does not keep pace with the science, and we risk finding ourselves in a situation where those living with Alzheimer’s disease are unable to access an identified cure.

“Scientists have delivered molecules worthy of intensive investigation for their potential to treat Alzheimer’s disease,” said George Vradenburg, Chairman, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s. “It’s now the turn of governments, investors and institutions to ensure that when these scientific discoveries are translated into effective therapies through increased detection and diagnosis, the infrastructure is in place to readily deploy those therapies and get them into the hands of people who need them.”  

Nearly 50 million people worldwide and 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and the number is expected to rise sharply as the size of our older population grows. The number of people who should receive an Alzheimer’s treatment will also rise as our diagnostic capabilities improve, and we identify more and more people with the disease who are affected at different stages. The healthcare system in its current form is not equipped to seamlessly incorporate a cure for Alzheimer’s disease into its drug delivery system. And the challenge will only become more difficult as the number of people with the disease increases.

“To truly cure Alzheimer’s disease, we need to see innovation happening inside and outside the lab,” said Dave Morgan, Professor in the Department of Translational Science and Molecular Medicine at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and Lead Representative of ResearchersAgainstAlzheimer’s. “Preparing the healthcare workforce to accommodate the efficient treatment of millions of Americans when a cure comes online is far from trivial. We need to start now.”

Just as innovation is required for discovering the drug formula for a cure, it is also necessary to overcome existing barriers to accelerating that cure. For instance, the Global Alzheimer’s Platform (GAP) is projecting a crippling shortage of clinical trial sites capable of performing pending clinical trials and is recommending a number of changes to how clinical trials are conducted that will mitigate this shortage.  Additional capacity is needed if clinical trial sites are to meet the timelines of the substantial, growing Alzheimer’s drug pipeline. GAP concludes that a failure to address this critical element of the healthcare system infrastructure will cause years of significant and avoidable delays in the discovery of a cure for Alzheimer’s.

For more information, contact Jordan Nachbar at JNachbar@UsAgainstAlzheimers.org or 609-668-5313

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