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EPAD partners launch a new AD prevention project

Wednesday 14 January 2015

On 14-15 January, 35 project partners met in Paris to launch EPAD - the European Prevention of Alzheimer’s dementia Initiative.

The five year EPAD project will establish a European-wide register of 24,000 participants, of which 1,500 will be invited to participate in a trial to test new treatments for prevention of Alzheimer’s dementia.

The project partners will initially develop a platform based on information from existing patient cohorts or register studies, which have already identified potential patients. Researchers will use these records to select a group of 1,500 people who are likely to develop dementia, but have not yet been diagnosed. This group will participate in a Phase 2 clinical trial in various European countries. At the end of the study, all data collected from the cohort and trial will become publically available for analysis to improve disease models in the pre-dementia phase of Alzheimer’s disease.

There are 35 partners in the EPAD project, which is co-coordinated by Craig Ritchie, Professor of the Psychiatry of Ageing at the University of Edinburgh and Serge Van der Geyten, Director for Neuroscience External Affairs at Janssen Pharmaceutica.

During the meeting, the delegates learned more about how they will work together and identified priorities for the first year of deliverables. They also discussed how EPAD will cooperate with other pan-European projects such as EMIF and also the worldwide Global Alzheimer Platform.

Alzheimer Europe (AE) and Novartis will co-lead the Work Package 6: “Dissemination” and AE will participate in the ethical aspects of the project as well. Jean Georges, Executive Director of AE, said: “Preventing the development of dementia in biomarker-positive people would be a fantastic step forward in our fight against Alzheimer’s dementia. The EPAD project and its novel trial concept will hopefully help speed up the drug discovery progress and bring us closer to this ambitious aim.”

The research leading to these results has received support from the Innovative Medicines Initiative Joint Undertaking under grant agreement n° 115736, resources of which are composed of financial contribution from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) and EFPIA companies’ in kind contribution.

The initial EPAD press release can be seen on the project website