The Puzzle, The Partners, The Path Forward

PhRMA Co-Hosting Forum on Alzheimer’s

10.02.13 | By Dr. William "Bill" Chin, M.D.

The best and the brightest spanning the innovation ecosystem have been trying for years to unlock the mysteries of Alzheimer’s disease with the common goals of delaying, treating or outright preventing progression of the disease. Further, there are a number of public and private initiatives underway and no shortage of related conferences and meetings.

So why has PhRMA decided to jump into the fray? Because our sector is committed to leading the charge, asking the right questions, and pushing for better answers.

Last year, as we recognized progress to date in Alzheimer’s research at the inaugural Research & Hope Awards, PhRMA unveiled a report showing that 101 potential treatments for Alzheimer’s failed to reach patients between 1998 and 2011. In the same period, only three medicines were approved by FDA to treat symptoms of the disease. This 34 to 1 ratio of setbacks to successes underscores the difficulties we face.

In other words, while progress has been made, it has been slow. We aim to help spur it forward.

With this as a backdrop, PhRMA is thrilled to be partnering with the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation to co-host a one-day conference entitled, “Alzheimer’s: The Puzzle, The Partners, The Path Forward. 

This forum, to be held October 23 at the National Academies of Science building in DC, will focus on two themes critical to helping advance the science and bring new solutions to patients: (1) maximize pre-competitive, public-private partnerships specific to Alzheimer’s, and (2) tackle challenges in conducting clinical trials with pre-symptomatic individuals.

These are two tremendously important and difficult topics, but I believe the depth of experience and caliber of the panelists we are assembling will lead to actionable, forward-looking conclusions coming out of the discussions. Please have a look at our agenda.

We are excited to have Dr. Suzanne Corkin, author of Permanent Present Tense: The Unforgettable Life of the Amnesic Patient, H.M, as our keynote speaker, and look forward to a discussion on science and policy issues with Robert Egge, Vice President Policy, Alzheimer’s Association, and Howard Fillit, MD, Executive Director and Chief Science Officer, Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation.

For more information and/or to register to attend what promises to be an engaging and pivotal event, please visit We hope to see you there.

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