Shortening pipeline for Alzheimer’s drugs discussed by HHS advisory council

January 26, 2012

Getting new Alzheimer’s drugs to market quickly was 1 of the initiatives discussed during the mid-January meeting of the Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services in Washington, D.C.

Getting new Alzheimer’s’ drugs to market quickly was 1 of the initiatives discussed during the mid-January meeting of the Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services in Washington, D.C.

The advisory council was assigned by the Obama administration last year to make recommendations to Health and Human Services (HHS) on implementing the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA), passed last year to develop a national Alzheimer’s plan.

Because there are currently no drugs on the market to treat or cure the disease – only to treat the symptoms – clinical research and drug development were among the issues discussed by the council. The council will submit its recommendations to HHS by its next meeting on April 17.

“The focus is, ‘Do we have the right kind of infrastructure in place to get [new drug] candidates through the pipeline as quickly as possible?’ One of the topics discussed was shortening the pipeline,” said Robert Egge, vice president of public policy for the Alzheimer’s Association.

The council also discussed how to improve the detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and dementia, in order to treat the conditions better in the future, according to Egge.

Alzheimer’s research is another major issue under consideration by the Advisory Council, since NAPA calls for an increase to $2 billion for research.

“This process is … about setting a path for that change right away with an aggressive timeline: developing an urgent, achievable and accountable strategy for Alzheimer’s is about hope for millions of people today and tomorrow,” said Harry Johns, president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association and member of the council.

For information, visit the association’s website.