Industry and academia partners to join European research initiative to fight Alzheimers dementia

An alliance of academia and industry, including the University of Leicester, has announced the start of a novel collaboration, the European Prevention of Alzheimer’s dementia (EPAD) Initiative, to test innovative treatments for the prevention of Alzheimer’s dementia.

The EPAD Initiative is a collaborative research initiative to improve the chance of successfully preventing Alzheimer’s dementia and to better understand early aspects of Alzheimer’s disease before dementia develops.

The goal of the initiative is the prevention of dementia in people with evidence of the disease (such as biomarker abnormalities as identified by specific tests), who still may have little or no complaints or clinical symptoms.

EPAD aims to develop a platform using existing information from national or regional patient cohorts or register studies, which have already identified potential patients. Through EPAD, the undertaking of better, adaptive, multi-arm proof of concept studies for early and accurate decisions on the ongoing development of drug candidates or drug combinations is facilitated.

Professor Anthony Brookes from the Department of Genetics is providing technologies which will enable the project to scan for suitable clinical trial subjects in real time, across many diverse patient collections throughput Europe and beyond. This is based on his team’s Café Variome ‘data discovery’ system, about which he said: “The project will be able to discover the existence and location of potential trial subjects by merely a few button clicks, rather than by email and phone based explorations that could take months to complete. This substantial time saving is essential for drug testing on early stage Alzheimer patients, and we have found a way to achieve this advance without moving any subject data out of any source database.”