Streamlining Trials for Alzheimer’s

NIH is funding a new Clinical Trials Consortium to expand research into therapies to treat or prevent Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The consortium called the “Alzheimer’s Clinical Trial Consortium” signed a cooperative agreement which is expected to total $70 million over five years, pending the availability of funds.

The Consortium will be led jointly by teams from Mayo Clinic,, University of Southern California San Diego, Harvard University-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital The National Institute on Aging will provide scientific input

The Co-Investigator of Research and Director for the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Mayo Clinic, and for the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, Ronald Peterson, MD, PhD, said “ For Alzheimer’s research to continue to advance and help patients and families faced with this devastating disease, scientists must be able to implement early intervention and prevention studies.”

Clinical trials can require screening thousands of volunteers to identify eligible participants which can consume time and resources. The Consortium will offer shared support services, enabling researchers to manage and analyze large amounts of data and recruit participants from diverse backgrounds.

The Consortium will share data, software, and biological samples, such as blood, tissue, and cerebrospinal fluid. The initial network will include 35 clinical trial sites nationwide. More sites may be added at a later date.

NIH reports that during the five year award period, it is anticipated that the consortium will be able to handle five to seven trials across the full spectrum of Alzheimer’s and related dementia from prevention initiatives to combination trials for advance symptomatic stages.

“We have reached a critical juncture in Alzheimer’s and related dementia research along with new and exciting opportunities to build upon what we have learned,” said Richard Hodes MD, Director for the National Institute on Aging. “The Consortium will provide the vital infrastructure, centralized resources, and shared expertise to help to more rapidly and optimally test new treatments.”

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