What is your current role in EPAD?
In EPAD, I am co-leading the WP3 (EPAD register and Parent Cohorts) with Dr. Pieter Jelle Visser. I also represent WP3 on the Steering committee and the Data Oversight Committee. I am lucky to have many talented people in WP3 with different expertise. My role is to organize interactions within WP3 and also with other WPs to meet our goals. WP3, with the help of National Leads has defined and characterized the parent cohorts that will feed the EPAD register. We have created PREPAD, a tool that will select participants to be invited to participate in the LCS.
EPAD is a very innovative project that may create uncertainties and raise questions. That’s why our job at WP3 is also to create confidence with each stakeholder. We are at a very special moment where the first register participants are about to be invited to participate in the LCS. We have learned a lot and there is still a lot to do to finely tune and streamline our processes.
What did you do prior to joining EPAD?
I contribute to EPAD only for a part of my time. I am clinical lead at Pfizer working in the Global Product Development Group mainly in phase 3 trials. In the AD field, I have been working for several years on the Bapineuzumab phase 3 program, an anti-amyloid antibody, as a clinical scientist. Before that I worked as a Clinical Trial Project Manager in a variety of therapeutic areas. I have a background in neuroscience.
Tell us a bit about your organisation
Our purpose at Pfizer is to bring therapies to patients that significantly improve their lives. That, essentially, has been our goal since our founding in Brooklyn in 1849 and remains at the heart of our business. In 2015, with more than 97,000 Pfizer colleagues around the world we advanced some 39 proposed therapies in our R&D pipeline (Neuroscience & Pain, Oncology, Inflammation & Immunology, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Diseases, Rare Disease and and Vaccines).
What are your expectations from the EPAD project?
The EPAD collaborative approach is very exciting. It is so refreshing to see people from various horizons, even from competing companies, working together to speed scientific progress and share the risks and rewards of developing the most promising ideas. I think it is a great success of the EU through IMI to create this collaborative framework.
EPAD offers an unprecedented approach in characterization of potential participants to a clinical trial, first with the register and then with the longitudinal cohort study. This will certainly help addressing the heterogeneity in recruitment that has hampered many clinical trials. I make the wish that EPAD will receive proposals from valuable candidates compounds for the POC study.