What is your current role in EPAD?
I am one of 2 EFPIA representatives on the EPAD Executive Committee; a co-lead for Work Package 1 along with Simon Lovestone and Gary Romano; and the EFPIA head of the Clinical Candidate Selection Committee. I am also on the Clinical Development Executive. So I have many, interlocking roles!
What did you do prior to joining EPAD?
EPAD is one of many activities I have currently – work on EPAD represents about 25% of what I do. My “day” job is as Global Head of Medicine Creation Strategy in the Neurology Business Group at Eisai, Inc. Before joining the pharmaceutical industry, I was an academic geriatric psychiatrist at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts, US, a major teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. I have always been interested in improving clinical care for patients with Alzheimer’s disease – as a clinician, a researcher on behavioral and sleep disorders in AD, a clinical investigator, and now as a pharmaceutical drug developer and partner in many AD projects.
Tell us a bit about the institution/company/organisation you work for.
Eisai is a global pharmaceutical company focussed mainly on new drug development in neurology and oncology. Alzheimer’s disease is a major focus for us. We currently have 2 large projects underway: a monoclonal antibody against amyloid protofibrils that is being studied in a novel, Bayesian adaptive Phase 2 trial; and a BACE inhibitor being studied in 2 large, multinational Phase 3 trials. We are members of many private-public consortia for AD in addition to EPAD, including ADNI, GAP, and the DIAN Pharma Consortium. Our corporate mission is “Human Health Care” or “hhc” – “We give first thought to patients and their families, and to increasing the benefits health care provides.”
What are your expectations from the EPAD project?
I am very excited by the opportunities that EPAD provides to advance drug development in Alzheimer’s disease. EPAD is going to make major contributions to both the science and the infrastructure needed to accelerate clinical trials in this difficult area. I hope we can help move several drugs into full development and eventually approval by regulatory authorities and access to patients, through generating data that will enhance decision-making for new drugs. I also hope that EPAD can provide a model for collaboration among industry partners to develop better treatments for other serious diseases.