On 15-17 May, the EPAD project General Assembly took place in Stockholm, under the banner “From Delivery to Data”. It was hosted by the Karolinska Institutet and jointly sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim and Lundbeck. The meeting provided a chance to gather everyone who work on the EPAD study to discuss its progress and future plans.
The first day began with project leaders Craig Ritchie, Serge van der Geyten and Miia Kivipelto welcoming more than 150 delegates to the meeting. They gave a general overview of the project and introduced the agenda for the coming days. Each WP then had the opportunity to present its remit and progress so far. You can read more about each of the WPs here: http://ep-ad.org/project-structure/.
On 16 May, the General Assembly gathered for its official inauguration by HRH Queen Silvia of Sweden (pictured), who welcomed delegates to Stockholm and the first session of the day on “the future of AD research”. The programme for this second day focussed on the status of the EPAD Longitudinal Cohort Study (LCS) creating an environment for sustained success; the “EPAD enhancement programme”; and the “EPAD Academy”. In addition, Dr Gill Farrar from GE Healthcare was invited to do a presentation on EPAD’s collaboration with its sister project AMYPAD (AMYloid imaging to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease). There, she gave also an overview of the AMYPAD partners and objectives. For more information on the AMYPAD initiative, follow @IMI_AMYPAD on Twitter and visit its website recently launched, http://amypad.eu/.
Over the lunch break, WP8 Ethical, Legal and Social Implications held a Satellite Symposium on “Conceptualising Alzheimer’s Disease, hosted by Krista Tromp from VUmc Amsterdam. Dr Luc Truyen of Janssen delivered the research perspective, Dr Dianne Gove presented Alzheimer Europe’s position, and finally Dr Edo Richard of Radboud UMC spoke from the physician’s perspective. There was a lively discussion about emerging ethical issues within EPAD during this session, which continued into the WP8 breakout session at the end of the day. There were also dedicated breakout sessions for WP2, 3 and 4 at this time.
The first and final day focused on the Proof of Concept (PoC) Study Platform – progress so far and looking to the future. Presentations were done on PoC master protocol, statistics and CSF cut-off values. In addition, next steps were discussed including governance and operational aspects. Finally, the meeting closed with all delegates invited to the next General Assembly, which will take place in Amsterdam in May 2018.
The highlight was undoubtedly the presence of an Edinburgh-based research participant Eileen Penman, a member of the EPAD Research Participant Panel, who is the first member of this Panel to attend an EPAD consortium meeting. You can read Eileen’s view and thanks to the whole EPAD team as well as impressions from some EPAD researchers in an article reported by the Centre for Dementia Prevention – an EPAD partner- here: http://centrefordementiaprevention.com/2017/05/27/stockholms-warm-welcome-epad-study/