Another EPAD year has passed and we are proud to look back at a lot of successful deliveries and established relationships. To celebrate turning four, we look back at some of our key achievements of the past 12 months.
On 16th January, the EPAD Academy officially started its first activity by proposing online webinars by world-class senior researchers on current topics in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research for EPAD Fellows.
On 27th February, our partner Alzheimer Europe held a successful lunch debate entitled “Will we be able to prevent Alzheimer’s dementia” at the European Parliament in Brussels (Belgium). The lunch debate focused on the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia through three key presentations. The panel included a presentation by Craig Ritchie (UEDIN) who looked at what the EPAD project can offer in terms of research into prevention.
The EPAD General Assembly took place in Amsterdam. The meeting, hosted by VUmc and kindly sponsored by VUmc, Amgen, Novartis and Janssen, was held under the banner “How to assure sustainability”.
EPAD was on the news in Australia. Craig Ritchie gave a plenary lecture “Preventing Dementia: False Promise or True Progress” at the International Dementia Conference in Sydney on the 7th June and mentioned EPAD. The Australian national news service Nine News echoed the importance of our project (broadcast available here).
On 27th June, over 400 people attended the IMI event “Celebrating 10 Years of Medical Innovation” at the European Parliament in Brussels. Serge van der Geyten (Janssen) presented the EPAD project.
Various activities were undertaken in July to generate awareness on the importance of Alzheimer’s disease prevention and the EPAD project:
- 18th World Congress of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (Kyoto, Japan). José Luis Molinuevo (BBRC) presented the EPAD project, in two conferences about European research initiatives on Alzheimer’s disease Prevention.
- 3rd UK Dementia MRI conference (Cambridge, UK). Craig Ritchie presented the EPAD project, the progress done so far and highlighted the national and international collaborations.
- AAIC (Chicago, US). For the first time, we exhibited the EPAD study via a large EPAD booth in the exhibition area as well as hosted a satellite symposium dedicated to the EPAD PoC trial. We also took this opportunity to launch the new EPAD website and to release a new EPAD brochure.
On 29th August, the EPAD’s Scottish team were lucky to visit the stunning University of Aberdeen campus for the inaugural EPAD Scotland conference. The event gathered almost 80 delegates including participants, site staff and the wider Scottish EPAD team.
Moreover, in August, we reached another milestone as the EPAD family of trial delivery centres grew to 20 sites with Brescia (Italy) enrolling its first research participant.
September 21st marks World Alzheimer’s Day. September was a busy month for our EPAD partners and TDCs, with a number of meetings and events taking place to join the World Alzheimer’s Month campaign.
September 21st, a date we will not easily forget, as the 1,000th EPAD Research Participant has joined the EPAD family by volunteering to participate in the EPAD Longitudinal Cohort Study (LCS).
We are also pleased that the first EPAD Academy exchange has officially started in September. Gemma Salvadó from Fundació Pasqual Maragall stayed for three months at Amsterdam UMC – Locatie VUmc supervised by Prof Frederik Barkhof.
In October, the EPAD project was presented at various events:
- IMI scientific symposium (Brussels, Belgium). We are glad than three EPAD abstracts were accepted at this year’s IMI Scientific Symposium.
- CTAD (Barcelona, Spain). Craig Ritchie gave an oral overview characterising the study data and presenting initial analyses of the first EPAD data. We took the opportunity to officially release our first wave of data including the baseline data from our first 500 research participants. In addition, five EPAD posters were presented.
- Alzheimer Europe Conference (Barcelona, Spain). Stina Saunders (UEDIN) gave an oral talk on the engagement of the research participants as collaborators within the EPAD project.
- NHS Research Scotland Annual Conference (Perth, Scotland). Sarah Gregory (UEDIN) alongside two participant panel members, presented an EPAD Research Participant Panel poster.
Also in October, our sister project AMYPAD enrolled its first EPAD research participant into its Prognostic and Natural History Study (PNHS) and this at VUmc. This PNHS study has the challenge of being integrated into the EPAD LCS.
We are pleased that EPAD LCS marked its best month to date for recruitment of research participants in November 2018 with 118 new research participants enrolled.
We also welcomed the 39th EPAD partner to the project MSD (Merck Sharp and Dohme).
In addition, we are glad that several EPAD papers were published through 2018:
- “Perspectives on Communicating Biomarker-Based Assessments of Alzheimer’s Disease to Cognitively Healthy participants”, Ethics Reviews
- “European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia Registry: Recruitment and prescreening approach for a longitudinal cohort and prevention trials”, Alzheimer’s & Dementia
- “The Rationale Behind the New Alzheimer’s Disease Conceptualization: Lessons Learned During the Last Decades”, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
- “At, with and beyond risk: expectations of living with the possibility of future dementia”, Sociology of Health & Illness
- “On the personal utility of Alzheimer’s disease-related biomarker testing in the research context”, Journal of Medical Ethics
- “Research participants as collaborators: Background, experience and policies from the PREVENT Dementia and EPAD programmes”, Dementia
- “Secondary prevention of Alzheimer’s dementia: neuroimaging contributions”, Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy
We would like to thank you all for a fruitful EPAD year. EPAD combines knowledge and expertise from 39 European organisations from academia and industry. This public-private partnership in Alzheimer’s disease research is a unique collaborative effort that draws on the talents of experts from across the Alzheimer’s disease research and drug development community. EPAD emphasises the importance of collaboration between the different European sites and partners to assure the sustainability of its project. Looking forward to continuous good collaboration in 2019.
To successfully start the New Year – the pivotal year of EPAD – we are pleased that Cambridge has recruited its first research participant in January 2019 in the LCS. EPAD has now 21 sites enrolling research participants across 7 European countries (i.e. France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden and UK) and more sites to join in 2019. Stay tuned!
Wishing you all an exciting and happy New Year,