What is your current role in EPAD?
I am a project manager for the overall EPAD project. My main role, as member of the EPAD Project Management office (WP5), is to provide overall management to the project including supporting the coordinator in liaising with the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), follow up and management of the project plan, assurance of timely submission of deliverables, financial management, stakeholder management, procurement, reporting as well as supporting the Executive Committee, Clinical Development Executive and WP leaders in day-to-day management.
Additionally, I am also an active member of the LCS Recruitment Core Team- where we select new sites, follow up on recruitment and balance and support the sites with any hurdle they face, WP6 (Communications & Dissemination)- both internal and external and WP7 (Sustainability)- a very critical piece of work at this moment.
What did you do prior to joining EPAD?
I have been working in EPAD for 2.5 years. Before joining EPAD, I worked as a Global Regulatory Affairs Artwork Project Manager, also at Janssen. I am a biomedical scientist and biotechnologist by training with a big interest in neurosciences. My master thesis studied LRRK2 kinase inhibitors as a potential therapy for Parkinson’s disease.
Tell us a bit about your organisation
I am a consultant Project Manager at Janssen. The company to which I am affiliated to is Modis. Modis has more than 30,000 consultants in 20 countries, which provide Life Science, IT and Engineering services. Within the Life Science group, we provide services related to project and portfolio management, regulatory compliance and quality management, R&D process optimization, medical writing, early access programs and market insights, real-world evidence programs, funding and grant management, multi-stakeholder collaborations, sales and marketing, patient support programs, supply chain, etc.
Within Janssen, I am part of the Project Management Office specifically dedicated to provide support to the external funding portfolio across all therapeutic areas.
Janssen is a pharmaceutical company of Johnson & Johnson and it is committed to prevent, treat, cure and stop some of the most devastating and complex diseases of our time. Janssen develops treatments for patients in six therapeutic areas: cardiovascular and metabolism, immunology, infectious disease and vaccines, neuroscience, oncology and pulmonary hypertension. The main research facilities for Janssen Research & Development in Europe are located in Beerse, Belgium, where most of the EU Janssen EPAD team is based.
What are your expectations from the EPAD project?
EPAD is an incredibly innovative and collaborative project. After almost five years of work, I am delighted to see that soon our first set of LCS data (V500.0) will become available to the broad research community. I think that EPAD will position itself as a key initiative with amazing data that will hopefully improve our knowledge of early Alzheimer’s dementia and how to approach this terrible disease.
While discussions are ongoing with several candidate compounds for the EPAD Proof of Concept (PoC) trial, we are working hard on a sustainability model to be able to maintain EPAD once the IMI funding is exhausted. I hope that we will soon host the first EPAD PoC study and that we will continue to do so as part of EPAD 2.0. I am proud of being an EPADista and of what we have built so far. I hope EPAD continues contributing to both science and to accelerating clinical trials in Alzheimer’s disease.