EPAD Coordinators comment on closure of Longitudinal Cohort Study

By now you will perhaps already be aware of the unexpected closure of the EPAD Longitudinal Cohort Study. We are writing to you to explain the background to this and also to thank you for your commitment to this research and the fight to understand Alzheimer’s disease better and develop better treatments that will prevent dementia.

The grant which has funded EPAD from 2015 runs out in June 2020. This grant came from the European Union through the Innovative Medicines Initiative which was set up to allow private companies to work hand in hand with the academic and (where relevant) charitable sector. Since summer 2019, we have been working hard to secure funding for several elements of the EPAD Programme which included the Longitudinal Cohort Study. Unfortunately, our endeavours proved unsuccessful and we were not able to secure the necessary funding which forced us to close the study to our greatest regret.

As a result, it will no longer be possible to run the Longitudinal Cohort Study as a single study across all of Europe but through the passion and determination of the Principal Investigators and site staff across Europe, research into Alzheimer’s disease will continue. The Principal Investigators in EPAD may find alternative resources either for their own site or at a national level to continue some form of follow up or identify other ways of keeping research participants involved in Alzheimer’s research, if they so wish.

We know that the research teams will be planning to communicate this with all of the research participants and their study partners in the weeks and months ahead. Clearly the whole world has been affected by the Covid 19 Pandemic – so some of these discussions may be delayed longer than would have normally been the case.

We’d both like to thank all of the research participants for their commitment to the study – through the time and effort they have made and those of their friends and family who supported them in their visits.

We also know that everyone involved will have invested a lot of hope in this huge project to make ground breaking discoveries to change the future. The data we have collected already will still be able to achieve this and the longer term follow up that is hoped to be in place will only add to the incredible contribution you have each made individually and collectively.

On behalf of the entire EPAD consortium and indeed the broad research community globally we cannot thank you enough.

Thank you and be safe.

Serge and Craig

Serge Van Der Geyten is the coordinator of EPAD working at Janssen in Belgium and Craig Ritchie is the coordinator of EPAD working at The University of Edinburgh in Scotland. They have led this programme since its inception in 2014 through the funding becoming available in 2015 to start the programme.