Dear Friends and Colleagues,
It’s February 2020 and we are just weeks away from the (delayed) end to the IMI period of EPAD. This will not be though the end of EPAD. There is still a massive amount of room to grow all our ideas and hopes within. The Change Management Team has been meeting on a weekly basis, working together (and with you) day by day over the last several months to fine tune the 5-component model and find funds to sustain each part of it from July 1st 2020. Just last week we met in Barcelona and spent most of that meeting discussing how we grow the trial centre network across Europe through collaboration with colleagues in North America who lead the GAP (Global Alzheimer’s Platform) Network. Next week in Amsterdam the Change Management Team is meeting will all the Trial Delivery Centers to discuss this collaboration further so that whatever the EPAD Trial Site Network looks like, it will be developed as a family of existing sites currently working on the cohort study or ready for undertaking EPAD trials.
For me – my personal priority – has been to secure funding for the Longitudinal Cohort Study (LCS). We did not want to compromise on quality and we did not want to make radical changes to the protocol post-IMI. We have developed a world-leading protocol through much discussion between all our partners – so much so that potential funders have been impressed massively by the depth of phenotyping, the quality and promises within our data and the ease with which it can be accessed. I am very confident we will have secured two years of funding over the next few weeks to maintain the LCS as it stands. The moment that confidence delivers a cast iron guarantee you will know.
We also have ongoing interest from companies wishing to use our trial platform but these discussions are fraught with challenges as so many factors have to align for the trials to go ahead. To this end we decided that from July we would be able to offer other roads to choose into the programme for the running of other trials e.g. smaller experimental medicine studies to compliment the ground-breaking EPAD Proof of Concept (PoC) we have all worked so hard to develop and which remains our priority.
The one thing perhaps that is going to be the easiest to maintain is The Academy. With the release of V1500.0 – we are witnessing a logarithmic increase in research activity on this database as well as the, now open-access, V500.0. In May V1500.0 will go open access and we can expect a substantial and ever-increasing number of abstracts at major international conferences from AAIC in Amsterdam forward.
This is a very challenging time in many ways – but the value we have created in the EPAD programme is staggering: The TDC Network, the Register and PrePAD system, the Data Access System and Analytical Environments, the largest cohort of its kind ever assembled, the ambitious but now fully formed trial platform with innovative master protocol, almost 100 EPAD Fellows sharing new horizons, scores of ongoing research projects, dozens of access requests for samples from the world’s largest ever biocollection purposed for neurodegenerative research and the indomitable spirit of the EPADistas –researchers and participants together – means that we will continue to succeed and bring knowledge and (one day) new treatments to prevent Alzheimer’s dementia.
In the words of the great Karen Carpenter – ‘We’ve only just begun’…….
This electronic newsletter will be published quarterly and be accessible via the EPAD website (http://ep-ad.org/) and inform the Alzheimer’s community on EPAD’s main achievements, upcoming events as well as allow you to meet the scientists who make it all happen.
We hope you enjoy this issue of the EPAD newsletter! Happy Reading!
Find out more about the latest progress of the EPAD project by accessing the full 2020-02-11 EPAD – Newsletter here.