How to build a foundation for the next phase of Alzheimer’s disease research

[Photo by Tim Doerfler on Unsplash]

Alzheimer’s disease has one of the highest financial burdens. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that the cost of the disease in the U.S. will hit $355 billion in 2021. 

“Not only is Alzheimer’s one of the most expensive, it’s probably one of the most devastating diseases of humans,” said Dr. Allan Levey, professor and chairman of the department of neurology at Emory University. 

However, only symptomatic treatments are available, doing nothing to slow or stop disease progression. “There’s not a single disease-modifying agent, and Alzheimer’s is now the sixth most common cause of death,” Levey said. 

[Related: Why Genuity and Emory are partnering on neurodegenerative disease research] 

The last FDA-approved drug for Alzheimer’s was approved in 2003. 

But there’s reason for…

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Why Genuity and Emory are partnering on neurodegenerative disease research

[Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels]

Privately-held Genuity Science and Emory University are collaborating with the hopes to accelerate drug research and development for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Clinical breakthroughs for neurodegenerative diseases are rare. The most recent drug to win FDA approval for Alzheimer’s, Namenda (memantine) from AbbVie-acquired Allergan, did so in 2003. And Levodopa, one of the most-effective Parkinson’s therapies, won FDA approval in 1975.

The quest for disease-modifying agents

“There are zero disease-modifying agents for Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s,” said Dr. Allan Levey, professor and chair of the Emory University neurology department.

For Parkinson’s, drugs can “can reverse symptoms pretty well for many people for many years,” Levey said. But the masking of symptoms can hide the gradual progression of the disease.

While t…

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