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Leading Scientists Call for Urgent Action to Accelerate Alzheimer’s Treatment and Prevention

Summit declaration on Alzheimer's treatment and prevention

Published November 08, 2013

NEW YORK, November 8, 2013 - Global experts in Alzheimer's disease underscored today the urgency of developing new medicines to prevent and treat this serious brain disorder, calling on governments and the international community to take immediate action to solve challenges holding back Alzheimer's drug development. Released at the "Alzheimer's Disease Summit: The Path to 2025" in New York, the Declaration On Alzheimer's Treatment and Prevention warns of the rapidly rising burden of Alzheimer's disease and endorses a series of reforms to make Alzheimer's R&D more efficient and successful, including streamlining clinical trials and facilitating data sharing among companies and researchers. 

Signed by 22 scientists and other leaders involved in Alzheimer's disease, who comprise the organizing committee of the Alzheimer's Disease Summit, the declaration follows the release of a new draft report that for the first time quantifies the high risk and cost of developing an effective Alzheimer's drug. The report, commissioned by the New York Academy of Sciences, identifies opportunities to cut the costs of Alzheimer's drug development by nearly two-thirds and deliver new prevention and treatment options to patients faster.

The declaration calls for greater collaboration and commitment in Alzheimer's R&D across sectors. To avert the impending crisis of Alzheimer's disease, others are urged to sign the declaration, including representatives from academia, industry, government, and philanthropy.  To sign, please email your name, credentials, title, and professional affiliation to

Alzheimer's Disease Summit: The Path to 2025


The global response toward many major diseases has led to a significant extension of lifespan. However, because of this triumph, new later-in-life health challenges are emerging that require a concerted international effort to overcome. The growing prevalence of dementia, with Alzheimer's disease being the most common form, is a huge health and economic crisis with national and global implications. Dementia affects memory, behavior and the ability to perform everyday tasks and represents an area of enormous unmet medical need. Worldwide, more than 35 million people live with Alzheimer's disease at a global cost exceeding US $600 billion annually. Absent effective prevention and treatments, these numbers will be even more staggering in 15 years, with an expected doubling of prevalence and an 85% increase in worldwide costs.  Since every Alzheimer's patient has, on average, 3 caregivers (often family members), the global burden of this disease is staggering.

We can avert this crisis by working together to develop new treatments and interventions while easing the burden for patients, caregivers and their communities. Thus, we are calling for a concerted response from leaders in industry, academia, government, finance, philanthropy and advocacy to act now. We must overcome the critical challenges impeding our success to ensure the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's disease and dementia by 2025.

We believe that success is possible by:

  • Generating a greater diversity of therapeutic approaches leading to validated targets as well as biomarkers of disease progression;


  • Establishing more efficient clinical trial systems and innovation-friendly reimbursement of new diagnostics and treatments, thereby reducing the time, cost and risk of bringing new products to market;


  • Advancing new arrangements among stakeholders to assure greater ease in sharing information;


  • Increasing public investment in research and development and mobilizing innovative forms of private and philanthropic investment to ensure that the underlying causes of the disease are fully understood and that effective treatments and preventions are made available to affected populations; and


  • Securing commitments from national healthcare systems to provide high-quality support and care of families experiencing this disease.


By coming together and committing to action based on the above points, we as a community-spanning multiple sectors-aim to mitigate the burden of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. We invite others, including academic researchers, industry scientists, funders and philanthropists, government leaders and policy advocates, to join in this pledge. We believe it is only by working together that we will make true progress in alleviating the growing global burden of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Signed by the Organizing Committee of "The Alzheimer's Disease Summit: The Path to 2025":

  • Alan Cross, PhD, Senior Director, Neuroscience iMed, AstraZeneca
  • Sonya Dougal, PhD, ‎Director, Steven and Alexandra Cohen Veterans Center, NYU Langone School of Medicine; and former Director, Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia Initiative, The New York Academy of Sciences
  • Cynthia Duggan, PhD, Associate Director, Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia Initiative, The New York Academy of Sciences
  • Howard Feldman, MD, FRCP(C), Executive Associate Dean, Research/Professor, Division of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia
  • Surya Kolluri, Managing Director, Bank of America
  • Michael Krams, MD, Global Head of Quantitative Sciences at Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Ian Kremer, JD, Executive Director, Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer's Disease
  • Tetsuyuki Maruyama, PhD, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Pharmaceutical Research Division, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company
  • Richard Mohs, PhD, Vice Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine; and Distinguished Research Fellow, Eli Lilly and Company
  • Jeffrey S. Nye, MD, PhD, Vice President & Global Head, Neuroscience External Innovation, Janssen R&D
  • Ronald C. Petersen, MD, PhD, Director, Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Mayo Clinic
  • Gregory A. Petsko, DPhil, Professor of Neurology, Weill Cornell Medical College; and Tauber Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry, Emeritus, Brandeis University
  • Andrea Pfeifer, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, AC Immune SA
  • Thomas Rooney, PhD, Head, Translational Research for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Aging Therapeutic Strategic Unit, Sanofi
  • Ellis Rubinstein, President and CEO, The New York Academy of Sciences
  • Darryle D. Schoepp, PhD, Senior Vice President and Franchise Head, Neuroscience & Ophthalmology, Merck and Company, Inc.
  • Diane Stephenson, PhD, Executive Director, Coalition Against Major Diseases (CAMD), Critical Path Institute
  • Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD, Director, Genetics and Aging Research Unit, MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease; and Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School
  • John Trojanowski, MD, PhD, Co-Director, Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research; Director, Institute on Aging & Director; and Director, Alzheimer's Disease Core Center, University of Pennsylvania
  • Diana van de Hoef, PhD, Associate Director, Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia Initiative, The New York Academy of Sciences
  • George Vradenburg, Convener, The Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer's Disease; and Chairman/Co-Founder, USAgainstAlzheimer's
  • Michael Weiner, MD, University of California, San Francisco


About the Alzheimer's Disease Summit

"The Path to 2025" Summit of November 6-7, 2013, began a new biannual meeting intended to identify the actions needed to achieve the goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer's disease by 2025. These actions include the identification of additional public and private resources dedicated to Alzheimer's research and development; the execution of field-wide priorities in research and drug development; and adoption of reforms recommended in the RTI report, "Economic Analysis of Opportunities to Accelerate Alzheimer's Research and Development," commissioned by the New York Academy of Sciences. This Summit is intended to alternate with the biannual Alzheimer's Disease Summits convened by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). "The Path to 2025" is a project of the New York Academy of Sciences, the Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer's Disease and the National Institute on Aging/NIH. The Academy, through its Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia Initiative, has prioritized Alzheimer's disease because of the inherent societal and economic challenges and the opportunity to advance science and deliver transformative solutions for those with and at risk for Alzheimer's disease.

Presentations and discussions at "The Path to 2025" focused on ways for public and private sector organizations, including those in the biopharmaceutical, academic, government, technology, financial services, healthcare delivery, philanthropic and patient advocacy communities, to collaborate more strategically and efficiently on Alzheimer's research and drug development goals. For more information on the Summit, visit