Monday, February 20, 2012: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Room 110 (VCC West Building)Recent estimates point to 35 million people worldwide who suffer from Alzheimer's disease and other dementias and 4.5 million Alzheimer's cases in the United States alone at a current annual cost of $183 billion. New cases are developing at the rate of one every 69 seconds. If nothing is done, these numbers are expected to triple by 2050. There are no approved drugs that ameliorate the pathological progress or retard disease progression, even though appropriate biochemical targets have been known for more than two decades. Solutions are urgently required. This symposium will focus on unrealized therapeutic opportunities and methods of fast tracking scientific discoveries to the bedside. An international model will be proposed that differs from traditional medical research funding. If successful, the model might be applied to other intractable disease states where therapeutic targets have been clearly identified. The model has two novel approaches: research funds to be distributed on the basis of interdisciplinary collaboration rather than single discipline competition and funding for investigator-initiated clinical trials.
Patrick L. McGeer, University of British Columbia