Taren Grom, Editor
NOTE: The content below contains the first few paragraphs of the printed article and the titles of the sidebars and boxes, if applicable.
The Long Goodbye: Alzheimer’s Disease
The numbers are almost as daunting as Alzheimer’s disease itself. Today, 5.4 million Americans are living with the disease. Every four seconds around the world, someone is diagnosed with dementia. According to Alzheimer’s Disease International, there are 7.7 million new cases of dementia each year. If dementia care were a country, it would be the world’s 18th largest economy, ranking between Turkey and Indonesia. If dementia care were a company, it would be the world’s largest by annual revenue exceeding Wal-Mart at $414 billion. Already 58% of people with dementia live in developing countries, but by 2050 this number will rise to 71%. Furthermore, by 2050, the costs associated with Alzheimer’s are predicted to total $1.1 trillion (in today’s dollars). Costs to Medicare and Medicaid will increase by almost 500%.
The true impact of this disease is really unknown, as the ripple effects on family members and other loved ones can’t be accurately calculated. All anyone really knows is that after billions of dollars of research and countless failed clinical studies, the industry is no closer to finding a way to stop the progression of the disease — until now.
PharmaVOICE is excited to share a new feature article that shines a spotlight on Prof. Claude Wischik, cofounder and executive chairman of TauRx Therapeutics and professor of Old Age Psychiatry at the University of Aberdeen, and his research to untangle the mystery of Alzheimer’s disease. For the past 30-plus years, Prof. Wischik and his team have been focusing their efforts on the tau protein, while the vast majority of the industry’s research efforts in AD is focused on beta amyloid.
In this month’s “The Man, the Molecule, the Market,” we track Prof. Wischik’s unique journey and how he and his team are moving LMTX, a second-generation tau aggregation inhibitor (TAI), to Phase III trials. Data released in 2008 from Phase II trials, involving 321 patients with mild and moderate Alzheimer’s disease, revealed a 90% reduction in the rate of disease progression over two years. Recognizing there are no guarantees in science, nevertheless, Prof. Wischik is hopeful and confident that his research is on the right path and that data from Phase III will confirm his hypothesis that the tau protein is responsible for literally strangling the nerve endings that results in cognitive impairment.
If Prof. Wischik is right, this could be the first real breakthrough in the disease, which was named for Dr. Alois Alzheimer, since it was first described by him in at a meeting in 1906.
Also in this issue, our Forum experts explain why and how companies need to start from scratch to incorporate the payer perspective throughout all top-to-bottom decision-making.
Another feature in this issue includes a timely article about career development that takes into account the ongoing shifts in the industry. Experts discuss the importance of mentoring, sponsorship, and coaching as part of the career development process “In Taking Charge of Your Career.”
As always, we thank you for joining us on our journey as we endeavor to bring you new and exciting insights.
Denise Myshko Managing Editor
Mentoring, coaching, and sponsorship are great tools to help those in the pharma industry advance in their careers.
Robin Robinson Senior Editor
The industry needs to rethink its managed markets strategies to succeed in the new reality of comparing outcomes, not products.
Kim Ribbink Features Editor China’s large population and growing research capabilities are just two reasons that the country could be the biggest biopharma market in the coming years.
Carolyn Gretton Contributing Editor There is a strong trend toward harmonization among global regulatory bodies to ensure and enforce product potency and safety.
Send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, title, company, and business phone number. Letters chosen for publication may be edited for length and clarity. All submissions become the property of PharmaLinx LLC.
Publisher Lisa Banket
Editor Taren Grom
Creative Director Marah Walsh
Managing Editor Denise Myshko
Senior Editor Robin Robinson
Features Editor Kim Ribbink
Contributing Editor Carolyn Gretton
Design Associate Ariel Medel
National Account Managers Trish Kane, Cathy Tracy
Webcast?Network?Producer Daniel Limbach
Circulation Assistant Kathy Deiuliis
by PharmaLinx LLC, Titusville, NJ
Printed in the U.S.A.
Volume Twelve, Number Nine
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Volume 12 • Number 9