Conducting Alzheimer Disease Trials Remotely: Pierre N. Tariot, MD


Following the COVID-19 pandemic, investigators are seeing a shift towards remote trials in an effort to avoid participants having to be in-person at a brick-and-mortar site.

“In partnership with us at the Banner Alzheimer's Institute, [Eli Lilly is] proposing a very large prevention trial [for donanemab], conducted as remotely as possible. So, we're hoping that will promote enrollment, we are hoping it will promote retention, [and] we are hoping it will promote engagement of typically more underrepresented groups, who won't have as much challenge having to travel and having to take time away from work or family.”

In an effort to make clinical trials in Alzheimer disease (AD) more patient-friendly, experts in the space are gravitating towards remote assessments and interactions, moving away from historically in-person methods following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pierre N. Tariot, MD, internist and geriatric psychiatrist, and director, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute (BAI), discussed the potential benefits of shifting towards a remote approach, namely anticipated increases in enrollment, retention, and population diversity within studies. 

Tariot commented on his involvement, as director of BAI, with the new prevention trial of Eli Lilly’s investigational monoclonal antibody therapy for AD, donanemab. In the recently announced partnership with BAI, investigators from Eli Lilly plan to conduct the phase 3 TRAILBLAZER-ALZ 3 trial “as remotely as possible,” Tariot said, evaluating the efficacy of donanemab in preventing clinical progression of AD. 

Commentary from Tariot coincides with his recent presentation at the 2021 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC), which was held July 26-30. Alongside colleagues, Tariot presented safety data on the use of pimavanserin in treating dementia-related psychosis.1,2 

For more coverage of AAIC 2021, click here.

1. Tariot P, Cummings JL, Soto-Martin ME, et al. Trial of Pimavanserin in Dementia-Related Psychosis. N Engl J Med. 2021; 385:309-319. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2034634.
2. Demos G, Foff EP, McEvoy B, Skoog B. Pimavanserin and concomitant antidementia medication use in patients with neurodegenerative and/or neurovascular disorders: safety outcomes from pooled clinical data and the HARMONY study. Presented at: AAIC 2021; Denver, Colorado; July 26-30. Poster 57661. 
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