Progress in Neurogenerative Disease Drug Development: Gregory A. Rippon, MD, MS


The chief medical partner of neurology, ophthalmology, and internal medicine at Genentech shared his perspective on the steps the field has taken to improve clinical trials and therapies for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

“Persistence and perseverance are important to neuroscience drug development. There is quite an intersection of things that need to come together to develop an effective therapeutic. We need to understand the disease state well enough to the extent that we can identify the patient populations that might be most likely to benefit, identify the most highly impactful targets, and then also determine what level of exposure we need to have with our chosen therapeutic agent at that target to be able to have an effect.”

Therapeutic development for neurodegenerative disorders has flourished over the last several decades, with many patient populations seeing the approval of first therapeutics, or first disease-specific agents, available to them. This progress is greatly welcomed and serves as a reminder of all the moving parts that needed to come together to achieve such success.

Gregory A. Rippon, MD, MS, chief medical partner of neurology, ophthalmology, and internal medicine, Genentech, is all too familiar with the process of drug development. Coming from a background in dementia, he and many others in the subspeciality have seen years of challenge in bringing a viable therapy to the market. However, the progress has not been lost on him. In a conversation with NeurologyLive® while on-site in Seattle, Washington, for the 2022 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting, Rippon shared some of his perspective on the field’s efforts to continue to improve therapeutics for these diseases.

Specifically, he stressed the importance of reassessing the end points and measures that are used in clinical trials and the advances that have been made in improving them. As part of the group at Genentech/Roche developing gantenerumab, an investigational therapy for Alzheimer disease (AD), he spoke to the lessons that the community has learned with regard to conducting clinical trials in neurodegenerative diseases and timing of the interventions.

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