Samantha Budd Haeberlien, PhD: Progress in Alzheimer Drug Development

August 10, 2018
Samantha Budd Haeberlien, PhD

Haeberlein spoke about a number of topics in the Alzheimer space, including the progress that has been made and her excitement for the future.

"It's just so exciting to get multiple programs repeating that we now have drugs that are doing what we want them to do in the brain."

At the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference held in Chicago, Illinois, Samantha Budd Haeberlein, PhD, the vice president and head of Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia, and Movement Disorders in Late Stage Clinical Development at Biogen spoke with NeurologyLive about a number of topics in the Alzheimer space.

First, Haeberlein discussed her presentation about the pharmaceutical industry’s desire to translate which information is particularly important to hear from investigators in order to better inform their steps in the discovery and clinical development of possible therapies.

She also spoke about one of the major challenges that the Alzheimer community has faced: trial recruitment. Recent science has revealed the pathology of the condition occurs in the brain some 2 decades prior to symptom presentation, which has changed the way participants in clinical trials are chosen. Until about 10 years ago, the medical community has not had the tools to confirm these pathologies in patients ahead of time.

Haeberlein mentioned that she was excited about a pair of ongoing developments in the space. The first being the recent seeds of long-awaited success in the field of Alzheimer after years of failure with therapies—as she noted, multiple companies presented successful data at AAIC. Second, Haeberlein explained her excitement about all the talk regarding possible biomarkers in imaging and blood that would help to identify how to bring forward new medicines.