Together is Better: Pushing Boundaries in Brain Health


Dalia Moawad
Executive Medical Director
Head of Scientific Strategy for Neurology, Ophthalmology, & Internal Medicine US Medical Affairs

Dalia Moawad
Executive Medical Director
Head of Scientific Strategy for Neurology, Ophthalmology, & Internal Medicine US Medical Affairs

Nowhere is the challenge of understanding and treating complex diseases more visible than in neurology. To effectively tackle the burden, we must fully understand the magnitude of the impact on those living with neurological conditions, their care partners, healthcare systems, economies and societies.

At Genentech, we are proud to lead innovation for neurological conditions and to highlight the importance of brain health. Through creating public awareness, our hope is that one day the signs and symptoms of neurological disorders would be recognized early and addressed as urgently as those of cancer, cardiovascular, and metabolic conditions. We are also proud of the progress we have made in neuroscience research which brought treatment options for conditions like multiple sclerosis (MS), spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD).

But even with this progress, many more questions remain. Conditions that affect the brain and nervous system account for more than 15% of all global health loss, causing more death and illness than cardiovascular diseases and cancers.1 Given the magnitude of the task at hand – we’re investing in collaborations aimed at identifying and cultivating the freshest ideas, boldest thinking and most dedicated interventions to uncover and address the full impact of these conditions.

Partnership with a Purpose

When a condition affects your daily life, every step forward is progress. That’s why we have made it a priority to forge partnerships with those who share our passion for solving these complex challenges. In fact, 50% of our medicines are a result of our collaborations with hundreds of companies, universities, and institutions around the world.

These collaborations allow us to leverage unique skills, resources, and approaches to bring both therapeutic and non-therapeutic advances to patients faster. Additionally, we’re able to reach diverse partners to ensure that – regardless of zip code, income or background – development and care delivery efforts are more accurate and reflect the experience of people living with the conditions they intend to serve.

Forging Collaborative Leadership

This spring, Genentech announced a critical expansion of our partnership with PicnicHealth, a patient-centered medical records company that uses consenting patients’ medical records to build real-world datasets through patient, healthcare provider, and care partner-reported insights. This partnership is critical to helping us better understand complex and serious conditions like MS, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and more, through curated and anonymized datasets. With these data, we may uncover deeper insights about the way these diseases affect patients in the real world, helping us pinpoint promising and potentially groundbreaking therapies for them.

Similarly, we’re partnering with Indiana University Health (IUH) to assess the current state of the neurological patient journey at rural hospitals. By initiating this study, we hope to better understand how underserved populations are accessing – or struggling to access – care, and how solutions like telemedicine may allow for timely management of complex neurological conditions like epilepsy, stroke, MS, and dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Partnerships like the one with IUH may allow us to gain insight into the lived experiences of too-often-overlooked patient populations. In doing so, we can help ensure that Genentech – and our entire industry – is better equipped to meet their needs moving forward.

These partnerships – as well as additional work with the University of Washington’s Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation and the Cleveland Clinic – represent some of the many ways that Genentech is ensuring that leading minds convene, collaborate, share and engage in thoughtful dialogue about how to best drive progress for the benefit of those impacted by brain and neurological conditions.

What Leadership Demands

At Genentech, we’ve been at the center of innovation in neuroscience for decades. The strides we’ve made – and the challenges we’ve faced – have helped us better understand the science and the process needed to deliver real and meaningful change. We’ve learned that even when something may appear as a failure in the moment, it can often be just one more step along the path of learning. When we are able to eliminate what once seemed like a potentially valid avenue for innovation, it opens us up to focus on the ones that remain, moving us closer to advances for patients.

We pride ourselves in our ability to draw on decades of scientific insights – from biomarkers to patient selection to clinical trial design and more. We know this doesn’t just make us stronger as a company, but as a collaborator who understands that true progress comes from experience, passion, and partnership, such that gaps in our reach, capabilities or insights are filled by working together.

Learn more about our partnerships by tuning into a recording of our LinkedIn Live event focused on how we are working together to power progress in brain health.


  1. Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Brain Health Atlas.

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