Updates on the Diagnostics Accelerator, Future Goals of the ADDF: Howard Fillit, MD

The founding executive director of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation commented on ongoing developments from the organization, particularly the diagnostics accelerator, which aims at identifying a better way to diagnose Alzheimer disease. [WATCH TIME: 6 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 6 minutes

“For a long time, there wasn’t any hope. We didn’t know much about the disease, there were no real diagnostics tests. We hadn’t had an FDA approval since 2003, until Aduhelm, and things are changing rapidly. The science that we built over the last 35-40 years, is finally coming to harvest and being translated into drug development, and I’m really excited—it’s really amazing.”

The Diagnostics Accelerator, an initiative from the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), has helped to fund nearly 40 different programs globally over the last 3 years, including a large portion of blood tests and digital tests. Howard Fillit, MD, founding executive director of the ADDF, sat down with NeurologyLive® to discuss the Diagnostics Accelerator, as well as future plans for the foundation overall.

Fillit commented on the first portion of the Diagnostics Accelerator, dubbed Diagnostics 1.0, whichincludes 1 program the focuses on speech, language, memory, cognition and affect, for patients with Alzheimer disease (AD), which will help to identify apathy in those who have an early AD diagnosis, as this neurological symptom is often misdiagnosed as depression. The 2.0 version of the Accelerator, Fillit said, will focus more on commercialization and later-stage projects aimed at FDA approval, wide dissemination, and payer reimbursement.

Fillit explained that the ADDF has moved its portfolio to the clinic, supporting approximately 30 different clinical trials in partnership with other organizations. The ADDF also aims to build on data in the repurposing portfolio, as an important philanthropic effort, as there are existing barriers getting these drugs to market for a new indication.