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“Today, 47 million people live with dementia worldwide, more than the population of Spain. This number is projected to increase to more than 131 million by 2050, as populations age. Dementia also has a huge economic impact. The total estimated worldwide cost of dementia is US$818 billion, and it will become a trillion dollar disease by 2018” (1).

Because of the social impact of this chronic neurodegenerative disease, it has become a major target for new therapies and, together with Parkinson’s, accounts for approximately a third of all neurological trials initiated over the past five years (2). Despite this, the success of new medicines in the area is poor. At present, the only products on the market are Cholinesterase inhibitors and N-methyl-D-asparate (NMDA) antagonists, providing symptomatic therapy. Consequently, the drive for diseasemodifying treatments is huge, and, despite major setbacks for drugs in trials to date, in 2016, 51 Alzheimer’s trials were initiated compared to five in 2002 (3,4). Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network Trial (DIAN-TU) represents a new frontier for assessing the impact of disease-modifying drugs as it targets patients with a genetic predisposition and starts treatment prophylactically.

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Graham Wylie has more than 25 years’ experience in the pharma industry working for Pfizer, PAREXEL, and Healthcare at Home. He was also named as one of the most influential leaders in the pharma industry by PharmaVOICE 100 in 2014. Graham joined Healthcare at Home in 2005 to set up their trial division and led the management buy out to create MRN in 2006.
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