Alzheimer Europe held its first lunch debate of 2019 in the European parliament on 26 February 2019, focusing on dementia as a European research priority. Hosted by Anneli Jäätteenmäki MEP, the debate was attended by 64 delegates from across Europe, including the Chair of the European Working Group of People with Dementia (EWGPWD), national Alzheimer’s Associations, research partners, pharmaceutical representatives and members of the European Parliament.
Around 9.1 million people in Europe have dementia and these numbers are expected to increase to 14 million people by 2040, due to the ageing of European societies. Alzheimer Europe and its national member associations are calling upon candidates in the 2019 European elections to join their campaign to make dementia a European priority. Candidates can pledge their support on social media, simply stating that they support the #DementiaPledge2019.
A plenary session of the European Parliament has passed the European Accessibility Act, which aims to ensure that products and services are more accessible for persons with disabilities. Before coming into effect, the legislation must be formally approved by the Council of the EU, before being published in the EU’s Official Journal. As the legislation is a European Directive, Member States will then have three years to transpose it into national law.
The first meeting of the EWGPWD in 2019 was held in Luxembourg from 18 to 20 March. During the second and third days of the meeting, the members of the EWGPWD and their supporters were invited to provide input on the new IMI project RADAR AD. Interested members and supporters will have the opportunity to join the RADAR-AD Patient Advisory Board.
On 21 March, the pharmaceutical companies Biogen and Eisai announced the decision to discontinue the ENGAGE and EMERGE Phase III studies of aducanumab in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The decision to halt the trials is based on results from a futility analysis conducted by an independent data monitoring committee, which reported that the trials were unlikely to meet their endpoint.
A new Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) coordination and support action entitled “Efficiently Networking European Neurodegeneration Research” (NEURONET) has been launched. The main aim of NEURONET is to set up an efficient platform to boost synergy and collaboration across the IMI projects of the Neurodegenerative Disorders portfolio, assisting in identifying gaps, multiplying its impact, enhancing its visibility and facilitating dovetailing with related initiatives in Europe and worldwide.
This newsletter received funding under an operating grant from the European Union’s Health Programme (2014-2020).
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