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February  2020

Day One
Wednesday, February 20, 2018

Day Two
Thursday, February 21, 2018

Chair’s Opening Remarks

  • Nadeem Sarwar Founder & President, Eisai Center for Genetics Guided Dementia Discovery

The Current Neurodegenerative Disease Drug Development Landscape – Challenges & Opportunities


• Unmet medical need exists across a number of neurodegenerative diseases, yet advancing novel agents towards therapeutic use has been challenging
• There is consensus that we need to develop better understanding of disease biology and pathways to select better targets, and to better incorporate translational approaches so as to enhance the    probability of success
• The overview will cover challenges and opportunities in the context of various neurodegenerative diseases, and also share emerging trends in partnership models that could create optimal value  for partners and stakeholders

A Tau-Centric View of Alzheimer Disease Suggests Multifaceted Therapeutic Targets


• In the past decades, development of therapies for Alzheimer’s disease has primarily focused on amyloid β, but more recently tau has received more attention and has emerged as a critical player
• Currently, tau targeting therapies in clinical trials are immunotherapies which have shown promise in preventing the transmission and spreading of tau pathology in preclinical models. Previous   therapeutic strategies aiming at reducing the formation or promoting the elimination of misfolded tau aggregates have been discontinued because of toxicity and/or lack of efficacy
• Phenotypic approaches using relevant disease models mimicking certain aspects of tau pathology can recapitulate the multifactorial aspects of the disease biology and it is likely that drugs      targeting different causal or modifying factors (amyloid β, tau, and APOE ε4) will be most effective. Pilot data using these phenotypic approaches to uncover novel therapeutic targets will be  presented

The Amyloid Cascade Hypothesis: The Path Forward in Development of Targeted Therapies for Alzheimer’s Disease


• Genetic data in Alzheimer’s disease point to key primary toxic role of beta amyloid
• Small soluble aggregates of amyloid, called amyloid oligomers, are toxic to neurons & drive early Alzheimer’s disease process
• Targeting of amyloid oligomers is supported by clinical benefits seen in Alzheimer’s patients treated with anti-amyloid antibodies aducanumab and BAN2401
• High risk patients with two copies of apolipoprotein E4 gene display robust amyloid oligomer pathology & are optimal population for Alzheimer’s studies
• Formation of toxic soluble amyloid oligomers is inhibited by Alzheon’s oral pill ALZ-801, a Phase 3 ready program

Neurodegenerative Fluid Biomarkers: Importance & Clinical Use

  • Jacob Hunter Director, Roche Diagnostics International Ltd


• Next-generation, standardized fluid biomarkers are critical to advancing drug development and research in Alzheimer’s Disease (and other neurodegenerative disorders)
• Evaluating novel models to enable quick development, deployment, sample testing, and analysis of biomarkers
• Discussing the future of neuro biomarkers – the impact to clinicians and patients

Speed Networking


This session is the ideal opportunity to meet face-to-face with the brightest minds working in the CNS field. Specifically designed to connect you with many new contacts, the renowned Speed Networking will be one of the most valuable hours you will spend at the World CNS Summit.

Morning Refreshments

11.30 Assessing the Emerging Genetic Targets in Neurodegeneration to Identify Crucial Therapeutic Targets

Jere Meredith, Director, Neuroscience Research Amgen

12.00 Time to Be Precise: Targeted Therapies for GBAassociated Parkinson’s Disease

Pablo Sardi, Director, Neuroscience Research & Development, Sanofi

12.30 Enabling Complex Image Analysis & Quantification Using Deep Learning Powered Convolutional Neural Network

Thomas Westerling-Bui, Senior Scientist Aiforia

11.30 Tackling the Challenges of Preclinical Models for Parkinson’s Disease to Improve Disease Representation & Clinical Translation

Sean Smith, Executive Director, Neuroscience Research, Merck

12.00 Improving the Use of Existing Animal Models of Neurodegeneration in Early Drug Discovery

Diana Price, Senior Director, Neurosciences & In Vivo Pharmacology, Neuropore Therapies, Inc

12:30 Transforming the Landscape of Neuroactive Drug Evaluation & Validation Using Modern Neurohistology

Bob Switzer, Founder, President & Chief Scientific Officer NeuroScience Associations

Lunch & Networking

14.00 Epitope Determines Efficacy of Therapeutic Anti- Tau Antibodies in a Functional Assay with Human Alzheimer tau

Jean-Philippe Courade, Director, Research Project Leader Neurodegeneration, UCB Bioharma

14.30 Microglia: A performance appraisal

Richard Ransohoff, Entrepreneur in Residence, Third Rock Ventures

15.00 Applying Novel Technologies to Advance Drug Discovery for Tau in Neurodegeneration

Fiona Elwood, Head, Neurodegeneration, Novartis

14.00 Advances in Neurodegenerative Disease Digital Biomarkers: Scaling-up vs Piloting

Spyros Papapetropoulos, Executive Vice President, Head of Research & Development & Chief Medical Officer, Canvion

14.30 Delving into the Role of Public Private Partnerships in Shaping the Landscape to Enable Precision Medicine for Neurodegeneration

Diane Stephenson, Executive Director, Critical Path for Parkinson’s, Critical Path Institute

15.00 Assessing Validation, Interpretation & Risk Factors of Neurodegenerative Disease Biomarkers: Lessons from Late Stage Clinical Trials in Alzheimer’s Disease

Cyrille Sur, Executive Director, Neuroscience Imaging Lead, Merck

Afternoon Refreshments & Networking



The Future Of Neurodegenerative Disease Drug Development

Advancing the Use of Animal Models to Effectively De-risk Clinical Development in Parkinson’s Disease


• Review value of rodent and non-human primate models in development of therapeutics for Parkinson’s disease
• Consideration of the value of models in validating targets, defining target engagement, defining target drug exposure levels and predicting Phase II efficacy of novel treatments
• Review successes of MPTP-lesioned non-human primate for motor and non-motor symptoms, including cognition, and side-effects of treatment, in Parkinson’s disease
• Review and recognize limitations of the MPTP-lesioned non-human primate in predicting Phase II efficacy in providing disease modifying benefit in Parkinson’s disease
• Review recent progress and application of alpha-synuclein-based models in developing novel approaches to disease modification in Parkinson’s disease

Panel Discussion: Stimulating CNS Drug Discovery: The Need for New Business & Investment Models


• Why (and how) investments should continue to be made in CNS drug discovery
• Assessing the successes and failures of past business models
• Motivating collaborations for shared financial risk
• Securing future investment for successful development of neurodegenerative disease treatment

Short-Fire Poster Presentation Talks


Capturing the scientific highlights of the World CNS Poster Session. This session will put the spotlight on five exceptional posters with a 5 minute presentation on each one.

Chair’s Closing Remarks

Poster Session


After the formal presentations have finished, the learning and networking carries on. The Poster Session is an informal part of the conference agenda, allowing you to connect with your peers in a relaxed atmosphere and continue to forge new and existing relationships. During this session scientific posters will be presented on new data from neurodegenerative disease research such as novel therapeutic targets, advances in biomarker development, innovations for blood-brain barrier technologies and clinical trial successes.