Barriers to drug discovery and development for Alzheimer disease

Howard M. Fillit, Alan W. O'Connell, William M. Brown, Larry D. Altstiel, Ravi Anand, Katherine Collins, Steven H. Ferris, Zaven S. Khachaturian, June Kinoshita, Linda Van Eldik, C. Forbes Dewey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Alzheimer disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative condition leading to progressive, irreversible loss of cognitive and behavioral function. Despite considerable investments in neuroscience research, only four drugs, all cholinesterase inhibitors, have been approved for the symptomatic management of AD in the United States. Although basically safe and modestly effective, these drugs are far from ideal, being neither universally efficacious nor disease modifying. AD exacts a considerable toll in direct medical costs, quality of life, and caregiver burden for persons and society. In addition to the obvious clinical benefit, therapeutic agents for AD and related dementias represent a considerable market opportunity for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. There are currently 8-10 million AD sufferers in the seven major pharmaceutical markets. The market will grow rapidly in coming decades, as the developed world experiences an enormous increase in its elderly population. Given the great need for new therapeutic agents to manage and prevent AD, the Institute for the Study of Aging and the Fidelity Foundation organized a workshop, "Barriers to the Discovery and Development of Drugs for Alzheimer's Disease," to examine ways to expedite drug discovery and development. The identified barriers and potential solutions will be discussed here and in the accompanying articles in more detail.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S1-S8
JournalAlzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 2002


  • Aging
  • Alzheimer disease
  • Dementia
  • Drug development
  • Drug discovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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