• Scholarly report

Economic analysis of opportunities to accelerate Alzheimer's research and development

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) accounts for over half of all diagnosed cases of dementia, a degenerative condition that impairs memory, thinking, and independent functioning. AD is currently estimated to afflict between 3 million and 5 million people in the United States and 35 million people worldwide. Without effective treatments to prevent or slow the course of Alzheimer’s and related dementias, the number of people living with AD is projected to double by 2035 and triple by 2060 as the world population ages.

Only symptomatic treatments for AD are currently available; the most recent of these, memantine, was approved in 2003. Since then, numerous candidate agents have failed after reaching the final Phase of clinical development.1

In response to the challenges faced by the drug industry, industry leaders and academics have come together in joint initiatives to work toward overcoming common barriers to the discovery and development of AD therapeutics, especially those therapeutics that could prevent or slow disease progression (Table ES-1). Example initiatives include the National Institutes of Health Alzheimer’s Disease Research Summit, Ware Invitational Summit, The New York Academy of Sciences’ Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Initiative (ADDI), and the Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease.


Scott, T., O'Connor, A., Link, AN., & Beaulieu, T. (2013). Economic analysis of opportunities to accelerate Alzheimer's research and development. (Prepared for New York Academy of Sciences). Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI International.