Alzheimer's disease collaboration

Start Date 08/11/2016

IMI roundtable discussion at the European Parliament - Alzheimer's disease: advancing research through collaboration

About one in twenty people over the age of 65 develops Alzheimer's disease. The disease kills more than breast and a prostatic cancer combined, and there is an urgent need for new treatments. 44 million people have Alzheimer’s or a related dementia – most common in Western Europe. The number of people affected worldwide is expected to reach over 100 million by 2050. Yet despite intensive efforts over many years, there is still no cure for Alzheimer’s and little in the way of treatments.

Prioritising public investment in medical research to allow game-changing advances in treating this disease requires strong support and commitment from politicians, institutions and citizens sharing the value of research.

About this event

With this in mind, IMI organised a roundtable discussion in the European Parliament to discuss the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease for patients, share the progress and results delivered by the IMI Alzheimer's Disease Platform, by the global collaboration it has set up, as well as the synergies with other EU projects in the field.

The event took place in the European Parliament, Brussels, on 8 November.

You can now dowload the agendaand the presentations from this event:

The Innovative Medicines Initiative – Promoting Collaboration for Alzheimer’s DiseThe Innovative Medicines Initiative 
Elisabetta Vaudano

EPAD (European Prevention of Alzheimer Dementia)
Serge Van der Geyten

Advancing Alzheimer Research through Collaboration: The AETIONOMY Project 
Martin Hofmann-Apitius

European Medical Information Framework (EMIF) 
Bart Vannieuwenhuyse 

Dementias Platform UK Medical Research Council 
John Gallacher

The Human Brain Project & Medical Informatics Platform
Ferath Kherif 


About the IMI Alzheimer’s Disease Research Platform projects

AETIONOMY – Organising mechanistic knowledge about neurodegenerative diseases for the improvement of drug development and therapy
Today, diseases are defined largely on the basis of their symptoms, yet while two patients may share the same diagnosis, the underlying causes of their symptoms may be very different. This means that a treatment that works in one patient may prove ineffective in another. There is now broad recognition that a new approach to disease classification is needed, and that is where the AETIONOMY project comes in. It will pave the way towards a new, mechanism-based classification of neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, thereby improving drug development and increasing patients’ chances of receiving a treatment that works for them.

  • Project budget: €18 million
  • Project website:

EMIF – European medical information framework

Recent years have seen an explosion in the number of databases containing medical and research data, yet because this data is scattered across diverse platforms, it cannot be fully exploited. The EMIF project is developing a common information framework of patient-level data that will link up and facilitate access to diverse medical and research data sources, opening up new avenues of research. To provide a focus for the development of the framework, the project is focusing initially on Alzheimer’s disease (particularly the need to identify mechanisms that make some people more susceptible to dementias, such as Alzheimer’s disease), and obesity.

  • Project budget: €56 million
  • Project website:


EPAD – European prevention of Alzheimer’s dementia

One important way of tackling dementia could lie in treating people while they are in the very earliest stages of the disease, when they may have little or nothing in the way of symptoms. The EPAD project is creating a pan-European platform to identify and follow up patients identified as being at risk of developing dementia symptoms. EPAD will then draw on the platform to test a number of novel treatments designed to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s dementia. By using a pioneering ‘adaptive’ clinical trial model, the project will be able to test multiple treatments at the same time, and analyse the results continuously. The adaptive trial model also allows a more rapid assessment of treatments and the identification of groups of patients that respond best to them.

  • Project budget: €64 million
  • Project website:
  • Twitter: @IMI_EPAD


GAP - Global Alzheimer’s Platform

The Global Alzheimer’s Platform (GAP) was initiated by the Global CEO Initiative (CEOi) on Alzheimer’s Disease and the New York Academy of Sciences. GAP’s objectives are to establish a global standing, trial-ready platform, to more rapidly test the effectiveness of drugs through an adaptive proof of concept trial mechanism. This platform will enable the delivery of efficient and effective proof of concept and confirmatory trials and ultimately the more rapid delivery of effective therapies to patients or those at risk.


Human Brain Project

The Human Brain Project (HBP) is a European Commission Future and Emerging Technologies Flagship. The HBP aims to put in place a cutting-edge, ICT-based scientific Research Infrastructure for brain research, cognitive neuroscience and brain-inspired computing. The Project promotes collaboration across the globe, and is committed to driving forward European industry.