ALZHEIMER’S DRUG DISCOVERY
Leonard Lauder with Leora and Steven
M. Levy of Kamber Management
Leonard Lauder with Mel and Nancy
Dr. Eric Kandel (right) with Dr.
Daniel and Mari Skovronsky
Mel and Nancy Goodes with Dr. Evan
Melrose of Spindletop Capital of Austin, Texas
Deborah Krulewitch came to support
though she said she had tripped on stairs at
Ranch in Mass.
It Takes An Enormous Amount
To Find A Drug For Alzheimer’s
HE warning was serious:
Alzheimer’s will be the most expensive disease this nation has
ever seen. It could bankrupt Medicare in the future.
This from Leonard Lauder,
co-chairman of Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) at
its second annual fall luncheon and symposium held at the
Jumeirah Essex House on Central Park South in New York. The
organization is the only one that raises money exclusively to
fund promising drug research.
"There must be 100 Alzheimer’s drugs
sitting in hospitals and drug companies that have passed phase
1, waiting to be used," Lauder said. "It takes $15 million to
get them into phase 2 studies."
Dr. Howard Fillit,
geriatrician, neuroscientist and ADDF executive director,
emphasized how expensive it is to defeat the disease: "Phase 3
takes $400 million. Who will take the risk?"
"There are no drugs today to prevent
or slow this disease," Paula Zahn said. The host/producer
of On the Case with Paula Zahn on the Investigation
Discovery channel, added: "In the U.S. every 69 seconds someone
develops Alzheimer’s disease (AD). It is a progressive and fatal
disease. It’s cruel to see the mind and spirit dim before your
In the meantime, what can you do?
Exercise, Nobel laureate Eric Kandel insists. The
Columbia University neuroscientist, who shared the Nobel Prize
for Physiology or Medicine in 2000, said it is extremely
important to walk half an hour every day. "One can’t emphasize
enough that physical exercise is important to help prevent
Bonnie Pfeiffer Evans and Alice
Shure, trustees of the Charles Evans Foundation, presented
the Charles Evans Award for Excellence to Dr. Daniel M.
Skovronsky, president/CEO of Avid Radiopharmaceuticals which
he founded in 2005.
He said his company raised $70
million. After it was acquired by Eli Lilly last year, it was
valued at $800 million.
Mel Goodes, former chairman/CEO of
Warner-Lambert Canada pharmaceutical company, said he had the
vision 20 years ago to bring the first drug for AD to market. He
also brought Lipitor to market in 1996.
A year ago he was diagnosed with AD.
He kept himself sharp physically. In July he had an operation
that was once rarely considered with an AD patient. "I had a
heart valve replacement without cutting open my heart. I have a
pig valve. In gratitude to the pig who gave his life for me, I
swore off bacon."