The fourth EPAD General Assembly was held on May 23rd-35th in Amsterdam under the banner “How to Assure Sustainability?”. Almost 180 representatives from 37 partner institutions and several other associated institutions gathered to discuss past achievements, challenges faced so far and the expected future outcomes. The EPAD project aims to develop an infrastructure that efficiently enables the undertaking of adaptive, multi-arm Proof of Concept studies for early and accurate decisions on the ongoing development of drug candidates for Alzheimer Disease. To ensure the success of the project, efforts within all work packages are continuously made as to accelerate the Trial Delivery Centers (TDC) opening and the recruitment of research participants. The EPAD family of TDCs is growing –17 sites are now enrolling research participants, and 720 participants have been screened until now.
On the second day of the meeting, WP updates were presented during the poster session. Carlos Díaz and Sandra Pla (co-leads of WP5 Project Management) presented the assessment exercised made by the EPAD Project Management Office to evaluate the project status halfway through the project. Saira Ramasastry (co-lead of WP7 Sustainability) presented the poster “From planning to building”, which aimed at showing how the sustainable business strategy for EPAD will be built.
The highlight of the General Assembly was the presence of many young researchers involved in the project and gathered around the EPAD Academy. The EPAD Academy was officially announced at the last year GA, held in Stockholm May 2017, and was created as to efficiently foster the development of the young researchers’ careers. This year, 25 EPAD Academy fellows attended the meeting. During the third day, the EPAD consortium gathered for an EPAD Academy session, who welcomed oral presentations of nine young researchers. Several fellows also presented their work during the poster session. Synapse has been greatly involved in shaping, organising and executing the EPAD Academy activities. Iva Knezevic gave an update on the Academy`s actions and further explained the mission and goals of the Academy.
The overall impression of the three-day assembly is the importance of collaboration among partners not only to adequately reach the important milestones during the project life but also to assure the sustainability of the EPAD TDC network beyond 2019.
More about EPAD at http://ep-ad.org/