Howard Fillit
Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation


Dr. Howard Fillit is ADDF’s Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer. His introduction will provide a welcome to our 21st International Conference on Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery, a brief update on ADDF’s recent progress and will highlight the framework for this year’s meeting.


Ronald Crystal
Weill Cornell Medical College

Henrik Zetterberg
University of Gothenburg

Gene Therapy for Neurodegeneration

Gene therapy is becoming an area of increasing interest for neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Crystal is a pioneer in the field of gene therapy having carried out human trials in cystic fibrosis, cardiac ischemia, cancer and CNS disorders. This talk will highlight​ the challenges of gene therapy approaches for neurodegenerative diseases and potential solutions moving forward for Alzheimer’s disease.

Current State for Blood Biomarkers in AD

Current biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease are often invasive, expensive and reliant on specialized equipment only available at large clinical research centers. A move towards blood biomarkers could lead to earlier diagnosis, more widely available tests, and streamlined clinical trials. Dr. Zetterberg is a leading expert and driver in this field. His talk will provide an overview of landscape and future directions for blood biomarkers in Alzheimer’s disease.


SESSION I: Novel Approaches for Neuroinflammation

The field continues to learn more about the role that inflammation plays in the progression of Alzheimer’s pathology. This session highlights preclinical drug development, clinical trials and an imaging agent in development to target various aspects of neuroinflammation.

Lauren Friedman

Session Overview

Edward Spack
Vector BioSol./Therini

Preclinical Development of an Antibody Therapeutic and an Imaging Agent Targeting Fibrin-Mediated Neuroinflammation

CJ Barnum
INmune Bio

Phase 1b Study in AD Patients with Neuroinflammation

Linda Van Eldik
University of Kentucky

Development of Novel Anti-Neuroinflammatory Small Molecule Drug Candidates

Martin Pomper
Johns Hopkins University

Imaging Brain Inflammatory States: Focus on CSF1R

SESSION II: Metabolic and Mitochondrial Approaches for Alzheimer’s Disease

Mounting evidence suggests that energy dysregulation in the form of metabolic or mitochondrial changes can contribute to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. This session features a company developing innovative new drugs targeting mitochondria and the presentation of two completed clinical trials in the space.

Meriel Owen

Session Overview

Amy Ripka
Lucy Therapeutics

A Mitochondrial Approach for Alzheimer’s Disease

Gary Gibson
Burke Neurological Inst.

Benfotiamine in Alzheimer’s Disease: A Pilot Study

Paul Edison

Effect of Novel GLP1 Analogue, Liraglutide on Microglial Activation and Cerebral Glucose Metabolism in Mild Alzheimer’s Disease

SESSION III: Emerging Areas in Drug Development for Neurodegeneration

The ADDF closely follows emerging areas of aging biology that could be targeted to halt, prevent and cure Alzheimer’s and related dementias. This session will feature overviews of some of these promising areas which include cellular senescence, autophagy and vascular contributions to dementia.

Nick McKeehan

Session Overview

Darren Baker
Mayo Clinic

The Role of Senescent Cells in Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

Ralph Nixon
NS Kline Inst.

Autophagy in Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias

Berislav Zlokovic

Neurovascular Contributions to Neurodegeneration

SESSION IV: Neuroprotection, Synaptic Health and Neurotransmitters

Synaptic and neuronal degeneration have been linked to the cognitive decline experienced in Alzheimer’s and related dementias. This session underscores the innovative work in neuroprotection featuring new progress from companies and in academic labs as well as the results from two completed clinical trials.

Alessio Travaglia

Session Overview

Dianne Perez

Novel Positive Allosteric Modulators of the Alpha1A-Adrenergic Receptor to Treat Alzheimer’s Disease

Sharon Rosenzweig-Lipson

In Vivo Characterization of a GABA-A alpha-5 Positive Allosteric Modulator

Ana Pereira

Clinical Trial Results: Glutamate Modulator Riluzole in Patients with Mild Alzheimer’s Disease

Mark Gurney
Tetra Therapeutics

BPN14770 Safety and Cognitive Benefit in Young and Elderly Subjects

SESSION V: Novel Biomarkers in Alzheimer’s Disease

Biomarkers play an important role in many aspects of clinical care and development including diagnosis, prognosis, clinical trial enrollment, enrichment, monitoring and outcomes. This session will feature some of the most promising emerging fluid, digital and imaging biomarkers in development for Alzheimer’s disease.

Nicole Bjorklund

Session Overview

Lampros Kourtis

Digital Biomarkers in Alzheimer’s Disease

Sidney Strickland
The Rockefeller Univ.

High Molecular Weight Kininogen (HKc) as a Diagnostic Tool for Alzheimer’s Disease

Douglas Galasko
UC San Diego

TABLOOD: A Biomarker Panel for Direct Assessment in Blood of Alzheimer’s Disease Patho-physiological Hallmarks

Chunlei Liu
UC Berkeley

Magnetic Susceptibility as a Biomarker for Alzheimer’s Disease

Samuil Umansky
DiamiR Biosciences

Circulating Brain-Enriched MicroRNAs as Peripheral Biomarkers of Neurodegeneration

Hüseyin Firat

A Rapid Non-invasive Diagnostic Test to Predict Mild Cognitive Impairment and Early Alzheimer’s Disease


This session will feature research from early investigators in the academic community focused on drug development for Alzheimer’s and related dementias.


This session will feature drug development programs being pursued by start-up companies.