06 January 2017

NICE takes key role in new European project for faster access to Alzheimer’s disease drugs

Patients’ priorities will be brought to the fore in new Alzheimer’s project

NICE is taking part in a European project to speed up the development of new drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

The ROADMAP initiative aims to establish a sustainable platform for real world evidence generation on Alzheimer’s disease.

The new project provides a unique and game-changing opportunity to gather evidence from other sources, such as electronic health records, and discover what outcomes are important to patients and carers.

Alzheimer’s disease, and the different ways it presents and progresses in different people, poses a difficulty for traditional clinical trials which do not always provide answers decision makers such as NICE would be looking for when assessing new drugs to treat the disease.

Professor Carole Longson, Director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE, said: “The ROADMAP initiative is an exciting new project that we are delighted to contribute to. Alzheimer’s disease represents a real challenge for both drug companies and organisations such as NICE.”

NICE’s Science, Policy & Research Programme will be involved in identifying the regulatory, health technology assessment (HTA) and payer challenges and opportunities in making better use of big data sources such as electronic health records.

NICE will also coordinate the input of policy partners across the EU to ensure their requirements are taken into account.

Professor John Gallacher, University of Oxford and one of the projects leaders, said: “Roadmap creates a pan-European collaboration of unprecedented depth and breadth.  This is an unusually exciting opportunity to identify cost-effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.”

Dr Matthew Norton, Director of Policy and Strategy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “There is still hope for a number of treatments for Alzheimer’s disease that are making their way through clinical trials, and it will be essential to have the best information available to help assess the impact of any treatments that may prove effective.

“We hope this important project will lead to a better understanding of the outcomes that matter most to people with Alzheimer’s, and help guide health authorities and industry in their efforts to assess the potential long-term effects of new treatments. This is a welcome collaboration, and it’s encouraging to see UK partners, including NICE, taking a lead in this partnership.” 

The IMI (Innovative Medicines Initiative) is Europe’s largest public-private partnership, aiming to speed up the development of better and safer medicines for patients. ROADMAP is the first in a suite of projects that are part of the IMI’s Big Data for Better Outcomes Programme. ROADMAP has a budget of €7.7 million, distributed among 22 partners from the private, academic, and public sectors