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Driving a global effort against Alzheimer’s

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Researchers are accelerating the delivery of precision interventions for Alzheimer’s disease

Researchers are accelerating the delivery of precision interventions for Alzheimer’s disease Image: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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The Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative (DAC), launched at the World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda 2021, is a leading global initiative to accelerate progress on the discovery, testing and delivery of precision interventions for Alzheimer’s disease.

Since its launch, the DAC has orchestrated the most ambitious global effort yet to combat Alzheimer’s by linking, scaling and creating existing efforts through several projects. The organisation is building a cohort of 1 million people living with Alzheimer’s who reflect the disease, giving access to real-world data on the disease to researchers worldwide.

DAC has also created a global system for developing and testing new therapies – reducing the time and cost of clinical trials for patients. It is also awarding grants to innovative approaches in the early detection of Alzheimer’s – through its Healthcare System Preparedness Initiative.

The collaborative, a partnership between the World Economic Forum and the Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease, successfully completed its foundational financing in 2021, becoming an official American and Swiss foundation.

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How is the World Economic Forum bringing data-driven healthcare to life?

What's the challenge?

More than 55 million people worldwide are currently living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. As the global population continues to age, the number of cases will rise to 152 million by 2050.

Alzheimer’s slowly and progressively robs people of their memories, their cognitive abilities and their independence. The disease undermines a person’s ability to manage routine daily activities, such as shopping, eating, bathing and banking.

Already, Alzheimer’s and other dementias impose a $1.3 trillion annual cost – expected to soar to $2.8 trillion by 2050. Healthcare systems worldwide are not prepared to treat and care for today’s population of people living with Alzheimer’s, much less the growing wave of patients to come.

Globally, three out of every four people with dementia are never even diagnosed, much less treated.

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"The progress made by the Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative since its launch in January 2021 signals the urgent need for a collective global response to the growing public health crises of Alzheimer’s disease."

Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum

Our approach against Alzheimer's.

Following in the footsteps of initiatives incubated at the World Economic Forum, such as the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the DAC is bringing new cooperative energy and global vision to the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, that brings suffering to hundreds of millions of people, families and caregivers around the world.

Advised by leaders in science, finance and healthcare, the collaborative is working to bring together governments, international organizations, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, leading researchers and patient advocates to accelerate progress in the fight against Alzheimer’s.

Since its founding, the DAC has focused on driving action in three key areas:

  • The organisation is building a cohort of 1 million people living with Alzheimer’s. This global data, available for researchers worldwide, can lead to scientific insights that generate the new innovations and breakthroughs we need.
DAC is building a global cohort of one million people who reflect the Alzheimer’s disease in all its global diversity.
  • To reduce the time and cost of clinical trials and improve their quality and diversity, the collaborative is working with partners to link a network of 90 clinical trial sites in North America and over a dozen European sites. This is part of a global, trial-ready system for developing and testing new therapies.
Building a clinical trial support network in Europe.
  • Investing to boost health system preparedness to get the right interventions to the right people at the right time. The DAC recently launched the Healthcare System Preparedness Initiative, which will award grants to fund innovative approaches to increasing cognitive assessments for people over 65 – a critical step in early detection of Alzheimer’s.
Over 75 responses from 21 countries received for DAC’s inaugural grant request for improving Alzheimer’s disease detection.

By accelerating progress in these three key areas, the organisation is working to create a new future for people impacted by Alzheimer’s disease – a future with early, routine, accurate diagnosis of the condition, with multiple therapies available, and with a healthcare system that is prepared to deliver the benefits of these breakthroughs to the people who desperately need them.

Private sector partners involved include Biogen, Eisai, Roche, Eli Lilly, IQVIA, Otsuka and Johnson & Johnson.

"The work of the Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative and its commitment to lead a new fight through new public-private partnerships will help save countless lives and trillions of dollars lost to Alzheimer’s each year."

Margaret Chan, Emeritus WHO Director-General and Founding Dean of the Tsinghua Vanke School of Public Health

How can you get involved?

The DAC welcomes collaboration opportunities with leaders across sectors and around the globe to achieve the vision for a world without Alzheimer’s disease.

Organizations can find out more about getting involved via the DAC website.

The Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative is an initiative of the Forum’s Centre for Health and Healthcare. Organizations worldwide are invited to join the platform’s work, transforming systems worldwide to keep more people healthy.

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