Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia (AD) is an insidious affliction affecting almost 50 million individuals around the world, including millions of Americans, and costing over $800 billion in medical and care costs. As a result of global aging demographics, Alzheimer’s will cause untold human suffering on a scale not experienced in the modern era. The high cost, inefficiency and high risk of failure in Alzheimer’s clinical trials is perhaps the most significant impediment to faster progress against the disease. The GAP Foundation aims to drive solutions to that impediment, thereby speeding the development path for more than 100 promising AD therapies in development.
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The GAP Foundation develops and collaborates on a number of initiatives that contribute to the achievement of the Foundation’s overall goals. Current initiatives are highlighted below.
Recruiting and Retention of Trial Participants
- GAP Novel Recruiting Model—represents a continuous effort to infuse a suite of marketing tactics into ~20 communities being served by a large number of GAP-Net sites that raise public awareness to the importance of AD clinical trials and the existence of clinically excellent, well branded, trial sites in the community that are available to give interested candidates access to trials.
- National Transportation Services for Clinical Trial Participants—GAP’s national transportation contract with Lyft will ease the transportation barrier to participating in trials and has already been the subject of national press coverage.
- Acti-V8 Your Brain— GAP’s national Brain Health Initiative/Awareness Campaign. A program to partner with employers, government, and health plans to disseminate information on how to mitigate the risk of dementia through fitness, diet, and stress reduction while encouraging the curious to explore participating in trials. A topic of interest for the business press.
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Optimization of Clinical Trial Operations
- GAP Site Optimization Conference—An annual convening of all GAP-Net site operations staff members. While simple in concept, it is in fact the first AD “best practices” sharing initiative that has already spawned network wide change, such as the Lyft transportation program, a model budget initiative, and the development of CRM software system for the network.
- GAP Incubator Fund—intends to make discrete investments in and deployment of programs and technologies that will catalyze trials and reduce cost through reduction of screen fail rates
- Annual Funding of Trial Sites for otherwise orphaned operational needs—the current budgetary structure of NIA and Pharmaceutical therapeutic trials do not adequately address the liquidity needs of sites to invest in personnel and IT to meet the surging number of complex trials. GAP is committed to making “seed” investments in sites that will realize significant gains in capacity with relatively small “unrestricted” grants or loans.