Prof. Keith Wesnes to speak at the 7th Annual Neurodegenerative Conditions Research & Development Meeting

By Jen Burstedt, Marketing and Communications

Professor Keith Wesnes, Practice Leader at Bracket will be speaking at two sessions during Global Technology Community’s 7th Annual Neurodegenerative Conditions Research & Development meeting, occurring September 9 – 10th, 2013 in Boston, MA.

The sessions are below and include Prof. Wesnes’ role, as either a moderator or presenter, along with the colleagues with whom he’s presenting.

A complete agenda for the event can be found at this link.

Click here to download the brochure

September 10th, 8:00 am Eastern
“Novel Therapeutic Targets and Approaches in Parkinson’s Disease”

Professor Wesnes will moderate multiple sessions, including:
• Targeted Drug Delivery to the Midbrain for Parkinson’s Disease Treatment  Richard Grondin, Assistant Professor, Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine
• LRRK2 as a Therapeutic Target for Parkinson’s Disease: Challenges and Recent Progress
 Warren Hirst, Associate Research Fellow & Group Leader, Neurodegeneration & Neurologic Diseases, Pfizer
• IRX4204, a Selective Nurr1 Transactivator, as a Disease-Modifying Agent in the Attenuation of Parkinson’s Disease Dopaminergic Degeneration
 Giulio Maria Pasinetti, Saunders Family Professor in Neurology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
• Jonathan Brotchie, Senior Scientist, Toronto Western Research Institute

September 10th, 11:05 pm Eastern
Joint Session with 6th CNS Partnering and Deal Making Conference: Recent Developments in Neuroscience Research

Moderator: Santosh D’Mello, Professor, Molecular & Cell Biology, University of Texas, Dallas “Detecting Cognition Enhancement in Clinical Trials: Exciting New Opportunities for Cognitive Test Systems That Work”

Summary:
Current focus on substances to improve human cognition function mainly concerns ADHD, schizophrenia and pathological cognitive ageing including the dementias. Sporadic recent interest has also been directed at depression, head injury, stroke, Parkinson’s disease and recovery from major surgery including cardiac bypass. However all CNS disorders and many general diseases are associated with cognitive impairment, and effective treatments can produce collateral reductions to such impairment. Despite the widespread and radical technological advances which characterize modern drug development, the bulk of tests currently used to assess changes in cognitive function in clinical trials are pencil and paper based neuropsychological tests; many developed in the first half of the last century. These tests can be lengthy to perform, have limited or no alternate forms for repeated administration and mostly require specialist administration and scoring. Automated tests of attention date back over 140 years, and computerized cognitive tests have been used in most areas of clinical research since the 1980s. Thus today such methodology can hardly be considered radical or even innovative. This presenter has used automated tests for 4 decades, and will seek to extol the virtues of automation and expose the shortcomings of traditional neuropsychological tests. Data obtained by both methodologies will be reviewed from large programs such as ADNI and major clinical trials. The FDA has recently aroused much interest by publically stating that treatments for the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s could be approved by cognitive testing alone. Overall, huge opportunities exist for the development of compounds to treat cognitive impairment in a wide range of conditions, and success will be heavily influenced by the quality of the instruments employed.

Objectives:
1. Appreciate the widespread opportunities for assessing cognitive function in drug development
2. Understand the essential requirements of cognitive tests for clinical trials
3. Get up to speed with the latest direction for treating Alzheimer’s at the preclinical stage
4. Increase the clinical and marketing potential of novel therapies

Bracket Enters a New Phase of Development

By Adam Butler, Vice President, Client Services

Everyone at Bracket is excited about today’s big news – we have been acquired by Parthenon Capital Partners and begin a new phase of development as an independent company.

Read the Press Release about the sale [PDF]

This is an exciting and challenging time to be working in pharmaceutical R&D. The evolution of research practices to focus more on technology and innovative approaches requires investment, a careful consideration of the results, and a commitment on combining the best science with the most effective tools. Bracket’s mission is to deploy superior data and technology insight and knowledge, ensuring accuracy, visibility and efficiencies in our clients’ clinical trial studies. The investment that Parthenon is making in Bracket will allow us to continue to serve that mission, and in the process help our pharmaceutical and CRO partners be more successful in our combined efforts.

If you are an existing Bracket partner, it is our hope that this transition is a seamless one. There are no planned changes in how we staff our projects or serve our existing clients. And our new independence will give us new tools to continue to invest in being the right choice for both our existing partners, and our new ones in the future.

Suicidality Ideation and Behavior Measurement Instruments in Clinical Trials

By Cheryl Selleny, Marketing & Communications

Adam Butler, VP of Client Services at Bracket, along with a distinguished group of industry colleagues at the International Society for CNS Clinical Trials and Methodology (ISCTM) worked together over the past few years examining issues related to the use of Suicidality Ideation and Behavior measurement instruments in clinical trials. Their work was published in the June issue of Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience. Click on the below link to read the paper.

Study Site Experiences and Attitudes Toward Prospective Assessments of Suicidal Ideation and Behavior in Clinical Trials: Results of an Internet-based Survey
By Michelle Stewart, PhD; Adam Butler; Larry Alphs, MD, PhD; Phillip B. Chappell, MD; Douglas E. Feltner, MD; William R. Lenderking, PhD; Atul R. Mahableshwarkar, MD; Clare W. Makumi, PharmD, MBA; Sarah Dubrava, MS; and the ISCTM Suicidal Ideation and Behavior Assessment Working Group