+1.212.901.8009 sclassen@alzdiscovery.org

An Educational Course on Translating Research into Drugs
Presented by the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation
February 4-6, 2018 • Washington, DC

At a Glance

This didactic conference will educate scientists on the processes of translating basic research into novel therapies and will leave participants with a strong knowledge base and relevant resources to address the associated barriers and challenges in developing a drug.

The programs will also highlight case studies of small molecule and biologics programs at different stages of development aimed at tackling challenging CNS targets relevant to neurodegenerative diseases.


This conference will provide participants with fundamental knowledge and resources on developing new drugs to treat and prevent neurodegenerative diseases, and will address the challenges associated with the following sub-topics:

(1) Embarking on a Drug Discovery Campaign;

(2) Starting at the End: The Pharmacology-Chemistry Interface in Preclinical Drug Development;

(3) Drug Discovery: From Lead to Clinical Candidate;

(4) Strategies for CNS Targets: Case Study Examples; and

(5) Commercialization Strategies: Developing Science into Products.

Discussions will include relevant examples focused on small molecule and biologic development for Alzheimer’s and related neurodegenerative diseases. Sessions will consist of 30 minute presentations with ample time for Q&A, and the program will include sessions for networking, partnering/mentoring, and posters presented by young investigators.


  1. Train a cadre of interdisciplinary scientists in the principles of drug discovery for neurodegenerative disease.
  2. Provide a platform to exchange ideas, knowledge and resources about drug discovery for neurodegenerative disease.
  3. Stimulate pre-clinical research in the discovery and testing of novel compounds aimed at the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative disease.
  4. Build public-private partnerships that will accelerate drug discovery for neurodegenerative disease.


  1. Challenges and opportunities in academic drug discovery
  2. Fundamentals of medicinal chemistry relevant to drug discovery for neurodegenerative diseases
  3. Newest trends in assay development and high throughput screening (HTS)
  4. Go-no-go criteria for preclinical development, including pharmacokinetic behavior of candidate compounds, aqueous solubility, blood-brain barrier permeability, preliminary safety, and manufacturing issues
  5. Study design considerations for animal model experiments
  6. Biologics for challenging CNS targets and strategies to optimize brain delivery
  7. Requirements for an Investigational New Drug (IND) application
  8. Commercialization strategies for developing science into products
  9. Best practices for working with tech transfer offices, managing intellectual property, and the role of funding organizations
  10. Funding & resources for preclinical therapeutics development for neurological disorders


Thirty ADDF Young Investigator Scholarships will be presented, each providing:

  • A single registration to attend the conference
  • Opportunity to present a poster at the conference
  • Name recognition in the program and on the conference website

AWARDS—Five Young Investigator Scholarship recipients will also be selected to receive an Outstanding Young Investigator Award, which provides hotel accommodations.  Read more


Delegates at the Annual Drug Discovery for Neurodegeneration Conference are drawn from academia, industry, associations/societies, government and media.

The event attracts about 150-170 attendees allowing for a higher degree of interactivity and networking. The target audience consists mainly of:

  • Academic and industry scientists engaged in drug discovery research for neurodegenerative disease or CNS
  • Business development and licensing professionals
  • Alliance management professionals
  • Young investigators and graduate students


2017 Conference Rating by Attendees

  • Excellent 79%
  • Good 21%
  • Fair 0%
  • Poor 0%


Sessions are video recorded, then synchronized with slide presentations. Review these here.



Use @TheADDF and #CNSDrugCourse


























fillit 2013Dr. Howard Fillit is an internationally recognized physician-scientist (a geriatrician and neuroscientist) and non-profit executive. He is a leading expert in Alzheimer’s disease with extensive experience in academia, philanthropy and industry.

Dr. Fillit is the founding Executive Director and member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for the Study of Aging (ISOA), a private foundation established by Leonard and Ronald Lauder in 1998.

Since 2004, he has also been the Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), a public charity and affiliate of ISOA. ISOA and ADDF are dedicated to accelerating drug discovery and development for Alzheimer’s disease. Since 1998, these organizations have provided over $103MM to over 564 academic and biotechnology drug discovery and development programs in 19 countries.

Dr. Fillit currently holds the title of clinical professor of geriatrics and palliative medicine, medicine, and neuroscience at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (NY). He is also a Physician at The Rockefeller University Hospital. He received his BA in neurobiology cum laude from Cornell University, and his MD from the SUNY-Upstate Medical University.

From 1995-1998, ­­Dr. Fillit was the Corporate Medical Director for Medicare at NYLCare Health Plans (one of the largest national managed care organizations in the US at the time, a division of New York Life acquired by Aetna), providing leadership for program and policy in the provision of managed care to over 125,000 elderly individuals in several regional US markets.

Dr. Fillit has served as a member of the Board of Directors for several biotechnology companies, and has been a consultant to, member, or Chair of Scientific and Clinical Advisory Boards for numerous pharmaceutical, biotechnology and health care companies.


Kurt Brunden, PhD, University of Pennsylvania

Howard Fillit, MD, ADDF

Lauren Friedman, PhD, ADDF

Marcie Glicksman, PhD, Orig3n

Andrew Koemeter-Cox, PhD, ADDF

Frank Longo, MD, PhD, Stanford University

Suzana Petanceska, PhD, National Institute on Aging

Edward Spack, PhD, Vector BioSolutions

D. Martin Watterson, PhD, Northwestern University

Terrific course on drug discovery in neurodegeneration with great info from target biology, to screening, to chem strategies, to pre-clinical evaluation.

Attendee at the 2017 Conference

Great size meeting with a balanced representation of academia, industry, and non-profit sectors. Lots of opportunity for networking in smaller settings and senior people are happy to approach trainees, which initiated some great discussions and opened opportunities for future collaboration/ career opportunities. The course-like format also offered a lot of novel, relevant and up-to-date info for trainees from various backgrounds.

Attendee at the 2016 Conference

I really enjoyed the multiple opportunities for socializing. I was able to hear the informal stories of some of the projects and then later hear the full technical presentation. And then I had opportunity for further conversation. Very nice.

Attendee at the 2015 conference




Attendee Market Distribution

Percentage of respondents agreeing on having sufficient opportunities to network at the event:

Percentage of respondents agreeing on program helping improve attendees’ scientific research:



Attendee Academic Distribution

  • Academia 49%
  • Industry 21%
  • Start-up Biotech 17%
  • Association/Foundation (Non-Profit) 9%
  • Government 3%
  • Media 1%



  • PhD 60%
  • PhD (cand.) 12%
  • MD and MD, PhD 8%
  • PharmD 2%
  • Other (MBA, JD, etc.) 18%

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