An Educational Course on Translating Research into Drugs
Presented by the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation
15-17 May 2016 • Budapest, Hungary


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.


PhD Attendees*


Pharma and Biotech Attendees*


Women Attendees*

*All percentages based on prior conferences held in the United States

At a Glance


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) Medicinal Chemistry Basics ;

(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.


  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


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


2015 Conference Rating by Attendees

  • Excellent 77.3% 77.3%
  • Very Good 22.7% 22.7%
  • Fair 0% 0%
  • Poor 0% 0%
  • Failed 0% 0%


Sessions are video recorded, then synchronized with slide presentations.

Review previous US-conference recordings here.


This conference has a mobile app available for download from both, Google Play and iTunes:




Use @TheADDF and #CNSDrugCourse


Howard Fillit, MD, a geriatrician, neuroscientist and a leading expert in Alzheimer’s disease, is the founding Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of Aging (ISOA), an Estée Lauder family foundation founded in 1998, and the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), an affiliated public charity founded in 2004.  ISOA and ADDF share a common mission of accelerating drug discovery for Alzheimer’s disease through venture philanthropy.

Dr. Fillit has had a distinguished academic medical career at The Rockefeller University and The Mount Sinai School of Medicine where he is a clinical professor of geriatrics and medicine and professor of neurobiology. He was previously the Corporate Medical Director for Medicare at New York Life, responsible for over 125,000 Medicare managed care members in five regional markets. He is the author or co-author of more than 250 scientific and clinical publications, and is the senior editor of the leading international Textbook of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology.

Dr. Fillit has received several awards and honors including the Rita Hayworth Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Alzheimer’s Association. He also serves as a consultant to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, health care organizations and philanthropies.


  • Howard Fillit, MD, ADDF
  • Dirk Beher, PhD, Asceneuron
  • Luc Buée, PhD, Jean-Pierre Aubert Research Centre, University of Lille
  • Lauren Friedman, PhD, ADDF
  • Tamara Maes, PhD, Oryzon
  • Paolo Pevarello, PhD, Axxam SpA
  • Diana Shineman, PhD, ADDF
  • Manfred Windisch, PhD, NeuroScios

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.

2014 US Conference Attendee

Excellent meeting! Very informative for an academic like me to learn more about the process of drug discovery. Very interesting talks pitched at the right level. Really liked how days one and two laid out the issues associated with drug discovery and day 3 presented case studies. Very eye-opening!

2013 US Conference Attendee

The meeting was excellent in scientific content, format, and opportunities for networking.

2012 US Conference Attendee

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