Rhode Island’s Man of the Year for 2019

The Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation is proud and honored to work with GAP Net site Butler Hospital Memory and Aging Program’s Dr. Stephen Salloway, who was named Rhode Island’s Man of the Year for 2019.

It is the cruelest of diseases.

It is the sixth leading cause of death in America. 

In the United States, an estimated 5.8 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Statisticians predict that in the next 30 years, 13.8 million people may be living with Alzheimer’s if researchers aren’t able to prevent or find a cure for the disease.

Global researchers estimate there are 35 million people worldwide living with Alzheimer’s disease. 

In Rhode Island, Dr. Stephen Salloway of Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School and Butler Hospital is at the cutting edge of research to combat the disease — a brain-shrinking progressive illness.

Alzheimer’s has emerged as one of the planet’s largest, most expensive, and heartbreaking public health challenges. 

Now, there is the potential of a game-changing breakthrough with Biogen’s aducanumab, and Salloway has played a critical role in the development and clinical research of the antibody.

Salloway is a leading Alzheimer’s researcher in America, and his efforts are further bolstered by recent investments made at Brown University, including the $100 million gift for its brain science institute from alumnus Robert and Nancy Carney.

One of the world’s leading researchers is Dr. Stephen Salloway of Brown University

In March, the aducanumab clinical trials that Salloway worked on were suspended — and then this fall, Biogen announced that new analysis of the research had shown the drug was having a positive impact on slowing Alzheimer’s.

“It had some encouraging results which we published in 2016. It was covered around the world because it looked really good — many people were very interested, we had 60 patients with early Alzheimer’s on this medicine over at Butler Hospital in our memory and aging program, and from our point of view, they seem to be doing well, so we were encouraged,” said Salloway in an appearance on GoLocal LIVE. 

“Then all of a sudden in March, I got an email that the drug looked like it didn’t meet an outcome analysis — an interim analysis — and Biogen was going to stop testing it. We were blown away, how could that be, it was looking good and our patients were really devastated. They had to come off the drug. Some had been on [it] for years and actually doing well,” said Salloway.

“Then we got the news — the comeback of the year — that additional data came in and actually looked like the drug was having a positive effect, and Biogen has been speaking with the FDA, and the FDA has given them the green light to submit for approval,” added Salloway.

Biogen could double its market cap if it receives approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for aducanumab. 

CNBC’s “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer reported that Biogen, with a $54.1 billion market cap at the time, “could be worth twice that if all goes well” with the FDA. The implications for the drug potentially — medically and financially — are groundbreaking.

Salloway has urged people to consider taking part in the Butler Alzheimers Prevention Registry, whose goal is to get to 2,020 participants in 2020.

If there is a treatment for Alzheimer’s it may very well come through Salloway’s work.

Originally posted on GoLocalProv on January 1, 2020.

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