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USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute ready to take clinical trials on the road

ByrdMobileMemoryRschSuite_sm.jpeg6/28/2016 -- The Byrd Institute has unveiled its Mobile Memory Research Suite, a groundbreaking traveling “clinic” designed to bring the latest clinical drug trials to senior communities across Florida.

That makes the institute the first academic research facility in the state with a mobile clinical trials unit dedicated to finding new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, a memory-robbing illness that affects more than 5 million Americans and this week claimed the life of legendary women’s college basketball coach Pat Summit.

Although current drugs help mask the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, there are not yet effective medications to treat the underlying disease or to significantly delay its progression.

David Morgan, PhD, CEO of the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute, says that 15 investigational drugs for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are in the last stage (Phase 3) of clinical study with more in the pipeline, but getting promising drugs to the Food and Drug Administration for review can take four to five years, including more than two years for full enrollment of patients in a trial.

“We need to get drugs to patients sooner,” Dr. Morgan said. “We’re trying to accelerate the entire process, and we think that ideas like this will help do that and increase opportunities for drug study participation for a much broader range of Floridians than exists today.”

Full story with video.