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World Neuroscience Innovation Forum to be Held at London’s Francis Crick Institute


Partners HealthCare, a Boston-based hospital system that includes Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, and whose faculty teach at Harvard Medical School, today announced the first World Neuroscience Innovation Forum, which will bring together senior corporate executives, top clinicians, venture investors, and leading researchers from the U.S. and Europe to battle diseases that afflict one in six people around the world. The Forum will take place at the Francis Crick Institute in London on March 27, 2017.

“Neurodegenerative and related diseases are among the greatest challenges confronting contemporary society and their enormous growth represent a potential economic cataclysm. This global gathering of some of the world’s top neuroscience leaders will catalyze new connections, conversations and thinking around these unprecedented challenges,” said Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., Vice-Chair of Neurology, Director of Genetics and Aging Research Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School.

The Forum will launch the Springboard Challenge, an award competition that will seed new international, multi-sector neuroscience teams dedicated to the development of disruptive approaches to improve therapeutics and diagnostics to treat neurodegenerative (NDD) or neuroinflammatory (NID) diseases. The Challenge will offer three awards of $50,000 each and mentorship support from leading UK and US venture capitalists. The awards are intended to fund team meetings, logistics, and strategic planning efforts for the proposed solution. Collaborations enabled by the awards will seek multi-year support from Forum industry sponsors, governments, investors, foundations and other organizations. Award selections will be made in the summer of 2017.

“Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s afflict one in six people around the world and a truly global effort is needed to combat them. The World Forum will support and enhance that effort by inspiring the kind of interactions and collaborations that can lead to life-changing products and therapies,” said Anne Klibanski, M.D., Chief Academic Officer for Partners HealthCare and the Forum’s organizer.

The Forum will feature highly interactive panel discussions on topics ranging from investment priorities to therapies to the impact of neurodegeneration on the health care system, as well as keynote sessions with Biogen and Eli Lilly.

“The complexity of discovering treatment for neurodegenerative diseases requires an innovative and collaborative approach in order to advance the knowledge we have about these conditions,” said Michael Ehlers, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Research and Development, Biogen. “Biogen is committed to researching and developing treatments for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Through our support of events like the World Neuroscience Innovation Forum, we hope to accelerate the discovery of new medicines for the people who need them.”

“Lilly is committed to battling neurodegenerative diseases,” said John C. Lechleiter, Chairman of the Board, Lilly. “The World Forum will be an important milestone in the efforts to unravel the complexity of these diseases and act on them to help millions of patients around the world.”

Sponsors of the Forum include Biogen, Lilly, GSK, Pfizer, the Francis Crick Institute, the High Lantern Group, Imperial College Health Partners, Janssen Neuroscience and MedCity.

For more information or to register, please go to

Partners HealthCare is a Boston-based integrated health system founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition to its two academic medical centers, the Partners system includes community and specialty hospitals, a managed care organization, community health centers, a physician network, home health and long-term care services, and other health-related entities. Partners is the largest academic research organization in the Unites States and a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Partners HealthCare is a non-profit organization.

The Francis Crick Institute is a unique partnership between the Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK, Wellcome, UCL (University College London), Imperial College London and King's College London.

Contact information

Partners HealthCare
Rich Copp, 617-278-1031

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