A Word from the CEO
March 3, 2014
By Bev Heim-Myers
I have just returned from the 9th Annual CHDI Therapeutics Conference. I hope you all followed HDBuzz on Twitter to get the just in time updates on the research presented. If you missed the ongoing updates you can go to HDBuzz to see summaries of the research presented, now.
It was an exciting conference as we learned of the new therapies that are approaching the clinical testing stage for HD. New technologies will be needed to determine whether or not new therapies may work. This is an important step given we will want to test new drugs in pre-symptomatic HD mutation carriers. It all takes time but we are getting closer.
This was the 4th Annual CHDI Therapeutics Conference that I have attended. Over those 4 years we have seen more research about Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, ALS, MS and even Cancer and potential overlapping therapies and biological processes. In four short years we know so much more, including what doesn’t work, paving the way to focus on what does work.
All of the incredibly smart, hardworking researchers have brought us much closer to clinical trials for HD. There is a much stronger sense of what needs to be done and a willingness to collaborate and share knowledge to expedite the process.
Although this was a research conference the inspiring families that deal with HD daily are never far from the minds of the researchers and clinicians. You can feel the sense of urgency on everyone’s part. It is clear that we are not working to build a global research empire, rather we are focusing on collaborating and finding reliable treatments for HD.
Robert Pacifici, from CHDI, said it best when he thanked the HD families and acknowledged that the researchers, “trade inspiration from our families for hope”. Our HD families are incredibly inspiring and there is reason to have substantive hope.