WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Global Alzheimer's Platform Foundation, Inc. (GAP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the duration, cost and risk of Alzheimer's clinical trials, today announced the appointment of Pascale Witz to its Board of Directors. In this role, Pascale will provide counsel based on her vast experience working as a healthcare executive with leading healthcare companies. The three-year term commenced on Sep. 1, 2016.
"It's an honor and a pleasure to have been invited to join the GAP Board of Directors," said Pascale Witz. "During my career, I have been involved in a number of efforts to better understand and address the challenge presented by Alzheimer's disease, particularly in its early stages. The opportunity to take on a greater role in this cause was one I eagerly embraced. I am excited to join the GAP team and my fellow board members."
"We are delighted to add such an experienced healthcare executive to our Board," said George Vradenburg, Board Chairman of GAP. "Pascale has held both pharma and non-pharma roles during her extensive career. This broad experience will be a huge asset to the GAP board. We look forward to continuing to accelerate the Alzheimer's clinical trial process with Pascale's strategic guidance."
"Pascale will significantly enhance our efforts to bring innovation and creative solutions to the clinical trial process," said John Dwyer, President of GAP. "Her strategic vision and experience with change management at Sanofi and GE will greatly inform our efforts to optimize AD clinical trials."
GAP is committed to accelerating all facets of the clinical trial process in order to speed innovative therapies to those with or at risk of Alzheimer's disease. A significant barrier for researchers is finding qualified participants – a process that can take years. GAP is pursuing a number of novel strategic relationships and marketing programs across the country, including the use of 21st Century Internet patient registries, to address the critical shortage of qualified trial participants.
Another significant barrier for researchers is the time and effort required to establish a new network of trial sites each time a new medicine is tested. GAP is working to establish a standing and standardized network available on short notice for developers of new drugs. With those and other reforms, GAP hopes to reduce the time to test new therapies by up to two years.
Pascale Witz is a seasoned healthcare executive, with experience in pharmaceuticals, medical technology and diagnostics. Until mid-2016, she served as the executive vice president of Sanofi's Global Diabetes and Cardiovascular Business. As member of Sanofi's executive committee, she held overall P&L responsibility for the €7bn global business.
International and multicultural, Pascale has lived and worked in France, in the US and UK, leading global businesses spanning the US, Europe and Asia. She strongly believes in leadership, change management, diversity and international culture as drivers for innovation. In her previous role at Sanofi as executive vice president of Global Divisions and Strategic Development, Pascale built critical capabilities that enabled successful product launches. She led a disruptive business transformation, leveraging technology and services to increase patient health outcomes and established a company-wide emphasis on patient centricity.
Pascale also has long promoted women's career advancement and female leadership. Since 2014, she has been listed as one of Fortune's Most Powerful Women in EMEA. At Sanofi, she was engaged in the Women's Forum, which promotes the advancement of women worldwide via business and social networks.
Before joining Sanofi, Pascale spent 17 years at GE Healthcare, most recently as the president and CEO of the Medical Diagnostics business. She started her career in a molecular biology research lab in Strasbourg, France.
About Global Alzheimer's Platform Foundation The Global Alzheimer's Platform Foundation was launched in 2015 by UsAgainstAlzheimer's and the Global CEO Initiative (CEOi) on Alzheimer's disease with the vision of creating an integrated global clinical trial network to reduce the time, cost and risk of Alzheimer's disease clinical trials, a critical factor in the pacing of efforts to speed an effective treatment of Alzheimer's disease to those with or at risk of the disease. Global Alzheimer's Platform Foundation, headquartered in Washington, D.C., aims to create a faster pathway to a treatment for Alzheimer's disease by 2025. It intends to do so by building a standing global clinical trial platform of willing individuals through novel web-based recruitment techniques coupled with a network of high performance clinical trial sites. Global Alzheimer's Platform Foundation also provides an organizational framework that links prominent research institutions, the private sector and government agencies in multiple countries to fight Alzheimer's disease.