NFL Broadcaster Solomon Wilcots Teams with MINDSET Study for National Campaign Focused on Alzheimer's Clinical Research Participation

"Huddle Up for New Alzheimer's Treatments" Kick-Off Includes Memory Screening with NFL Alumni - Northern California Chapter in Super Bowl 50 Week

Jan 21, 2016, 09:00 ET from Axovant Sciences Ltd.

NEW YORK, Jan. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- NFL Broadcaster Solomon Wilcots is teaming with patient advocacy groups and Axovant Sciences Ltd.'s MINDSET study on an educational campaign about the importance of participation in clinical trials of new drugs for treating Alzheimer's disease. Watch the campaign launch video by clicking here.

Slated for national launch this month with kick-off activities taking place during Super Bowl 50 week in February in San Francisco, "Huddle Up for New Alzheimer's Treatments" will involve a line-up of physicians who are investigators in the MINDSET study, patient advocates and former NFL players. The campaign is designed to increase awareness about late-stage clinical research and encourage individuals and their caregivers to speak with doctors about study participation.

Alzheimer's disease affects more than 5 million people in the U.S. alone and is now the sixth-leading cause of death in the country. No new treatments have been approved in more than a decade.

"Bringing new Alzheimer's treatments to market requires the help of patients and caregivers who participate in late-stage clinical research studies," said Ilise Lombardo, MD, who leads Axovant's MINDSET study and previously treated Alzheimer's patients in her position at Columbia University.  "Education and teamwork are critical to helping the medical community get potential treatments over the goal line."

Wilcots, originally from Los Angeles, is an Emmy award-winning broadcaster with CBS Sports, NFL Network and SiriusXM. Earlier in his career, he worked with ESPN and was a sports anchor and Bengals reporter for NewsChannel 5 in Cincinnati. He spent six seasons in the NFL as a defensive back with the Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings. As a member of the Cincinnati team, he played in Super Bowl XXIII.

"Alzheimer's disease is one of the most tragic health crises of our time and touches all of us through those we know and love," Wilcots said. "Fortunately, there are several potential treatments in the latest stages of development. With these important clinical trials underway, it's appropriate to name participants and their caregivers the MVPs in Alzheimer's drug development. We need to encourage more of them to get and stay involved. The participation of retired NFL players in our campaign provides a model of leadership for the general population who tend to look to us and other professional athletes as sources of guidance and inspiration, including for health and rehabilitation."

"Huddle Up for New Alzheimer's Treatments" will include:

  • Appearances by Wilcots and physicians on national and local market news/talk radio and television sports programs, including a media tour during Super Bowl 50 week.

  • The empowerment of retired NFL players to serve as role models for clinical research participation.

    Physicians involved with Axovant's MINDSET study will conduct Alzheimer's disease lunch and learn sessions and memory screenings with former players. Hosted in partnership with NFL Alumni – Northern California Chapter, the first event will take place in San Francisco during Super Bowl 50 Week.

  • A collaboration with African Americans Against Alzheimer's to reach a community that has been significantly underrepresented in late-stage clinical research.

    African American's Against Alzheimer's, a national advocacy organization chaired by former Surgeon General of the United States Dr. David Satcher, is the preeminent voice on Alzheimer's in and for the African American community. This collaboration will include grassroots activities in several U.S. cities beginning in April in Miami. A highlight will be sponsored performances of "Forget Me Not," a play by Garrett Davis about an African American family coping with Alzheimer's disease.

"African Americans are at least two times more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than non-Hispanic, white Americans but have been underrepresented in clinical research studies," said Stephanie Monroe, executive director of African Americans Against Alzheimer's. "We need to band together to increase participation in clinical trials of all demographics and encourage African American participation in particular to ensure the development of new safe and effective treatments for patients in all communities. We are excited about playing an important role in this campaign and working to find new treatments for this dreadful disease."

Sponsored by Axovant Sciences Ltd., the MINDSET study is evaluating a drug known as RVT-101 in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease patients. RVT-101 has already been studied in 13 clinical trials and administered in over 1,250 individuals, where it was observed to be well tolerated. RVT-101 is being studied as an add-on therapy to donepezil, the most widely used Alzheimer's disease treatment today. In a large, late-stage study, the combination of RVT-101 and donepezil was observed to provide statistically significant evidence of benefit to patients as compared to donepezil alone. MINDSET's objective is to confirm the results of this earlier study, meaning the MINDSET study could be the final step before the drug is considered for approval by the FDA and regulatory bodies in other countries. For more information, visit

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SOURCE Axovant Sciences Ltd.