Meeting of 4/5/18: ‘Pharma Industry and Alzheimer’s’

screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-7-10-54-pmMeeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY
April 5, 2018

Members Attending (16): Roberto Martinez, Murray, Forth, Andy Leyhane, Pat Bailey, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Jim Leyhane, Debbie Rodriguez, Dick Drumm, Ray Hannan, Julius Frankel, Charlie Foote, Dean Calamaras, Phil Kellerman, Carole Spencer, Stewart Wagner.

Guests: None.


OPENING — President Roberto welcomed members and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Join Us LogoINDUCTION EVENT — This year’s new Rotarians and members of the new Danes Rotaract Club at the UAlbany School of Public Health will officially be inducted into Rotary at our Thursday, May 3, dinner meeting. Pins have been ordered for all. Murray Forth introduced a motion, seconded by Peter Brown, to have the club pay the dinner fees for all inductees. The motion was approved without dissent. Jim Leyhane introduced a motion, seconded by Debbie Rodriguez, to give the newly-formed Rotaract unit a $2,000 grant to help fund its startup activities. The motion was approved without dissent.

RECYCLING & SHREDDING DAY — The temporary hold on our next recycling-and-shredding day has been lifted. Now that all necessary equipment has been arranged for, we’re definitely back on for Saturday, May 5. Click here for the flyer and details, and please copy and share it as widely as possible.

Screen shot 2018-04-06 at 12.48.40 PMSERVICE DOG UPDATE — Jim Leyhane reported on a meeting with East Greenbush Central School District officials about the Bell Top Elementary project to purchase and have trained a service dog for a military veteran in need. SRC donated $1,500 from the proceeds of its recent “Bowling for Vets” fundraiser to the project. Jim said plans are moving forward quickly, and the dog purchase should soon be accomplished. The training aspect takes several years.

PETS TRAINING — President-elect Andy Leyhane has completed the three-part PETS (Presidents-Elect Training Sessions) program and is prepared to assume the club presidency on July 1 when current President Roberto’s term ends.

VIKING GYM GRANT — We have received a $500 District grant to help underwrite the cost of the rustic Viking Gym constructed at Schodack Town Park.

BOY SCOUT CAMPING GRANT — Jim Leyhane introduced a motion, seconded by Dick Drumm, to give Boy Scout Troop 41 a $450 grant to help underwrite summer camping activities. The motion was approved without dissent.

Screen shot 2018-04-06 at 12.52.32 PMMISCELLANY — It was decided, and ratified by members attending, to decline an offer to participate in the East Greenbush Memorial Day Parade. … A speaker is needed for the 7 a.m. Thursday, April 19, breakfast meeting at the Greenbush YMCA. … Although we will not participate in the Rotary Youth Exchange program for the 2018-19 academic year, Roberto will ask members who usually attend only the breakfast meetings about working on having a student in 2019-20. … The Danes Rotaract Club will hold a benefit from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday (April 9) at Wolff’s Biergarten on Broadway in Albany. Proceeds will go to the Freedom From Fistula Foundation. Details are available by clicking here. … SRC will participate in District 7190’s tree-planting project. Jim Leyhane introduced a motion, seconded by Murray Forth, that each member plant a tree in concert with the initiative. The motion was approved without dissent. … Roberto and Jim will serve as SRC’s voting delegates at the Rotary International Convention in Toronto in June.

PROGRAM: “Is the Pharmaceutical Industry Ignoring Alzheimer’s?”

Screen shot 2018-04-06 at 1.07.08 PM

Speaker Andy Leyhane, PhD, a senior chemist at AMRI (formerly Albany Molecular Research Inc.), posed the question “Is the Pharmaceutical Industry Ignoring Alzheimer’s Disease?”

He said there are two theories about the cause of Alzheimer’s. One is that amyloid plaques collect in the brain. In the early 2000’s, pharama giant Pfizer and competitor Eli Lily had produced antibody drugs that showed potential in early tests. However, they failed in phase three testing to show symptom improvement, and trials were ended. One drug was approved in 2012, but it only masked symptoms. Pfizer has ended funding on Alzheimer’s Disease research as of this year.

Merck Co. began phase one testing on another possible drug. By 2016, the drug did show a reduction of amyloid plaques and the testing entered phase three, but it did not have good results either, and in 2017 and 2018 trials ended. Amgen/Novartis does have an ongoing study. And, research at the Cleveland Clinic has shown promise in slowing the disease.

Andy explained that universities and research facilities have ongoing studies to uncover new pathways as they continue to find leads to dealing with “tangles and plaques.” Recent studies also show an overlap with Parkinson’s disease.

Details of Andy’s presentation are available on the club website’s program archives page, accessible by clicking here.

NEXT MEETING — 6:15 p.m. Thursday, April 12, at Quigley’s. The program will be “What’s New at Albany Med?”

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