Moving Mountains to Make a Difference in Alzheimer’s Disease

Moving Mountains to Make a Difference in Alzheimer’s Disease

NEW YORK (February 3, 2011) – Pfizer Inc., together with its collaborator on the Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Program, Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy, is pleased to announce the addition of the National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA), an organization that empowers family caregivers to act on behalf of themselves and their loved ones, as a supporter of The 7 Summits Climb for Alzheimer’s: Memories are Everything campaign.  NFCA joins the campaign just as alpine mountaineer and Alzheimer’s disease advocate Alan Arnette successfully summitted Aconcagua in Argentina, his second climb of the 7 Summits.  Through this campaign, Alan is seeking to climb the 7 Summits, the highest peak on each continent, in order to help raise awareness of the enormous financial and personal burden Alzheimer’s places on people with the disease, their family caregivers and society.  In addition, he hopes to raise $1 million.  The funds he raises will go directly to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund™, and now NFCA to advance Alzheimer’s research and support for family caregivers, respectively.  It is estimated that more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s and approximately 10.9 million unpaid caregivers see to their daily needs.

“As the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s increases over the next few decades, so too will the burden of this devastating disease on family caregivers, which is why continued resources and support are essential,” said Gregory Rippon, MD, MS, Senior Director, Specialty Neuroscience, Clinical Development & Medical Affairs, Pfizer, on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Program.  “We are excited that NFCA has joined this effort, as their participation expands the reach of the 7 Summits campaign to focus on this critical audience.” 


Prior to Aconcagua, Alan summitted the first of the 7 Summits — Mt. Vinson Massif, the highest peak in Antarctica — in December.  Coming up in April, Alan is planning to summit Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world.  The Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Program of Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy and Pfizer Inc. is funding Alan’s climbs so that all money he raises from donations will go directly to the organizations he has selected.  You can track Alan’s progress or make a donation to one of his chosen charities by visiting or

“2011 marks the Year of the Caregiver, and as such, we are thrilled to join Alan in his efforts to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s and the burden it places on family caregivers,” said Suzanne Mintz, president and CEO of NFCA.  “We applaud Alan for his commitment, perseverance and tireless advocating for the AD community.”

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, with another person newly diagnosed every 70 seconds.  The burden of caring for these patients often falls to family members.  Last year, these family caregivers provided about 12.5 billion hours of unpaid care.


Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Program

The Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Program of Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy and Pfizer Inc. is an equal collaboration committed to researching and developing selective products for the treatment and/or prevention of neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease.

The Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Program believes that it is possible to reduce the burden of disease through early intervention in the illness.  It is dedicated to delivering comprehensive and integrated solutions that help address the needs of people impacted by Alzheimer’s disease.

Its research focuses on the beta amyloid hypothesis.  Scientific evidence supports the idea that preventing the accumulation and/or promoting the removal of beta-amyloid may have the potential to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and help preserve function in people with the disease.  This theory is being tested in clinical trials.


Pfizer Inc.: Working together for a healthier world™

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to improve health and well-being at every stage of life.  We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacturing of medicines for people and animals.  Our diversified global health care portfolio includes human and animal biologic and small molecule medicines and vaccines, as well as nutritional products and many of the world’s best-known consumer products.  Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time.  Consistent with our responsibility as the world’s leading biopharmaceutical company, we also collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us.  To learn more about our commitments, please visit us at


National Family Caregivers Association

National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA) envisions an America in which family caregivers lead full and productive lives, free from depression, pain, isolation, and financial distress.  NFCA provides family caregivers support, education, and a public voice.

Cure Alzheimer’s Fund

The Cure Alzheimer’s Fund is a non-profit public charity established to provide funding for targeted research into the causes of Alzheimer’s disease.  The Cure Alzheimer’s Fund exists exclusively to fund targeted research to hasten the slowing, stopping or reversing of Alzheimer’s disease.

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