Remarks by Insightec CEO and Chairman of the Board, Maurice R. Ferré, at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ Press Conference Unveiling Record Alzheimer’s Research Funding
June 23, 2022
Thank you, Governor DeSantis, for the kind introduction. On behalf of everyone at Insightec, I would like to acknowledge and thank the Honorable Governor DeSantis, the Florida legislature, Secretary Branham, Chair Weiss, CEO of Broward Health Shane Strum and your team and physicians, and the folks from University of Florida, and all of today’s speakers and esteemed guests.
I will keep my remarks brief. But I would be remiss if I did not begin by commending both Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature for their commitment to greater funding for research into Alzheimer’s disease.
The urgency to meaningfully accelerate the pace of medical innovation in this area is clear. The CDC currently estimates that as many as 5.8 million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. And, according to this state’s Department of Elder Affairs, Florida has the second highest incidence of Alzheimer’s in the country…with 580,000 estimated patients over the age of 65.
Work to more rapidly advance research in this space can lead to meaningful improvements in the length and quality of life for thousands of individuals and their families. Improving the lives of patients is core to our mission at Insightec. I know that mission is shared by many others in this room today.
My thanks must also include the Board of Governors of the State University System of Florida for its commitment to this work. The Board has closely partnered with Insightec and the state’s academic leadership to bring this vision to life. Thanks to their support, we are working collaboratively with an outstanding group of universities and medical center partners – including the University of Florida, Broward Health, Florida International University, Baptist Health South Florida, Florida Atlantic University, and Delray Medical Center.
As a foundation for this Alzheimer’s initiative, Insightec has made private investments to place our Exablate Neuro focused ultrasound platform at institutions across Florida…at no charge. This investment will allow researchers across Florida access to our innovative, non-invasive surgical technology…first developed in Israel and now approved for use in many countries around the world for the treatment of conditions like Essential Tremor…and the movement disorders related to Parkinson’s disease. This is in addition to significant clinical investigations already underway in several other areas…including Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers across Florida will leverage the designed capabilities of the Exablate Neuro platform to temporarily disrupt the blood brain barrier with sound waves…helping those researchers explore potential next generation solutions for people with Alzheimer’s Disease…as well as other neurological conditions such as brain cancer.
You will be pleased to know that this investment is already sparking action. Earlier this Spring, our team at Insightec was proud to host the inaugural Florida Brain State Initiative event. The half-day event featured panel discussions on the state of focused ultrasound research in the brain…and explorations of the next generation of therapeutics using Exablate Neuro. Those dynamic discussions were full of promise. They represent a critical step forward in formally launching this unique and vitally-needed public-private partnership for advancing research into Alzheimer’s disease.
We at Insightec are highly optimistic about the potential of this public-private model. There is tremendous power in convening academia, government, the healthcare sector, and private industry as partners dedicated to uncovering new discoveries in healthcare diagnostics and treatment.
To this shared table, Insightec brings our own unique contributions: advanced medical research and technology…state-of-the-art systems…hands-on experience in harnessing the power of acoustic energy…support for the processes around FDA review and requirements…and much more.
The entire team at Insightec is honored and humbled to support such a bold vision. And I am confident that…together…we will meaningfully advance the landscape for patients…both now and into the future.
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