The RAISE (Roundtable of Academia & Industry for Stroke prEvention) Method
Stroke is a leading cause of death and serious long-term disability worldwide, with an estimated global prevalence of over 104.2 million people. With about 6.2 million deaths attributed to cerebrovascular diseases annually, ischemic/hemorrhagic strokes remain major threats to public health. There is no indication that these numbers changed significantly despite advances in modification of risk factors and specific preventive treatment of some etiologic factors. One major challenge is the highly heterogenous nature of potential causes of stroke, which require a concerted multidisciplinary approach to design and conduct of clinical prevention trials. Failures in such clinical trials have been exceedingly more common than successes, an important fact that points to the need for improvement in their design/conduct through better collaboration among the major stakeholders: the academia, government-based funding and regulatory organizations and the industry.
The overarching aim of the Roundtable of Academia & Industry for Stroke prEvention (RAISE) is to create a multidisciplinary platform that would allow collaborations of public and private sector experts to share their knowledge and achieve consensus on strategies intended to improve stroke prevention approaches through advances in research studies and clinical practice. RAISE will include a broad multidisciplinary collaboration as the primary clinical disciplines involved in stroke prevention efforts not only include neurology but also cardiology (including all of its subspecialities) and primary care.
Who is involved?
The RAISE architecture thus includes all 3 stakeholders in stroke prevention research and practice: academia (leading international physicians/scientists from all involved disciplines), industry (scientists and executives from private sector pharmaceutical, device and imaging companies), and the government (physicians/scientists and executive managers from NIH and FDA).
The RAISE conference starts with a one-day invitation only meeting that includes over 20 presentation in 4 sessions. The topics include cutting-edge research study designs, analytic methods, novel drugs/devices, biomarkers, and outcomes. Each of the 4 sessions is followed by extensive discussions incorporating presenters, other experts from academia/industry/NIH/FDA and the audience.
The second day of the RAISE conference is focused on the consensus process to develop RAISE recommendations. Participating experts from academia, industry and government are divided into 3 groups for preparation of the consensus recommendations. They are provided equal opportunity to contribute to a facilitated discussion process, during which recommendations developed by leading academic thought leaders in stroke prevention are presented, openly discussed and may be amended, expanded, replaced and refined by the group. Each of the 3 content groups then present their recommendations to the entire assembly. Writing committees draft the manuscripts for review of the group and the resulting articles will be submitted to Stroke, the journal of the American Heart Association.
RAISE will thus provide an excellent platform to foster consensus in areas of major relevance to stroke prevention and the networks needed to design/conduct successful trials in the field.
RAISE does not receive any government funding. RAISE conferences are funded solely by participating private sector companies.