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Alzheimer’s charity launches £20m trials fund

Aims to fast-track research into dementia treatments
Alzheimers disease brain scan

Alzheimer's Research UK has launched a global clinical trials fund to fast-track research into new treatments for dementia patients.

The fund will make £20m available for early-stage trials over the next five years, supporting worldwide studies into new treatments as part of the charity's Defeat Dementia fundraising campaign.

The announcement comes a year since global leaders met for the G8 Dementia Summit in London, from which the UK's Medical Research Council (MRC) developed a £16m dementia research programme.

Dr Eric Karran, director of research at Alzheimer's Research UK, said: “One of the most life-changing breakthroughs that dementia research will deliver is effective treatments for people living with the condition.

“We are committed to turning this tide with our global clinical trials fund, which will provide dedicated support to make sure that the best ideas, backed up by the strongest science, have the greatest chance to succeed.”

Existing treatments boost nerve cell communication, which aids symptoms for a time but do not slow or stop disease from spreading damage across the brain.

The area of medicines development for Alzheimer's disease has led to some costly research failures, but there are still hopes for a suitable treatment. Earlier this month, AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly began a large-scale trial of a candidate drug expected to generate results in 2019.

Research will be boosted by the Alzheimer's Research UK fund, which will support phase I and II clinical trials to enable researchers to explore as many potential treatments options as possible.

UK health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Clinical trials are vital if we are to achieve our goal of improving the lives of those with dementia and their families. We're doing more than ever to identify new treatments and, ultimately, find a cure.

“I strongly welcome this global clinic trials fund, which will make an important contribution to our shared endeavour be accelerating crucial new research.”

The fund is open to applications from research teams around the world and will additionally support drugs already license to treat other conditions that could be used in dementia treatment.

Article by
Kirstie Pickering

11th December 2014

From: Research



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