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Dementia research alliance to fast-track new Alzheimer's drugs

Will see Alzheimer's Research UK partner with Cambridge, Oxford and UCL universities

Alzheimer's disease brain scanA leading UK dementia charity has formed a £30m drug discovery alliance with three universities to fast-track new treatments for Alzheimer's disease and other dementia-related conditions.

The collaboration between Alzheimer's Research UK and Cambridge, Oxford and UCL (University College London) universities will see the academic partners employ 90 new research scientists across three new research institutes on their respective campuses.

Dr Eric Karran, director of research at Alzheimer's Research UK, said: “The drug discovery alliance is one of the first of its kind for dementia research in the world.  

“We are providing the investment and infrastructure that is needed to maintain and grow a healthy pipeline of potential new treatments to take forward into clinical testing. It's only by boosting the number of promising leads to follow up that we will have the best chance of developing pioneering medicines that can change the outlook of this devastating condition.”

The drug discovery network will be dedicated to early stage discovery. Each institute will be led by a chief scientific officer, who will work alongside academic researchers based at the universities and Alzheimer's Research UK's own in-house research leaders.

The alliance will build on the experiences of similar initiatives driven by cancer charities over the last two decades, which are now starting to deliver effective new treatments to patients.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Dementia can be a devastating condition and I am committed to doing all that we can to help the thousands of people who live with it.

“These world-leading institutes will bring new hope to people with dementia by boosting innovation and increasing collaboration so that we can achieve out aim of finding a cure or disease-modifying therapy.”

Industry pipelines of potential Alzheimer's treatments have taken multiple hits in recent years, although just last week AB Science revealed it was still on track to release phase III clinical trial of its orally-active tyrosine kinase inhibitor masitinib later this year.

Article by
Kirstie Pickering

16th February 2015

From: Research

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