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Charity coalition pledges millions for brain disease research

Will invest £30m developing candidates for neurodegenerative conditions
Alzheimers brain

A new global coalition of charities and funding bodies is to invest up to £30m into restarting the development of promising drug candidates for brain diseases.

The funding will focus on neurodegenerative conditions, such as dementia, motor neurone disease and Parkinson's disease for which there is an unmet need.

The Neurodegeneration Medicines Acceleration Programme (Neuro-MAP), led by medical research charity MRC Technology, will identify and invest in promising drug projects that are no longer in development.

Once progress is made with them the candidates will then be returned to pharma companies, who will develop them into marketable treatments.

UK health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “New treatments for brain diseases are vital if we are to improve the lives of the millions of people around the world who live with them.

“Tackling conditions like dementia is one of our central priorities, which is why we are doing more than ever to identify new treatments and, ultimately, find a cure.”

Neuro–MAP's partners are Alzheimer's Association US, Alzheimer Research UK, Alzheimer's Society UK, ALS Association, Michael J Fox Foundation, MND Association, MRC Technology, Northern Health Science Alliance and Parkinson's UK.

Mike Johnson, director of corporate partnerships at MRC Technology, said: “We are pleased to be able to use our unique position at the centre of charities, funders, academia and industry to bring together the right combination of funding, skills and capabilities to really impact quality of life for patients living with these debilitating and destructive diseases.

“This is an amazing opportunity to accelerate the next generation of neurodegenerative drugs towards the patient.”

It is estimated that over 50 million people worldwide currently live with neurodegenerative diseases.

Article by
Kirstie Pickering

19th November 2014

From: Research, Healthcare

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