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GSK and J&J back new UK dementia discovery fund

Pharma giants collaborate with government to find new treatments
Brain

GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer have signed up to support a new UK government dementia discovery fund.

The $100m fund will support the development of new treatments for the disease as well as aim to bring earlier diagnosis and new therapies that modify its course and improve symptoms by 2025.

GSK is contributing $38.4m to the fund, J&J $10m and Alzheimer's Research is giving $3.2m. Around $14.2m is also coming from the UK government. Other partners are yet to divulge their contributions.

There are currently around 47 million people with dementia costing over $600bn each year. The number of people with the disease is expected to double by 2030 and then triple by 2050. The situation is expected to place a huge strain on global healthcare systems if improved treatments are not discovered.

The fund will work with universities, academic institutes and the pharma industry to identify and invest in new dementia research projects, supporting them through preclinical phases and hopefully through to clinical trials.

Life sciences venture capital firm SV Life Sciences has been appointed to manage the fund manager and its financial aspects.

Kate Bingham, managing partner of SVLS, said: “We do not wait until a heart attack to tell someone they have heart disease - you get statins to reduce the risk. We need the equivalent of a cholesterol test for dementia.

Additionally a 'world-class' scientific advisory board has been set up with representatives from the fund's investors, leading academics and researchers who will assist in furthering collaboration and advising the team.

The first projects are expected to move swiftly with the potential of seeing research ventures as early as next month. 

Article by
Nikhil Patel

22nd October 2015

From: Research

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