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LifeArc partners with UK Dementia Research Institute

Dementia affects around 900,000 people in the UK and this is expected to rise to around 1.6 million by 2040

Sir Michael Uren Hub

A new partnership between LifeArc and the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) has been announced to accelerate the development of new diagnostic tests, treatments and devices to benefit people with dementia, for which there is currently no cure.

LifeArc, a self-funded medical research charity, has pledged a £30m investment over the course of five years to the UK DRI. Pictured above is the recently opened Sir Michael Uren Hub at Imperial College London’s White City Campus, where two of the UK DRI’s research centres are located.

The funding will go towards research efforts to identify and treat a variety of neurodegenerative diseases that cause dementia, which affects around 900,000 people in the UK, a number expected to rise to around 1.6 million by 2040. Conditions targeted in the research include Alzheimer’s disease, motor neurone disease, frontotemporal dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

Dementia is one of the main causes of disability later in life, ahead of cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke. There are an estimated 57.4 million people living with dementia worldwide and it is estimated that this number will rise to 152.8 million by 2050. The total cost of care for people with dementia in the UK is £34.7bn, which is set to rise sharply to £94.1bn by 2040.

Commenting on the collaboration, Dr Dave Powell, LifeArc’s chief scientific officer said: “Great strides have been made in dementia research in recent years but there is much more that needs to be done. We now have a huge opportunity to translate this knowledge into new ways to help patients. This partnership will speed up the development of life-changing treatments and inspire us all to be bold and do more to help people affected by this condition.”

The partnership will allow UK DRI scientists access to LifeArc’s therapeutic and diagnostic platforms to support them in testing potential new diagnostic tests and treatments more easily.

UK DRI director, Professor Bart De Strooper, said: “We are very proud to partner with LifeArc to give an extremely important boost to our translational work, and ultimately to improve the lives of those affected by dementia. Together we can think bigger, work more creatively and advance areas of great need with huge promise such as antibody-based therapeutics.”

Established in 2017 by the Medical Research Council, Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK DRI is hosted at six leading UK universities, including the University of Cambridge, Cardiff University, the University of Edinburgh, Imperial College London and King’s College London, with its central hub at University College London.

Article by
Fleur Jeffries

16th June 2022

From: Research, Healthcare

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