Leading philanthropist Bill Gates has announced that he is to invest in a new fund designed to bring about improved diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia.
Mr Gates made his first investment into dementia research in November 2017 when he put $50m into the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF), which provides backing for early-stage drug discovery projects around the globe. The DDF was formed through a collaboration of the UK Department of Health, Alzheimer’s Research UK and several leading pharmaceutical companies.
Today’s announcement sees Mr Gates make a further investment into a new fund, Diagnostics Accelerator, run by the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation in the US. The fund will back research aimed at accelerating earlier and better diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease in the clinic.
Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“The ability to diagnose diseases like Alzheimer’s early and accurately remains one of the biggest challenges for our scientists, so this is an encouraging focus on finding solutions. The Diagnostics Accelerator seeks to change the way these diseases are diagnosed in the clinic, which will enable people to access support and existing treatments earlier and when most beneficial. Early diagnosis also helps improve our approach to trialling new treatments by ensuring cohorts comprise people with a clear diagnosis who can truly benefit from therapies.
“With more than 50 million people now living with dementia worldwide, most commonly caused by Alzheimer’s, the need for investment in research cannot be overstated. Philanthropy has a vital role to play in finding answers and Bill Gates is leading by example. Mr Gates’ continued backing for dementia research is a vote of confidence in the potential of pioneering science to transform lives, and shows the world that research offers real hope for the future.”