£30m Research Collaboration For Alzheimer's Cure Begins

New Network Of Research Centres Will Work Together As Drug Discovery Alliance


Drug discovery institutes at Cambridge and Oxford Universities and University College London have been launched today to collaborate in fighting Alzheimer's.

The £30m centres will pool resources and expertise as a Drug Discovery Alliance to work to find a cure for the disease. Up to 90 new researchers are expected to be recruited over the next five years, with the facilities fast-tracking the development of new dementia treatments.

Alzheimer's and other dementias affect more than 830,000 people in the UK. Alzheimer's Research UK, the charity behind the scheme, says these conditions cost the economy £23bn a year.

At present there is one dementia researcher for every six working on cancer. The last dementia treatment was licensed in the UK 12 years ago, highlighting the crucial need for innovations.

Dr Eric Karran, Director of Research at Alzheimer's Research UK, said: "Working in universities and hospitals alongside people affected by dementia and their families, academic researchers are best placed to take research breakthroughs and progress them into real world benefits for the people that so desperately need them.

"The Drug Discovery Alliance is one of the first of its kind for dementia research in the world. We're 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."

Expert Opinion
It is very welcome to see these important steps being taken in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease. Through our work, we see the huge effects that this terrible condition has on victims – particularly when it comes to the issue of being able to plan for the future.

"We have seen a number of cases when family members and friends have seen loved ones lose capacity and the ability to make important decisions on their assets and finances, with no measures in place to give them instructions on what should happen in such an event.

"This causes not only confusion, but also often leads to time-consuming and difficult disputes that can go all of the way to court.

"As work to fight Alzheimer’s continues, we would always encourage people to ensure they have put plans in place – whether it is a will or a Lasting Power of Attorney – that outline their wishes. Such documents can be essential for their loved ones."
Paula Myers, Partner