Today we announced that we will be partnering with Alzheimer’s Research UK as our charity of the year in 2017. The BIA has worked with the charity this year on its Celebrating UK Bioscience campaign that looked at how the Dementia Discovery Fund, launched in 2015 by Alzheimer’s Research UK, the Department of Health and global pharmaceutical companies, supported BIA member Gen2 Neuroscience in its work to tackle dementia. Find out more below.

Dementia is a global health challenge, expected to affect more than 132 million people worldwide by 2050, and the UK is leading the way in tackling the challenge.dementia-time

The Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) was created by the UK Department of Health, Alzheimer’s Research UK, alongside major global pharmaceutical companies Biogen, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Lilly, Pfizer and Takeda who have invested $100 million into a fund to support the discovery and development of novel dementia treatments.

The fund is managed by SV Life Sciences, who are working to identify and support the development of novel therapeutic approaches. A world-class Scientific Advisory Board, with representatives from the DDF’s strategic investors and world-leading international academics has been set up to share expertise, expand the DDF’s collaborative networks and advise the investment team.

Current treatments for dementia only help to ease the symptoms of the condition for a limited time but do not address the underlying cause. The aim of the fund is to boost innovation in research and development to deliver new drug approaches for dementia by 2025 to diagnose and intervene early to modify the course of disease while improving symptoms, which will lay the foundations for effective therapies.

The DDF is working collaboratively with universities, academic institutes and the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry internationally to identify novel dementia research projects and nurture these through the pre-clinical phase, enabling further development in clinical trials.

Cambridge based Gen2 is the first UK investment by DDF: Gen2 is a seed company engaged in the discovery and development of novel treatments for dementia targeting abnormal forms of the essential extra cellular protein tau.

gen2

Watch the BIA video which features Dr Matt Norton, Director of Policy and Strategy, Alzheimer’s Research UK, Kate Bingham, Managing Partner SV Life Sciences (Dementia Discovery Fund), Dr Rick Livesey, CEO Gen2 Neuroscience and Joy Watson, dementia patient and Alzheimer’s Research UK supporter.