Bill Gates announced yesterday, that he is introducing the Diagnostics Accelerator, a project of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), to further ideas for earlier and better diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. He is leading funding with a $30million investment. The project is set up as a venture capital fund, bringing together biotech companies, academics, charities and other partners including Leonard Lauder and the Dolby Family.
Dr Doug Brown, Chief Policy and Research Officer at Alzheimer’s Society, says: “We were incredibly excited to see Bill Gates enter the world of dementia research seven months ago – his foundation’s impact on diseases like malaria has been staggering – and today’s announcement is a very welcome boost to what we consider one the most fundamental questions of dementia – how to identify people with dementia better, and earlier.
“By trying to improve scans and tests, and thinking out of the box as to what could be an early sign of dementia, Alzheimer’s Society researchers have already been working to identify people at a high risk of developing dementia before they get symptoms, so we can have a chance of preventing them ever experiencing the devastating effects of dementia.
“The $30million investment led by Gates to improve diagnosis will aid these efforts, and has the potential to be a gamechanger, with its venture philanthropy model hopefully attracting industry partners who’ve never considered working in dementia as well as UK-based researchers to come to the table with fresh ideas.
“With one person developing dementia somewhere in the world every three seconds, and no way to cure or slow down the disease, dementia research needs our commitment now more than ever.”