The charity Alzheimer’s Research UK today launches a trio of pioneering new drug discovery institutes as part of a £30 million investment in finding drugs that can halt the development of dementia.
The Universities of Oxford and Cambridge and University College London will host the new Drug Discovery Alliance centres, pooling resources with academic and industrial experts from across Europe and using new methods to understand the complex molecular processes that destroy the brain as Alzheimer’s takes hold.
Professor Simon Lovestone, scientific leader of the Oxford institute, described their mission as “the single largest Alzheimer’s drug discovery effort in the world,” adding: “I am confident that we will be successful.”
To date, more than $2 billion has been spent on dementia drug development but the best available treatments can only delay the effects of cognitive deterioration. Prof Lovestone described it as ‘a scandal’ that these clinical trials not only failed to develop successful drugs but also failed to teach anything new about the disease.