Alzheimer’s disease presents researchers with a number of challenges, from the difficulties in early detection and treatment to the trouble in securing adequate funding for research. The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), whose “mission is to rapidly accelerate the discovery of drugs to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s,” provides seed funding for early-stage research at Alzheimer’s drug discovery programs around the world. We had the pleasure of speaking with Penny Dacks, Assistant Director of Aging and Alzheimer’s Prevention at the ADDF, about what the foundation does, the challenges they face and some of the exciting new drug research they’re helping make possible.
The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation is a biomedical venture philanthropy nonprofit aimed at developing treatments, and eventually a cure, through a diverse portfolio of programs. The ADDF focuses its funding on early-stage research and clinical trials to reduce the financial barriers that prevent promising medications from reaching the public. Many of its grants are structured as investments; the returns are then directed toward new research. The ADDF partners with Merck, Pfizer, and others. It funded early research for what became Amyvid, a diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s disease that was approved by the FDA in 2012.
The Lady Vol and winningest coach in NCAA history took time out from March Madness to visit Washington on Tuesday, where she lunched with some of the city’s most fashionable donors. The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation honored Summitt, calling her “an inspiration to us all,” for her work with her own foundation, which she founded in 2011 after announcing she had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s.
Fisetin, a flavonol found in strawberries, mangoes, cucumber, and other fruits and vegetables, may protect the brain against Alzheimer’s, dementia, and age-related memory loss, according to research just out from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.
We’ve known for years that the number of deaths caused by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias have been underreported, but a recent study identified the disease as the potential third-leading cause of death in the U.S. after heart disease and cancer. The study, published last week in the journal Neurology, found that the number of people who die from Alzheimer’s may be five times higher than previously thought, partly because death certificates often fail to list Alzheimer’s as a contributing cause of death. But this is only part of the story. The problems begin many years before death, when the disease is in its earliest stages.
The best source for information about Alzheimer's, from cause to potential cures, is the NIH website, National Institute on Aging. As I am on the board of overseers of The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation, (ADDF) I also follow closely its funding decisions. When I raise money for a charity I want to be able to tell those who give, how their money is being used, and how much of it actually gets to the cause. With ADDF, I can tell them that all of their money goes to research because all overhead is paid for by the Lauder family.
Treatment for Alzheimer's disease? None. That doesn't mean that we write the patients off. Yes, the patient can and should receive care: There are drugs that may help ease symptoms, for a limited time. And there are medications available that that will make the patient more comfortable, and make life a little easier for the caregiver -- again, for a limited time.
A transatlantic partnership is putting US$3 million into research projects aimed at repurposing existing drugs as potential therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The US-based Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), which describes itself as a “biomedical venture philanthropy”, is pooling resources with the UK’s Alzheimer’s Society in an effort to accelerate critical development programmes and bring new treatments to patients.
A trial led by Sunnybrook's Dr. Sandra Black investigating the potential for hypertension drugs to slow Alzheimer's disease progression is receiving support from a new funding collaboration between the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation of Canada and The W. Garfield Weston Foundation.
Drug repurposing takes drugs that were already approved for one disease and re-develops them to see if they can help with a different one. This is obviously a much faster process than developing a new drug from scratch. The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) and the Alzheimer's Society (UK) announced a new partnership that will provide funding for drug-repurposing research in Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Their stated goal is the acceleration of critical development programs and the bringing ofnew treatments to patients.