By Brie Zeltner
Two researchers studying Alzheimer's disease at Ohio State University and Emory University will be the first to receive funding for their work from a new collaboration between the Harrington Discovery Institute (HDI) at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF).
Ohio State's Chien-Liang Lin and Dr. Douglas Sharre will make up one team, and will receive $220,000 to develop new drugs that improve brain cell function that would otherwise be impaired in Alzheimer's disease. At Emory, Thota Ganesh and Dr. Allen Levey will receive $101,000 to collaborate on research focusing on a new anti-inflammation drug for the treatment of the disease.
Each team will receive strategic business planning and other support from the HDI's Innovation Support Center. The teams will also have access to BioMotiv, a private company aligned with the institute which can select projects from the HDI portfolio and use its capital to license and develop drug technologies being explored at universities and research centers.
"We are pleased to be collaborating with Harrington Discovery Institute to provide pharmaceutical development expertise to two highly innovative academic drug discovery projects," Dr. Howard Fillit, executive director and chief science officer at ADDF, said in a news release. "The newly named ADDF Harrington Scholars will receive critical support that will accelerate the translation of their discoveries into potential treatments for Alzheimer's disease patients."
The institute, now in its second year, was formed in February 2012 as part of the Harrington Project for Discovery and Development, a $250 million, not-for-profit program launched with a $50 million donation from the Harrington family of Hudson. The institute's goal is to speed the development of new drugs and bolster the work of physician-researchers; 11 new researchers received up to $200,000 each for two years of institute funding in December.
In February the institute awarded its first Harrington Prize to Johns Hopkins University pediatric cardiologist and genetics researcher Harry Dietz. The $20,000 honorarium was established in partnership with the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) to recognize a physician-scientist who has successfully navigated the path from discovery to clinical application.
"We are honored to join forces with the ADDF in our mission to bridge the critical gap in funding, enabling the scientific pursuit of many innovative and novel therapies that might otherwise go unexplored," Dr. Jonathan Stamler, director of HDI and director of Institute for Transformative Molecular Medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and UH Case Medical Center, said in a news release.