The search for drugs that slow or stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease is no small task. That’s why the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) has long partnered with public and private sector organizations—including the National Institute on Aging, Merck, and The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration—to leverage our collective knowledge, experience, and funding power.
Our latest collaboration, the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP), is one of the most exciting to date. This five-year public-private partnership brings together the National institutes of Health, 10 biopharmaceutical companies, the ADDF, and a number of other nonprofit organizations in a $230 million initiative to transform the current model of developing new diagnostics and treatments for major diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
The partnership will kick off with multi-year pilot projects in three key disease areas: Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus. Alzheimer's disease programs have been dedicated $129.5 million in funding, which constitutes the largest area of exploration. The ultimate goal is to lessen the time and cost of developing new drugs, and increase the number of diagnostics and therapies available to patients. Researchers will focus on characterizing “biomarkers”—biological indicators of disease—and identifying the biological targets most likely to respond to new therapies.
I will represent the ADDF on the Partnership's Alzheimer’s Steering Committee, which is tasked with the management of the Alzheimer’s research arm of the initiative. I am thrilled to be a part of this ambitious partnership. Collaborations like these will play a crucial role in the discovery of effective treatments—and a cure—for Alzheimer’s disease.
Howard Fillit, MD is the Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer at the ADDF.