The path to approved Alzheimer's treatments starts with a better way to diagnose patients. Bill Gates and ADDF co-founder Leonard Lauder are partnering and adopting a new approach that brings together philanthropic capital with a venture mindset to advance bold new ideas for easier and more accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.
Currently available tests for Alzheimer's are expensive and invasive. Reliable, affordable, and accessible biomarkers have the potential to revolutionize how we approach Alzheimer's disease by allowing us to better understand how the disease progresses, more easily identify people for clinical trials, and more accurately monitor their response to treatments.
Diagnostics Accelerator brings together initial commitments totaling more than $30 million from partners including Bill Gates, Leonard Lauder, the Dolby family, the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, and others, who are committed to bringing the funding, focus, resources, and urgency required to solve this important problem. Since its inception, the program has welcomed additional partners such as The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration and Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos, bringing the current funding to nearly $50 million.
This call-to-action challenges the research community to develop cutting-edge biomarkers and explore novel diagnostic technologies that would reduce the impact of this devastating disease.
INAUGURAL AWARD RECIPIENTS
Amoneta Diagnostics SAS
Saliha Moussaoui, PhD
Amoneta is developing a rapid non-invasive diagnostic test to predict MCI and early Alzheimer's disease (in support of the MemoryLINC project). The proposed test panel measures two species of ribonucleic acids that are stable in the blood and show promise in early detection of Alzheimer's disease.
Centre for Eye Research Australia
Peter van Wijngaarden, PhD
Dr. van Wijngaarden's study will test a simple eye scan, which can detect amyloid in the retina of healthy adults with a family history of Alzheimer's disease. The team is developing a more portable and inexpensive prototype camera. The study will establish whether this novel eye imaging technique can replace expensive PET imaging.
University of Edinburgh
Tom MacGillivray, PhD
This study employs a novel combination of retinal biomarkers capturing neurodegeneration and disrupted vasculature found in Alzheimer's disease with advanced imaging analyses. The results of this project, if successful, may be offered for widespread use as a cloud-based system for analyzing retinal images or incorporated into the eye scan device software.
University of Gothenburg
Kaj Blennow, MD, PhD
Dr. Blennow's team is developing the first ultra-sensitive blood test for brain-specific tau. His team has identified brain-derived tau fragments in the cerebral spinal fluid that correlate well with Alzheimer's disease neuropathology and will now extend this unique approach into blood.