The ADDF seeks to fill the critical translational funding gap between basic research and later stage drug development by funding promising preclinical drug discovery programs relevant to Alzheimer's disease, related dementias, and cognitive aging.

Average Duration: 1-2 years
Average Award: $150,000-$600,000


Must be received by 11:59 pm EST on the deadline date.

Letter of Intent: February 17, 2017
Invited Full Proposal: March 10, 2017

Letter of Intent: May 19, 2017
Invited Full Proposal: June 9, 2017

Letter of Intent: July 31, 2017
Invited Full Proposal: September 8, 2017

Letter of Intent: November 17, 2017
Invited Full Proposal: December 8, 2017

Preclinical Research Funding Priority Areas

Drug Discovery Stage – High throughput screening, medicinal chemistry (including hit-to-lead development and lead optimization), in vitro and in vivo efficacy studies, ADME, toxicology, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, and in vivo proof-of-concept with lead compounds and biologics. Please note that ADDF is unable to fund target identification or discovery.

Program areas of particular interest include:

  • New chemical compounds for Alzheimer's disease – Requires BOTH a medicinal chemist and a biologist as co-PIs/collaborators. The program should focus on new scaffolds, generation of tool compounds, and optimizing novel lead compounds.
  • Preclinical proof-of-concept – Testing of novel lead compounds in animal models. Study design should be clearly outlined along the lines of an exploratory or therapeutic animal study as described in the ADDF's publication, Accelerating Drug Discovery for Alzheimer's Disease: Best Practices for Preclinical Animal Studies. Whenever possible, studies should include pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD) testing, an a priori hypothesis, primary and secondary outcomes measures, and a statistical design plan including power analysis.
  • Repurposing – Testing drugs approved for other indications in Alzheimer’s disease preclinical models. Proposals should be hypothesis driven and drugs chosen for testing should target a rational mechanism(s) of action.

With regards to potential drug targets:

The ADDF is interested in novel targets that include, but are not limited to: Neuroinflammation, protein degradation/autophagy, growth factor signaling, synaptic function/morphology, calcium regulation, energy utilization/mitochondria function, insulin sensitivity, epigenetics, ApoE function and cholesterol metabolism, vascular injury and the blood-brain barrier interface, cognitive enhancers, myelin changes, ischemia and oxidative stress, and tau-related toxicities.

The ADDF has limited interest in funding anti-amyloid approaches, including anti-amyloid aggregation programs, Abeta vaccine development and beta- or gamma-secretase inhibition programs. The ADDF also has limited interest in funding cholinesterase inhibitor programs.

Funding Eligibility

  • Academic Investigators seeking to create and support innovative translational programs in academic medical centers and universities.
  • Biotechnology companies with programs dedicated to Alzheimer's disease translational development. New biotechnology company spinouts or existing biotechnology companies that demonstrate a clear need for non-profit funding are eligible to apply. Funding is provided through mission-related investments (MRIs) that require return on investment based upon scientific and/or business milestones.

Application Submission Guidelines

Review the Application Instructions before applying.

The ADDF typically supports one year of research at a time, with potential for future follow-on funding. Funding can range from $150,000-$600,000 for a preclinical project depending on the stage of research and must be justified based on the scientific work plan. In some cases, multi-year proposals can be considered.

All applicants are required to complete an electronic "Letter of Intent" (LOI) available through the links below.



Applicants are encouraged to sign up for the ADDF ACCESS portal to gain access to an online marketplace of contract research organizations (CROs) and a virtual network of experts and educational resources. For guidance on selecting and managing CROs, please see ADDF's publication.



For program-related inquiries, please contact:
Lauren Friedman, PhD, Acting Director, Scientific Affairs
Phone: 212.901.8017

For application submission inquiries, please contact:
Grants and Contracts Team
Phone: 212.901.7998