Bill Gates To Invest $100 Million For Alzheimers Research
We recently blogged on reports from the medical community that a breakthrough cure for Alzheimers may be here by the year 2025.
Last week, Bill Gates announced that he is investing $100 million dollars for alzheimers and dementia research. Mr. Gates believes that a cure is possible with innovative approaches and technology. Now is the right time, he says, to accelerate research programs.
He mentions in a recent interview with CNN, that this disease is one he knows personally, as men in his family have suffered from it. One of his greatest fears is anything that would cause his mind to deteriorate. Gates believes that scientific innovation can bring a cure, much the same way that innovation and medical technology turned once-guaranteed killers like HIV into a chronic illness.
Alzheimers: Where is Gates’ Money Going?
Mr. Gates pledged $50 million toward the UK-based Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF), a private-public venture capital fund focused on Alzheimers treatments. The DDF is supported by GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Biogen Idec as well as the UK government. The VC fund has already invested in 12 UK and U.S.-based startup companies investigating potential ways to stop or reverse the biological processes that lead to dementia.
Startup ventures working on innovative treatments will receive the remaining 50 million dollars.
Moreover, this $100 million dollar investment is independent of his ongoing philanthropic work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Indeed, those funds go to HIV, malaria and polio research, all of them, infectious diseases in developing countries.
Alzheimers: What’s Next With Gates?
Mr. Gates spent the past year talking with researchers, academics, and industry experts to learn how to push progress forward. Specifically, he believes that it is necessary to detect and diagnose the disease earlier, and to prevent or slow disease progression. Another area he is focusing on is speeding up and increasing clinical trial enrollment.
In addition to this investment, Gates wants to award a grant to build a global dementia platform to make it easier for researchers to use data to look for patterns and possibly identify new pathways for treatment.