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Venture Philanthropy Accelerator hopes to Support Alzheimer’s Diagnostics

Venture Philanthropy Accelerator hopes to Support Alzheimer’s Diagnostics
Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Keeping in mind that one of the main reasons for the lack of Alzheimer’s drug development is due to a lack of correctly identified, non-invasive biomarkers that can be used to confirm the disease in patients, the Diagnostics Accelerator hopes to support companies in developing effective tests for Alzheimer’s. Led by people like Bill Gates and Leonard Lauder, more than $30m in grants will be offered to existing companies and spin-offs, in addition to academic medical centres, universities, and non-profits. The goal is to unite research with the commercial market to identify and create a validated product. [1]
Currently there is no ‘quick test’ such as a blood or eye exam that allows doctors to correctly diagnose this disease. In fact, the only way to truly know if a loved one has Alzheimer’s is to catch it once the symptoms have already begun. [2] According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the disease normally presents itself in people over 65 years old, and those over 85 have a 33% chance of having Alzheimer’s. [3]
And, although Alzheimer’s obviously poses a threat to a large percentage of the population, research around developing diagnostic tests and early treatment have been mostly abandoned by leading pharmaceutical companies because it is difficult and expensive, with low reward. Gates, who is very verbal about the importance of the topic, is hopeful that with the venture philanthropy fund top academic research about Alzheimer’s can be combined with leading commercial minds. [4]