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There’s been a long wait since the last dementia drug was made available to people – over a decade. Today, Alzheimer Research UK have launched their Drug Discovery Alliance, a £30m powerhouse of dementia drug discovery made up of a network of Drug Discovery Institutes at three of the UK’s leading universities for dementia research.

Boosting the search for new dementia treatments

Our newly-launched Drug Discovery Institutes, based at the University of Cambridge, University of Oxford and University College London, will marry high quality science with expert drug discovery teams. By sharing ideas and resources, but maintaining a competitive edge, the Institutes represent a unique and transformative approach to dementia drug discovery – unrivalled in the world.

At the helm will be some of the world’s most renowned dementia and drug discovery scientists and we’ll attract 90 new researchers into drug discovery across the three Institutes. This is key to our promise to build capacity in dementia research, getting more brains behind this complex problem.

Some Press Responses:

Alzheimer’s £30m research collaboration begins BBC News online, 16/02/2015
A new network of £30m research centres is being launched to spearhead the search for an Alzheimer's cure. Alzheimer's Research UK has announced a Drug Discovery Alliance, which will see research centres pooling their expertise to fight the disease. The Drug Discovery Institutes at Oxford, Cambridge and UCL will see about 90 new research scientists, recruited over the next five years, employed in state-of-the-art facilities to fast-track the development of new treatments for Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.

TV: Good Morning Meridian, ITV 1 Meridian 16/02/2015, 6.13am
A new research facility aimed at speeding up treatments for dementia begins work today. The Drug Discovery Institute at Oxford University will see scientists attempting to fast-track the development of new medicines.

£30m war on Alzheimer’s Daily Express, 16/02/2015, p.1, Giles Sheldrick
Includes comment from Professor Simon Lovestone of the Oxford Drug Discovery Institute.

UK unveils dementia drug discovery centres Financial Times online, 16/02/2015, Clive Cookson

Dementia research to create 30 posts Oxford Mail, p.7, 16/2/2015

Radio: Today, BBC Radio 4 16/02/2015, 07:35
Alzheimer’s Research UK has announced three new Drug Discovery Institutes at Oxford, Cambridge and UCL which will pool the combined expertise of scientists across the country who are working on dementia. Oxford’s Professor Chas Bountra is interviewed about the work of the new Drug Discovery Institute which will be based at Oxford University, which will seek to speed up the development of new treatments for Alzheimer's and other dementias. Professor Bountra said: ‘We’re generating lots of new biology, lots of new disease understanding, and by working together, by pooling all these resources, pooling all these infrastructures, pooling all this expertise, this is what’s going to produce a step-change in this area’. He added: ‘Time is not on our side…if we don’t come up with a new treatment in the next 10-15 years this one disease is going to have a massive negative financial impact on society...Patients are waiting, and the costs of this disease are exploding.’ (01.32.38 on clock)

TV: South Today, BBC 1 Oxford 16/02/2015, 22:36

Professor Chas Bountra of the University of Oxford is interviewed in the studio about the new Drug Discovery Institutes announced on Monday: ‘Our objective is to come up with a new treatment for treating Alzheimer’s as quickly as we possibly can…The challenge in Alzheimer’s is that there’s a lot we don’t know. We need to better understand what causes the disease, we need to better understand how we can assess efficacy in patients…we also need new ways of looking for preventative treatments, we also need to come up with new way of prioritising new treatments, and we also need to come up with new ways of early detection as well. So there’s a lot we need to do.’ Asked why Oxford is at the centre of so much new research, he said: ‘Across the University there is so much expertise – people like Simon Lovestone, who is also one of the lead academic scientists for this Institute, there’s people like Richard Wade-Martins who is leading a very large effort on Parkinson’s disease, Kevin Talbot, Peter Rothwell, Matthew Wood, Kay Davies… there’s a lot of great experts, there’s a lot of great science, we have infrastructure, we have a lot of resources. And I think the great thing in Oxford is that people are coming together to try and address big societal challenges and this is one big societal challenge.’

Radio: Breakfast, BBC Radio Oxford 16/02/2015, 07:32, 08:32
Professor Simon Lovestone, one of Oxford University project leaders for the new Drug Discovery Institute which will fast-track drugs to treat Alzheimer’s and other dementias, is interviewed. He said: ‘This is a big change - a very large amount of money being spent on drug discovery in a university, in collaboration with others both in industry and in other universities. This has never happened before…Oxford is probably one of the best places in Europe to do this kind of thing…we’re going to be working collaboratively with a group across the UK, Europe and the US to try and find truly novel drugs for this terrible condition…up until now most of the drug discovery work has been targeted at one particular change that takes place in the brain, it’s called amyloid deposition. We’re going to go after more things, more effectively, and faster than it’s been done before.’ (01.25.05 on clock)

TV: South Today, BBC 1 Oxford 16/02/2015, 18:36
Includes interview with Professor Chas Bountra in the laboratory. (06.48 on clock)

TV: Meridian Tonight, ITV 1 Meridian South 16/02/2015, 18:09
Includes interview with Professor Simon Lovestone

TV: Meridian South News, ITV 1 Meridian South 16/02/2015, 13:56

Radio: Breakfast, BBC Radio Oxford 16/02/2015, 06:01, 07:01, 07:48, 08:02, 08:32

Alzheimer’s costs could soar to £34.8 billion a year by 2026 The Independent, 16/02/2015, Stephanie Garcia