Bill Gates Plans $50-Million Investment to Combat Alzheimer’s Disease

Bill Gates plans to invest $50 million in the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF), a private fund working to diversify the clinical pipeline and identify new targets for treating Alzheimer’s disease.

Gates is making the investment through his personal funds instead of his charitable foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Gates says Alzheimer’s care costs represent one of the fastest growing burdens on healthcare systems in developed countries. “A person with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia spends five times more every year out-of-pocket on healthcare than a senior without a neurodegenerative condition,” he said on his blog, Gates Notes. He cited data from the Alzheimer’s Association that projects that Americans will spend $259 billion caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias in 2017.

He explained how the work of the DDF will complement current research. “Most of the major pharmaceutical companies continue to pursue the amyloid and tau pathways,” Gates said in a statement on his blog, “DDF complements their work by supporting startups as they explore less mainstream approaches to treating dementia.”

Gates says in order to alter the course of Alzheimer’s disease, scientists need to better understand how the disease unfolds, detect and diagnose the disease earlier, have more approaches to stopping the disease,  make it easier to get people enrolled in clinical trials, and use data better, including compiling this data in a common form to get a better sense of how the disease progresses, how that progression is determined by gender and age, and how genetics determines the likelihood of getting Alzheimer’s disease.

Source: Gates Notes


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