The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation has announced commitments totaling $5 million in support of research on biomarkers for frontotemporal degeneration (FTD), the most common dementia found in adults under the age of 60.
Through its Diagnostics Accelerator, ADDF will match a $2.5 million investment by the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD) for research on FTD, which most often strikes adults in their forties and fifties, affecting their personality, behavior, language, and movement. Launched in July 2018 with initial funding from Bill Gates, ADDF co-founder Leonard Lauder, the Dolby family, the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, and others, the Diagnostics Accelerator aims to invest more than $35 million over three years in the development of biomarkers that advance the early, effective detection of Alzheimer's and other dementias.
"In order to develop treatments for dementia, we need to be able to diagnose it as early as possible and, just as important, determine specifically what type of dementia we're dealing with," said Howard Fillit, ADDF’s founding executive director and chief science officer. "That requires biomarkers that are both sensitive and specific, and investing in FTD biomarkers will be an important way to advance the science for all forms of dementia, including Alzheimer's."
"Early and accurate diagnosis is the key to any research gains for those who suffer from dementia. It's the key to effective participation in clinical trials, the development of therapeutics, and, down the road, a cure," said AFTD chief executive Susan L-J Dickinson. "We know today that addressing neurodegenerative disease in any form requires a collaborative effort. AFTD has a long history of research partnership with the ADDF, and we are grateful to be joining forces again, in collaboration with Bill Gates and other generous funders."