The grants will support efforts to develop therapies focused on removing or mitigating the effects of abnormal tau, a toxic brain protein that is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, and other tauopathies. Previous studies have found that removing or blocking tau "tangles" may help delay, slow, or prevent Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. The grant recipients include Daniel Chain (TauC3 Biologics Limited; London, UK), Matthew Disney (Scripps Research Institute; Jupiter, Florida), Jeff Friedman (Tx Pharma; San Diego, California), Stephen Haggarty (Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School; Boston/Cambridge, Massachusetts), Kenneth S. Kosik, (University of California, Santa Barbara), Janice Kranz (Eikonizo Therapeutics, Cambridge, Massachusetts), Albert La Spada (Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina), and Patrik Verstreken (VIB, Leuven, Belgium).
"The abnormal build-up of tau is closely linked to changes in memory, reasoning and behavior," said Heather Snyder, vice president of medical and scientific relations at the Alzheimer's Association. "The research we're co-funding through this program will expand the pipeline of possible treatments and accelerate the pace of progress toward finding effective treatments for Alzheimer's and other dementia."
"We are excited to continue this matching grant program with the Alzheimer's Association," said Leticia Toledo-Sherman, senior director of drug discovery at the Rainwater Charitable Foundation. "Given the difficulties in developing drugs for these complex disorders, we need more shots on goal. We will stay involved with these programs and use our drug discovery expertise to help them succeed."
(Image credit: Alzheimer's Association)