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Accelerating Progress on Dementia Research

London
Innovation Center June 19th, 2014

Alzheimer’s disease is a looming global epidemic impacting millions of people and their families around the world.  As a neuroscientist, I’ve seen first hand just how complex and elusive the development of better solutions to this devastating disease can be. 

Despite the challenges, our company has a long-standing legacy in neuroscience research and mental health care and is committed to advancing research into new approaches to detect, treat and ultimately prevent this disease.   So we are particularly pleased to be participating in the UK Dementias Research Platform (UKDP) - a large public-private partnership led by the Medical Research Council to accelerate progress in dementias research around a single robust research enterprise.

The UKDP leverages existing strengths across the industry and brings together six industry and eight leading academic institutions to collaborate in the areas of neuroscience, population science and clinical research.  The UKDP seeks to aggregate knowledge from existing cohorts of subjects, develop a registry and establish a foundation that would enable a significant drive towards more effective clinical trial experimentation.

Under the collaboration more than 20 existing cohorts of nearly two million subjects will be used to identify cognitive, genetic, physiological and imaging markers whose changes are associated with early stages of dementia before diagnosis. In addition, another key goal  is to establish a 10 thousand subject pre-dementia readiness cohort to allow for experimental medicine studies.

In this way, we bring together a large network under one initiative that can capitalize on diverse expertise. 

Our approach to addressing Alzheimer’s disease includes internal research, external innovation, and engagement in a broad network of collaborations such as the UKDP.  Delivering innovative new solutions will require not only a deep understanding of the biology of the disease, but also a commitment to deep collaboration with individuals, companies, academia, governments and patient groups who are similarly committed to these goals.

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