Alzheimer’s Association Awards 5 Grants to Early-Phase Research Projects

Isaura Santos avatar

by Isaura Santos |

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One of the biggest challenges that research and development in the field of Alzheimer’s Disease faces is not the discovery of new treatment candidates, but the lack of funding to advance these discoveries into human testing. In addition, very few funding sources address early-phase clinical drug trials and, as a result, too many promising projects are stalled and lose momentum. Some of the most innovative ideas are even abandoned. In line with its mission to aid early-phase research advancement and completion, the Alzheimer’s Association is announcing new grants to fund five early-phase clinical trials to help eliminate this gap in the research process.

These grants are care of the Alzheimer’s Association’s “Part the Cloud Translational Research for Alzheimer’s Disease” initiative that supports early-phase research’s transition into exploratory research studies, and Phase I clinical trials in humans. These new awards amount to a total of $4 million, making the initiative’s total released funding $6 million since its founding.

Maria Carrillo, Alzheimer’s Association’s Chief Science Officer, said in a press release: “New treatments that prevent, stop or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s are desperately needed. While there are Alzheimer’s medications currently approved for use that address the worsening of symptoms, they are effective in only some people and work for a limited period of time. For these reasons, the Part the Cloud initiative is now an essential part of the Alzheimer’s Association research funding efforts.”

Tim West from C2N Diagnostics in St. Louis, Whitney Wharton at Emory University in Atlanta, Giulio Pasinetti at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, Russell Swerdlow at the University of Kansas Clinical Research Center in Fairway, and Stephen Cunnane, at the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec, Canada will be leading the newly awarded projects.

Since the goal is to progress from early-stage drug development into clinical testing, the Part the Cloud initiative is available to for-profit entities, like emerging biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. The idea is to help these projects gain enough momentum in clinical testing, and ultimately attract other investors and research grants from big non-profit organizations.

“These latest awards support both academic- and industry-launched projects that hold great promise for effective treatments that otherwise would have not been possible without this funding,” notes Carrillo.

The Part the Cloud awards are part of a larger research effort by the Alzheimer’s Association that supports 350 research projects in 20 countries. Since its establishment, The Association has awarded a total of $340 million to support more than 2,250 projects regarding Alzheimer’s disease.