Bill Gates backs $30 million push for early Alzheimer's diagnostics

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Billionaire Bill Gates and Estée Lauder Cos chairman emeritus Leonard Lauder on Tuesday said they will award $30 million over three years to encourage development of new tests for early detection of Alzheimer's disease.

Reuters July 18, 2018 00:07:24 IST
Bill Gates backs $30 million push for early Alzheimer's diagnostics

Bill Gates backs 30 million push for early Alzheimers diagnostics

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Billionaire Bill Gates and Estée Lauder Cos chairman emeritus Leonard Lauder on Tuesday said they will award $30 million over three years to encourage development of new tests for early detection of Alzheimer's disease.

For Microsoft co-founder Gates, launch of the Diagnostics Accelerator program follows an announcement in November of a personal investment of $50 million in the Dementia Discovery Fund, a venture capital fund aimed at bringing together industry and government to seek treatments for the brain-wasting disease.

The effort, Gates said, was fueled in part by his personal experience with family members struggling with Alzheimer's.

The most common form of dementia, Alzheimer's affects nearly 50 million people worldwide and is expected to rise to more than 131 million by 2050, according to Alzheimer’s Disease International.

Gates and Lauder provided seed money for the diagnostics collaboration through the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), which was founded by Lauder. They will be joined by other philanthropists, including the Dolby family and the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation.

Funding provided through the initiative will be open to scientists and clinicians globally working in academic settings, charities and biotechnology companies.

As a philanthropy vehicle, the ADDF Diagnostics Accelerator venture will invest in riskier projects that may not have immediate commercial return, the group said in a statement.

Drugmakers have poured billions of dollars into scores of failed attempts to produce a treatment that can arrest the ravages of Alzheimer's, a fatal disease that robs people of their memories and ability to care for themselves.

Many experts believe drug trials have failed in part because treatments were tested in people whose brains were already too damaged to benefit. They argue that drugs need to be tested early, before the disease has caused noticeable declines.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said that it would consider Alzheimer's drug trials based on biological markers rather than clinical symptoms, paving the way for drugs to be tested far earlier in the disease process. Currently, a brain scan or spinal tap are the chief ways used to confirm a diagnosis of Alzheimer's, although the most conclusive test remains an autopsy.

In a blog post announcing his investment, Gates painted a picture of a future where diagnosing Alzheimer’s would be "as simple as getting your blood tested during your annual physical."

"Research suggests that future isn’t that far off," Gates said.

(Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Oil rises 2% as OPEC complies with production cuts
Business

Oil rises 2% as OPEC complies with production cuts

By Jessica Resnick-Ault NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices strengthened on Wednesday, as OPEC and its allies were seen complying with a pact to cut oil supply in September, even as concerns loomed that recovery in fuel demand will be stalled by soaring global coronavirus cases. Early in the day crude was boosted by a bullish stock market. Even as equities whipsawed on pandemic worries, oil stayed higher, buoyed by expectations that OPEC could staunch a supply glut

Tesla's back-to-back price cuts bring sticker on U.S. Model S below $70,000
Business

Tesla's back-to-back price cuts bring sticker on U.S. Model S below $70,000

By Tina Bellon and C Nivedita (Reuters) - Tesla Inc will further cut the price of its Model S "Long Range" sedan in the United States to $69,420, the electric carmaker's chief executive, Elon Musk, announced in a tweet https://bit.ly/2H0JCP0 on Wednesday. The anticipated drop marks the second time this week Tesla has cut the price for the high-end sedan, following a 4% cut of the Model S's price in the United States on Tuesday to $71,990.

Trump cites teenaged son's bout with coronavirus in calling for schools to reopen
World

Trump cites teenaged son's bout with coronavirus in calling for schools to reopen

By Jeff Mason DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - Under siege over his handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump on Wednesday cited what he said was his son's mild bout of the virus as a reason why American schools should reopen as soon as possible. Trump made the comment about his son, Barron, as the president swept into Iowa on a mission to shore up support in battleground states that he won in 2016 but is in danger of losing to Democrat Joe Biden barely three weeks before the election. First lady Melania Trump announced in a statement earlier in the day that the virus that struck both her and her husband had also infected their 14-year-old son