Bill Gates recently discussed Alzheimer’s disease on his blog. The billionaire (founder of Microsoft) noted how would it be possible to find a cure if there isn’t even a simple way to diagnose the ailment? Last summer Gates announced he was investing in a new fund with the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation called Diagnostic Accelerator, seeking to accelerate the progress already underway. Jeff Bezos joins in as an investor. The Accelerator combines Bill Gates and ADDF co-founder Leonard Lauder to help channel funds to drive bold new ideas for easier and more accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The investors are infusing more than $30 million into the Diagnostics Accelerator based on the urgency behind the need to discover compelling Alzheimer’s diagnostic tools.
ADDF and Mr. Lauder have been an important force in Alzheimer’s research. ADDF focuses on translating the knowledge that society has gained about the causes of Alzheimer’s disease into drugs to conquer it. They are funding a number of initiatives known as “the valley of death” because of the dearth of funding—preclinical drug discovery and early-stage clinical trials focusing on experimental new drug targets. ADDF seeks to leverage its investors capital, participants skill and knowledge to bridge the critical gap in Alzheimer’s funding—enabling scientists to pursue pioneering ideals to cure Alzheimer’s disease that would otherwise go unexplored.
ADDF, a nonprofit, was founded in 1998 by co-chairman Leonard A. Lauder and Ronald S. Lauder of the Estée Lauder Companies cosmetics family and led by Dr. Howard Fillit, a geriatrician and neuroscientist. ADDF has invested nearly $65 million to fund some 450 Alzheimer’s drug discovery programs and clinical trials.