MPs and members of the House of Lords from all parties yesterday which we are always supported a call for global action to defeat dementia through research as the UK hosted the first G8 Summit on dementia in London.
MPs including the Rt Hon Paul Burstow, Sir Peter Bottomley and Julian Huppert attended a Westminster reception hosted by George Freeman MP on behalf of Alzheimer’s Research UK to recognise this important opportunity and pledge their support to defeat dementia.
The G8 Summit is seeking an ambitious level of international coordination and action against dementia through research.
In response, a new £3 million Dementia Consortium bringing together research experts from the charitable, academic and private sectors was launched to expedite development of new drugs for dementia. The Dementia Consortium unites the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK with life science technology transfer experts MRC Technology and two pharmaceutical companies; Eisai and Lilly.
The Consortium will seek to end the long wait since the last dementia treatment – over 10 years – by closing the gap between fundamental academic research and the pharmaceutical industry’s drug discovery programmes. The Dementia Consortium will fund leading academic dementia research experts from Alzheimer’s Research UK and MRC Technology’s networks in the UK and overseas to develop early findings into validated drug targets.
The Consortium has made £3 million available (£2 million from Alzheimer’s Research UK and £500k from both Eisai and Lilly) and is open to both UK and international academic teams to apply for funding.
George Freeman MP said:
“I was delighted to host Alzheimer’s Research UK’s event in the House of Commons. With our ageing society, Alzheimer’s and dementia is a ticking time bomb at the heart of healthcare in the UK. Already accounting for £23 billion of cost to the UK, the disease has a devastating impact on those affected, and their loved ones and carers. The UK is pioneering new treatment and preventative intervention. We need both drugs to treat the disease and ways to delay and prevent onset. The Prime Minister is personally leading the UK’s dementia strategy – seen in the G8 Dementia Summit – and with world-class research like that being done by Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK has every chance of winning.”
Hilary Evans, Director of External Affairs at Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, added:
“We are delighted to have political support from all sides for a new global commitment to defeat dementia. The G8 provides an unprecedented opportunity to bring together the world’s largest economies to tackle one of the greatest health challenges we face. Over 44 million people live with dementia worldwide, with as many as 820,000 of these in the UK, a number set to increase as populations live even longer.
“In launching the Dementia Consortium, we are pushing forward in the fight to defeat dementia through research with new partnerships to produce breakthrough treatments. Through research we can give hope to the millions living with dementia worldwide.”