Venture fund raises $350 million to fight dementia

June 25, 2018

A group of drug companies and donors recently raised more than they expected to aid the search for new drugs to combat dementia. All told, the effort to raise money for the Dementia Discovery Fund, pulled in $350 million — far surpassing the goal of $200 million.

The pharma companies among the donors were Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline and Eli Lilly. Bill Gates and the British government also contributed to the effort, which will funnel money into new early stage life science research. 

About 3 million Americans are diagnosed with dementia each year and there is still no effective treatment for the most common form of the disease: Alzheimer’s. Many of the efforts by drug companies to develop treatments for Alzheimer’s have ended in frustration. Just weeks ago, Eli Lilly and AstraZeneca announced that they are halting research into a late-stage study for a beta secretase cleaving enzyme inhibitor after a monitoring committee found that the trial likely wouldn’t meet its goals. Merck also discontinued a study into an Alzheimer’s drug earlier this year.

Currently, the treatments for Alzheimer’s on the market are only able to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with the disease.

Read the full Reuters report.