Dementia Consortium aims to speed up research

Dementia Consortium aims to speed up research

A new charitable group has been launched to help increase funding for dementia research.

The Dementia Consortium will call on the expertise of leading charities, academics and private businesses as it looks to speed up the development of new treatments for the cognitive condition.

Amongst the group are Alzheimer's Research UK, life science technology experts MRC Technology and pharmaceutical firms Eisai and Lilly.

The Consortium will attempt to close the gap between academic research and drug discovery programmes run by pharmaceutical companies by providing increased funding to researchers.

At present, £3 million has been made available by the group, with UK and international academic teams apply to apply for support.

The deadline for submissions is April 2014 and projects are set to get underway during the summer.

Dr Eric Karran, director of research at Alzheimer's Research UK, said this week's G8 summit on dementia in London has provided the perfect platform to launch the Consortium from.

"The Dementia Consortium draws on the strengths of the academic and industrial research sectors and unites them with a view to producing patient benefits more quickly," he explained.

"It will complement the work of our new Drug Discovery Institute, allowing us to both invest in dedicated drug discovery resource as well as supporting the ideas from across the dementia research sector as a whole."

He added that more than 35 million people currently live with some form of dementia around the world and the number is rising rapidly because of ageing populations.

Professor Justin Bryans, director of drug discovery at MRC Technology, stated that he hopes the consortium will help to accelerate treatments for patients as it promised to bring together the best "charity, industry and academic expertise".

The funding boost comes in the same week that prime minster David Cameron pledged to boost dementia funding to £66 million a year by 2015 before doubling it to £122 million by 2025.

Read more about Barchester's dementia care homes.