Bill Gates, Others Commit $30 Million to Develop Early Alzheimer's Test

Megan Brooks

July 17, 2018

A coalition of philanthropists has committed more than $30 million to develop novel biomarkers for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other dementias.

The so-called Diagnostics Accelerator is a "venture philanthropy" fund backed by billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) co-founder Leonard Lauder. They are joined by other philanthropists, including the Dolby family and the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation.

"Over the next 3 years, we will provide more than $30 million in grants to researchers who are working on the most promising and innovative ideas to help diagnose Alzheimer's disease early before the more devastating symptoms occur," Lauder said in a news release.

The Future Is Now

"Imagine a world where diagnosing Alzheimer's disease is as simple as getting your blood tested during your annual physical. Research suggests that future isn't that far off, and Diagnostics Accelerator moves us one step closer," Gates said in his blog, GatesNotes.  

The Diagnostics Accelerator fund will back promising research to help "accelerate bold new ideas for earlier and better diagnosis of the disease," said Gates.

Funding provided through Diagnostics Accelerator is open to scientists and clinicians in the United States and worldwide working in academic medical centers, universities or other nonprofits, and biotechnology companies.

"My hope is that this investment builds a bridge from academic research to a reliable, affordable, and accessible diagnostic. I expect to see lots of new players come to the table, who have innovative new ideas but might not have previously had the resources to explore them," said Gates.

The ADDF will conduct rigorous scientific due diligence on each proposal to the Diagnostics Accelerator. The Accelerator is now seeking proposals for funding on its website.   

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