Alzheimer’s Research UK has launched three new drug discovery institutes at Cambridge and Oxford universities and University College London (UCL).
Under a £30m drug discovery alliance, the institutes will employ around 90 new research scientists to develop new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
Alzheimer’s Research UK research director Dr Eric Karran said: "Academic research is a goldmine of knowledge about diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and by tapping into the innovation, creativity, ideas and flexibility of scientists in these universities, we can re-energise the search for new dementia treatments.
"Working in universities and hospitals alongside people affected by dementia and their families, academic researchers are best placed to take research breakthroughs and progress them into real-world benefits for the people that so desperately need them."
Each institute is being led by a chief scientific officer and work in tandem with the country’s leading academic researchers based at each of the three universities and Alzheimer’s Research UK’s own in-house research leaders.
New ideas and breakthroughs being generated from academic research teams in each university will be passed to biology and chemistry teams in each institute, which will be used to design and develop potential new medicines.
UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "These world-leading Institutes will bring new hope to people with dementia by boosting innovation and increasing collaboration so that we can achieve our aim of finding a cure or disease-modifying therapy."
According to dementia research charity, the last treatment for dementia was licenced around 12 years ago in the UK and current treatments are modestly effective and not suitable for all dementias.
Image: Mononuclear phagocytes in Alzheimer’s disease. Photo: courtesy of David Gate, Kavon Rezai-Zadeh,Dominique Jodry, Altan Rentsendorj, Terrence Town and Pietro Martinez.