The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a five-year $1m grant to researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine to accelerate the development of a novel Alzheimer’s disease therapy.

Principal investigator Steven Wagner and colleagues have identified a series of compounds, called gamma-secretase modulators, that only reduce the protein fragments believed to play a critical role in the brain cell death and dementia that occurs in Alzheimer’s disease.

Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network will also receive millions of dollars in additional funding and services, depending on continued progress over the next five years.

Wagner said that the funding, awarded as part of the Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, will allow private contractors to work with researchers in the critical pre-clinical development steps, such as secondary drug compound testings for safety and toxicity and various bio-analytical studies.