LifeArc and the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) have launched a new partnership to accelerate development of new diagnostic tests, treatments, and devices from scientific research discoveries to benefit people with dementia. Around 900,000 people in the UK are living with dementia.

At the heart of the five-year partnership is a £30 million commitment by medical research charity LifeArc to the UK DRI to support dementia research at six UK host universities where the Institute is based.

Dr Adrian Ivinson, Chief Operating Officer and Director of the UK DRI said: “This LifeArc partnership is a vote of confidence not only in the UK DRI’s research but also in the field more broadly. Neurodegenerative disorders have proven difficult to treat and prevent. But our understanding of the root causes of these conditions is improving year by year such that we are ready to explore new therapeutic approaches.” Through fundamental discovery science, UK DRI researchers are revealing the mechanisms underpinning neurodegenerative diseases that cause dementia. The funding will be used to translate these scientific discoveries into new diagnostic tests, treatments and devices. These conditions include Alzheimer’s disease, motor neurone disease, fronto-temporal dementia and Parkinson’s disease. While research has revealed much more about these diseases, there are still no effective ways to prevent them or stop them progressing.

Dr Dave Powell, LifeArc’s Chief Scientific Officer said: “Great strides have been made in dementia research in recent years but there is much more that needs to be done. We now have huge opportunity to translate this knowledge into new ways to help patients. This partnership will speed up the development of life-changing treatments and inspire us all to be bold and do more to help people affected by this condition.” The partnership will provide UK DRI scientists with access to LifeArc’s therapeutic and diagnostic platforms to enable them to test potential new diagnostic tests and treatments more easily. Both organisations will collaborate to make decisions on projects which should receive the translational funding. LifeArc will continue to provide technology transfer expertise.