A group advocating on behalf of those suffering from Alzheimer's has a word for Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who recently announced he's investing $100 million in disease research: Welcome to the fight.
"Having Bill Gates declare his dedication to making an impact on accelerating progress against Alzheimer’s is great for the cause," Maria Carrillo, chief science officer with the Alzheimer's Association, told Patient Daily. "Working together, we can achieve a world without Alzheimer’s."
The money will be made available in two $50 million tranches, to a venture capital fund involved in a public-private partnership aimed at finding treatments for the disease, and to start ventures working on research.
Gates announced the investment earlier this week. "It’s a huge problem, a growing problem, and the scale of the tragedy – even for the people who stay alive – is very high,” Gates told Reuters news agency.
The investment is personal, and is not from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He is investing $50 million in the Dementia Discovery Fund, the venture capital fund, and a further same amount in start up ventures.
Carrillo described Gates’ investment to diversify the clinical pipeline and identify new targets for treatment as "consistent with current Alzheimer’s Association efforts to support research aimed at advancing new and novel approaches to treatment."
"The multidimensional approach Gates outlines for advancing progress in the fight to end Alzheimer’s is also consistent with the Alzheimer’s Association ongoing work," she said.
Gates told Reuters the disease has a growing financial and emotional impact on the increasing number of people suffering from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
The billionaire philanthropist added that with focused and well-funded innovation, he is “optimistic” treatments can be found, even if they might be more than a decade away.