Alzheimer’s at an inflection point as drug and diagnostics breakthroughs emerge

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Alzheimer’s disease research appears to be hitting its stride, thanks to recent therapeutic advances in drug development and the emergence of biomarkers to detect the condition. “All the pieces of the puzzle of precision medicine, which is already quite common in oncology, are now in place,” said Hartmuth Kolb, vice president, neuroscience biomarkers and R&D global imaging at Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine.

There’s urgency to stem the tide of the disease, which not only can be heart-wrenching for patients and caregivers, but also its financial burden. The cost of caring for individuals living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias in the U.S. could hit $345 billion in 2023, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, marking a $24 billion increase over the prior year​.

Aiming to stop the cascade

FDA has approved two amyloid-targeting antibodies, lecanemab and …

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Accelerating Alzheimer’s research: ADDF’s chief scientific officer reflects on the Lauder Foundation’s $200M gift

Beta-amyloid plaques and tau in the brain. [Image from National Institute of Aging]

The Estée Lauder family has donated $200 million to the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), a nonprofit they founded in 1998 to support Alzheimer’s research. The gift is the largest ADDF has received.

“We’ve deployed about $270 million so far for about 700 programs in 19 countries of drug discovery and development over the past 25 years,” said Dr. Howard Fillit, co-founder and chief science officer of the nonprofit.

The Lauder gift will sustain ADDF’s philanthropic model for the next 10 or 15 years, Fillit said. “We want to use our donors’ money solely for the advancement of the development of new drugs for Alzheimer’s disease,” he explained. The organization ensures that every cent of each dollar donated goes towards drug research, with no deductions for administrative costs, salaries, rent…

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