You’ve joined one of the world’s biggest efforts to find a dementia cure

The Drug Discovery Alliance is one of the largest and most coordinated efforts to find a cure for dementia that exists today, and you’re vital in making it happen.


We’re turning ideas into life-changing treatments

Finding life-changing dementia treatments will take a hugely creative and collaborative effort from the science community - and thankfully, the academic labs of UK universities are already on board. Their talented scientists are constantly exploring new ways to further the world’s understanding of neurological diseases.

But they don’t have everything they need to turn their ideas into real world treatments - treatments that could make a life-changing difference to people living with the diseases that cause dementia, like Alzheimer’s. With your help, we’re fixing that with our Drug Discovery Alliance initiative.

We’re dedicated to a dementia cure

Our Drug Discovery Alliance initiative has launched and enabled collaboration across three Drug Discovery Institutes (DDIs) at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and University College London.

Each institute is staffed with drug discovery experts who work closely with the universities’ academic experts. This means that new drugs can be designed in immediate response to the latest findings around dementia.

Your regular gift helps to keep as many as 60 drug discovery scientists dedicated to this task across the initiative, making it the largest, most coordinated effort to find new drugs for dementia.

scientist using microscope in lab

How do you design a life-changing drug?

Like most things in the body, the brain needs balance to function properly. With so many intricate moving parts, the processes that maintain this balance in the brain are complex. On top of that, when a disease like Alzheimer’s takes hold, these processes are thrown into disarray.

Our academic scientists make sense of the puzzle, identifying the exact parts of the brain which have been unsettled. With your support, our drug discovery experts can then develop drugs that target those parts, changing the way they interact to boost brain function. Together, we are making a world of difference for people living with dementia.

Coming together to fast-track new drugs

Thanks to people like you, the Drug Discovery Alliance can bring together the best minds across academic research, drug discovery, and clinical trial services to get new treatments to people living with dementia.

Together, we’re transforming lives sooner

Once one of our discovery institutes confirms that a new drug is suited to the human body, it’s ready for pharmaceutical companies to take to clinical trials. Your support helps us to ensure a close relationship between our Drug Discovery Institutes and these industry partners.

This means promising new drugs will move quickly to the final stage of testing. That allows them to be ready for consumption sooner so they can improve the lives of people living with dementia sooner too.


At Cambridge’s DDI, Chief Scientific Officer John Skidmore and his team are designing a life-changing drug that will improve the brain’s ability to clear out harmful matter – and it’s all thanks to you.

In depth: a new life-changing drug made possible by you

Usually, brain cells strike a perfect harmony between making new proteins and getting rid of old ones. But diseases like Alzheimer’s can upset this harmony so that more proteins are made than the brain’s waste disposal system can handle. This causes harmful buildup around cells.

Prof David Rubinstzein at Cambridge University is an academic expert in these brain waste disposal processes. Working closely with John’s team, his knowledge is helping them to design a tailored drug that will boost the brain’s waste disposal ability.

The finished drug could help to remove the harmful buildup of proteins in the brain caused by diseases like Alzheimer’s – slowing or even stopping the effects. Without your support, these influential collaborations between academics and drug experts wouldn’t be possible.

We promise to keep making the most of your gift with more initiatives like this

Your regular gift makes so much of this possible. That’s why we promise you that we will always spend it wisely on life-changing initiatives like this one.

We know you would expect no less.

Here’s what we do with every £1 you donate – right down to the last penny...

  • 73p powers life-changing research and raises awareness so others take action on dementia
  • 27p raises our next £1 and funds only essential running costs