Drug Discovery Alliance

The Drug Discovery Alliance is an ambitious £30 million initiative to accelerate dementia drug discovery.

In February 2015, we launched a £30 million Alliance of academic Drug Discovery Institutes – one of the largest coordinated dementia drug discovery efforts in the world. The three Institutes at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and University College London will work with the academic research community to identify and validate novel targets for neurodegeneration. Our Chief Scientific Officers seek out approaches previously unexplored by the pharmaceutical industry, to build new drug discovery projects. We encourage dialogue at any stage about potential collaborations; please visit the websites to find out more about how the Alliance will interact with the research community.

What do the Drug Discovery Institutes do?

Our Drug Discovery Institutes couple the biological expertise of international collaborators with innovative in-house drug discovery expertise. Each institute houses dedicated biology and chemistry teams to evaluate promising new targets. The Institutes establish assays to screen compound libraries for hits against these targets and improve hits into potent and selective lead compounds. This provides the basis for the next generation of medicines to treat neurodegeneration. Together, our Drug Discovery Institutes are exploring a wide range of disease mechanisms spanning the full spectrum of dementias.


I have a potential drug target, which Institute should I contact?

If you have molecular targets of hypotheses that could lead to new therapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative diseases and would like to learn more about collaborating with the drug discovery alliance, contact DDAenquiries@alzheimersresearchuk.org to kick-start discussions with all three CSOs, or complete a pro-forma . Alternatively, you can contact our Chief Scientific Officers, Dr John Skidmore at the Cambridge DDI, Dr John Davis at the Oxford DDI and Prof Paul Whiting at the UCL DDI who are keen to engage in informal discussions.

For promising data that are too preliminary to progress with our Drug Discovery Alliance, our Target Validation Pathfinder Grant offers up to £50,000 to support translational research that shows potential for collaboration.