New report celebrates role of UK bioscience in dementia research

Posted on 20th October 2016

The UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) has today launched the next phase of its Celebrating UK Bioscience campaign to highlight the impact that the UK bioscience industry makes on delivering groundbreaking treatments to patients.

Working with Alzheimer’s Research UK, the report highlights some of the innovative efforts underway in the country to develop new treatments for dementia.

The UK Bioindustry Association is the trade association for innovative enterprises involved in UK bioscience and strives to secure the UK’s position as a global hub for innovative research and commercialisation. ‘Celebrating UK bioscience – drug discovery and development’, shows how UK bioscience plays a central role in developing the treatments needed for future generations here and around the globe, from investing in and carrying out research and development, to getting drugs from the lab and into patients.

The report and video involves the personal story of Alzheimer’s Research UK supporter Joy Watson, who is living with dementia, and highlights the innovative nature of the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF). The DDF was created by the Department of Health, Alzheimer’s Research UK and major pharmaceutical companies, who have invested in the venture to support the discovery and development of new treatments for diseases like Alzheimer’s.

The report highlights the work of Cambridge-based company Gen2, which is looking at new ways to stop the build-up of the hallmark dementia protein, tau.

Dr Matt Norton, Director of Policy and Strategy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“In the beginning dementia starts to manifest in terms of thinking and memory skills declining as well as spatial awareness declining and then, over time, symptoms become more severe. We have no treatments that can modify the diseases that cause dementia. Something that alters the course of these diseases would be a first in dementia – a real breakthrough.”

Dr Rick Livesey, CEO of Gen2 and Lead Researcher at the Alzheimer’s Research UK Stem Cell Research Centre, said:

“A key part of dementia is that is spreads through the nervous system so it starts in one region of the brain and begins jumping from neuron to neuron. What Gen2 is involved in is developing specific therapies that actually block that spreading. Because of the breadth of their strategic vision within the dementia space, the Dementia Discovery Fund can be really useful advisors.”

Joy Watson, who is living with dementia, said:

“I think it’s vital that research is ongoing, not just for me but for future generations – having the research there does give a lot of hope – to just know that we are moving in the right direction.”

Watch Joy, Rick and Matt talking about progress in dementia research:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsWngzILzpA&index=3&list=PLc9_t1PjV8lDiFQooAnWvb_IC0FNA3xm9

Posted in Policy news, Science news