The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced yesterday the release of $45 million in new funds to support trials targeting drug development and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). “We are determined, even in a time of constrained fiscal resources, to capitalize on exciting scientific opportunities to advance understanding of Alzheimer’s biology and find effective therapies as quickly as possible,” NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins said in a press statement. The majority of the funding ($40 million) comes from the Office of the NIH Director, Dr. Francis Collins, with additional funding from the National Institute on Aging (NIA).
The studies are among the first to be developed under the direction of a federal initiative for tackling the disease, mandated as part of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act. As part of that effrot, a core group of Alzheimer’s specialists, patients, families and advocacy organizations, met in May 2012 — for the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Summit 2012 — to outline research goals and priorities and develop the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease.
In June, the Department of Health and Human Services published updated goals on the initiative — among them, to identify prevention and treatment strategies for AD by 2025; improve patient care; enhance support networks for patients and their families; and increase public awareness; and carefully track data for these efforts.
These new awards will support the following studies and clinical trials:
· The Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network Trials Unit (DIAN-TU) Trial — Dr. Randall Bateman, Washington University, St. Louis, and co-investigators. $1.5 million in fiscal 2013, with the potential for $6 million over four years
· The Alzheimer's Prevention Initiative APOE4 Trial — Drs. Eric Reiman and Pierre Tariot, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, Phoenix, and co-investigators. Fully funded in fiscal 2013 at $33.2 million
· llopregnanolone Regenerative Therapeutic for MCI/Alzheimer’s: Dose Finding Phase 1 — Drs. Roberta Brinton and Lon Schneider, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Fully funded in fiscal 2013 at $2.4 million
· Pathway Discovery, Validation and Compound Identification for Alzheimer’s Disease —Drs. Philip De Jager, of the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Broad Institute, Harvard University, Boston, and David Bennett, of Rush University Medical Center, Chicago. $1.7 million in fiscal 2013, with the potential of $7.9 million over five years
· Integrative Biology Approach to Complexity of Alzheimer’s Disease — Dr. Eric Schadt of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City, and a team of investigators. $1.6 million in fiscal 2013, with the potential of $8.2 million over five years
· A Systems Approach to Targeting Innate Immunity in Alzheimer’s — Dr. Todd Golde, University of Florida, Gainesville, and colleagues. $1.6 million in fiscal 2013, with the potential of $7.7 million over five years
See the full descriptions of these initiatives here: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/sep2013/nia-18.htm. Visit Neurology Today’s archives for our past coverage of Alzheimer’s disease research: http://bit.ly/1clb02K, and for more on national Alzheimer’s initiatives: http://bit.ly/14mp8nJ.