UK DRI and Eisai, one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical companies, are delighted to announce the first recipients for the post-doctoral research programme on dementia. This first-of-its-kind industry collaboration for the UK DRI aims to deliver innovative research that translates into improvements in diagnosis, treatment and prevention of all types of dementia.
In May 2019, UK DRI and Eisai announced the launch of the £2M joint collaboration to support advancement in dementia research. The overriding aim of the programme is to better understand the underlying biology that may lead to:
- the identification of new molecular targets, pathways and/or mechanisms for treatments
- Innovative methods surrounding drug design and delivery
- the development of new model systems relevant to human biology
- the development of biomarkers to track improvements during clinical trials and accurately identify those living with dementia
In this first round, researchers were invited to propose novel research projects in the field of neurodegeneration that may ultimately lead to transformative medicines for those living with dementia. The three following projects stood out to the joint UK DRI and Eisai committee – scientific summaries can be found below. They are:
1. Dr Marc Aurel Busche and Dr Samuel Harris, UK DRI at UCL
Long-term tracking of changes to neurons and blood vessels in models of Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease
2. Prof Valentina Escott-Price, UK DRI at Cardiff
Using genetics to identify patients suitable for future dementia treatments
3. Prof David Klenerman, UK DRI at Cambridge
Innovative assessment of proteins secreted from Parkinson’s disease neurons to identify underlying mechanisms
Awards of up to £221,000 are to be provided for a new three-year postdoctoral researcher to undertake each of these projects with additional resources for reagents or other expenses. The postdocs will benefit from both the UK DRI’s state-of-the-art research facilities and Eisai’s drug discovery and translational expertise, and attendance at an annual one-day workshop to discuss the ongoing work.