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Bill Gates commits $100 million to help fight Alzheimer's

13 November 2017

While there are now treatments available for certain symptoms of Alzheimer's, there's no overall cure for the disease.

"I'm excited to join the fight and can't wait to see what happens next", Gates said. But of all potential age-related conditions, Alzheimer's poses a "particularly big threat to society", Gates says.

"I know how very bad it is to watch people you love struggle as the disease robs them of their mental capacity".

Gates acknowledged that making progress against Alzheimer s would be a long-term project.

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"If you get the disease in your 60s or 70s, you might require expensive care for decades", he said.

The philanthropist, whose focus usually involves infectious diseases in poorer countries, said that Alzheimer's took his attention for personal reasons in part, and because it has been so hard to find any treatment.

He identified key areas that his investment aims to benefit: understanding how Alzheimer's develops, improving detection and diagnosis, more approaches to stopping the disease, increase access for patients to clinical trials and more availability of established data.

"In the first example of its kind in dementia, the DDF has now brought together funding from the private sector, charity and industry, and we're especially pleased to get so much interest from the USA in a British fund", said Kate Bingham, Managing Partner of SV. He also tells that the disease is found in men in relation to women.

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The DDF, managed by SV Health, was launched in October 2015 to drive the development and discovery of novel therapies for dementia, formed through a collaboration of seven pharmaceutical companies - Biogen, Eli Lilly and Company, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Otsuka (Astex) - the UK's Department of Health and the charity Alzheimer's Research UK.

However, Gates said, that with well-funded and focused innovation, he was optimistic treatments will be found, even if they are over a decade in the future.

"I hope that in the next 10 years that we have some powerful drugs", he added, "but it's possible that won't be achieved". For now, he said, "we probably should say 'treatment.' Any type of treatment would be a huge advance from where we are today. I believe we can do the same (or better) with Alzheimer's".

CNN notes this is the first-known time Gates has donated money toward research into a noncommunicable disease. "The Alzheimer's Association commends Bill Gates for digging in and joining the cause".

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Bill Gates commits $100 million to help fight Alzheimer's