Published: Mon, November 13, 2017
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Bill Gates Announces $100 Million Investment in Alzheimer's Disease

Bill Gates Announces $100 Million Investment in Alzheimer's Disease

Microsoft Founder Bill Gates will invest $50 million into the Dementia Discovery Fund, a venture capital collaboration of charity, industry and government groups focused on finding treatments for the disease.

Major pharmaceutical companies like Novartis and Janssen are in the midst of clinical trials for drugs that slow down the disease's progress. "As a first step, I've invested $50 million in the Dementia Discovery Fund - a private fund working to diversify the clinical pipeline and identify new targets for treatment", wrote the founder of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation while stating that the investment is his own and not through the foundation.

"I hope that in the next 10 years that we have some powerful drugs, but it's possible that won't be achieved".

Till now Bill Gates foundation is known to work in the diseases such as malaria, HIV, and polio.

Bill Gates continues his generosity with a big investment in Alzheimer's research.

"It's a miracle that people are living so much longer, but longer life expectancies alone are not enough", wrote Gates in a blog post.

Gates says that he is hoping to fund innovative ideas for treatments that aren't now being tested by the pharmaceutical industry.

The philanthropist, whose usual focus is on infectious diseases in poorer countries, said Alzheimer's caught his interest partly for personal reasons, and partly because it has so far proved such a tough nut to crack.

"I know how bad it is to watch people you love struggle as the disease robs them of their mental capacity, and there is nothing you can do about it", Gates wrote.

There are 47 million people living with some form of dementia globally; about 60% to 80% of those cases are Alzheimer's disease.

Around 44 million people worldwide suffer from dementia, but this figure is expected to double by 2030 and more than triple by 2050, placing a huge and unprecedented strain on global healthcare systems if better treatments are not discovered.

"The human cost of Alzheimer's is much more hard to put into numbers", Gates wrote on his blog . People should be able to enjoy their later years - and we need a breakthrough in Alzheimer's to fulfill that. "It's like a gradual death in terms of the person that you knew".

"My background at Microsoft and my (Gates) Foundation background say to me that a data-driven contribution might be an area where I can help add some value", he said.

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