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MSD joins charity-industry partnership Dementia Consortium

Published on 09/03/16 at 09:21am

The Dementia Consortium has welcomed MSD into the fold as a new partner in its global venture to accelerate drug discovery for neurodegenerative disease.

The industry-charity partnership supports collaborative target validation and drug discovery projects from academia and SMEs. MSD will join the likes of charity partners Alzheimer’s Research UK and MRC Technology, as well as industry partners Abbvie, Astex and Lilly, in this collaborative project.

The announcement comes as part of the Alzheimer’s Research UK Conference, with engaging academic researchers with drug discovery a central theme of the charity’s endeavours going forward. These efforts further chime in with MSD’s research focus, fostering innovation through collaboration.

So far, the Consortium has awarded over £1.5 million to early-stage drug discovery efforts, including two projects that target the immune system in a bid to halt nerve cell damage in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as a project targeting TDP-43 aggregation in frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Dr Darryle Schoepp, head of neuroscience discovery at MSD, says: “MSD is very enthusiastic to join and contribute to the Dementia Consortium. By contributing our neuroscience expertise and resources in this unique collaborative model, collectively we have the opportunity to advance new scientific approaches and fuel the future pipeline of promising new treatments for Alzheimer’s.”

Dr Simon Ridley, director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, comments: “We’re pleased to welcome MSD to the Dementia Consortium. The Consortium has had a hugely successful year, with four drug development programmes getting underway across the world. MSD bring financial investment and expertise to the Consortium, allowing us to build a diverse drug discovery pipeline and strengthening our ability to find treatments for dementia sooner.”

Sean Murray

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