UK dementia research gets £49.9 million funding boost


Head of clinical trials at the University College London (UCL) Dementia Research Centre, Dr Cath Mummery, has been announced as the Director of a new network of dementia trial sites across the country.

The UK government has authorised £49.9 ($63.4) million of new funding to improve access to clinical trials and help accelerate the development of new treatments.

The network will be coordinated by UCLH and will bring together partners from across the country to build capacity and expertise in early phase dementia trial sites. This will offer people with dementia the chance to take part in early phase clinical trials irrespective of where they live and widen access to a larger, more diverse population.

Dr Mummery (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology and UCLH consultant neurologist) said: “We are at a historic point in dementia research with disease-modifying therapies emerging. We must seize momentum, working across the UK with partners and industry, world class researchers, and patient representatives to build expertise, capacity and support in a unified network of trial sites.”

New e-money account supports research

Another UCL effort to accelerate neurodegenerative disease clinical trials, using an artificial fibre technology, will be one of the first studies supported by e-money venture Science Card.

The UCL Department of Mechanical Engineering will receive proceeds from the new e-money current account app that enables users to support research projects in areas such as healthcare, climate change and computing.

Professor Emad Moeendarbary’s project will be showcased for funding on Science Card’s platform, enabling people in the UK to directly contribute to scientific research through everyday spending.

The research project will focus on developing a new technology that uses artificial fibres to mimic neuronal extensions, enabling researchers to test potential treatments more effectively. In the long term, the research project has the capacity to significantly reduce clinical trial costs and expedite study timelines, and it has the potential to become an integral part of healthcare diagnostics around the world.

Professor Moeendarbary said: “Despite advances in neurodegenerative research, a substantial gap in translational funding persists, resulting in numerous therapeutic strategies stalling at the drug development stage and failing to reach the clinic. With the aid of Science Card, funds will be directly allocated to our research project, which will not only fuel new levels of innovation but will also instil a newfound sense of confidence within our team, knowing that our research will be completed without any interruptions or delays that are usually caused by funding concerns.”

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