TORONTO, Oct. 11, 2016 /CNW/ - In an effort to support the world-leading scientists actively searching for ways to lessen the devastating impacts of Alzheimer's disease, the Weston Brain Institute today announced committed funds of $5 million to Canadian research projects in this field, in 2016 alone. In total, the Institute has allocated almost $19 million to Canadian researchers in this area in the past four years.
The funding is a part of the $100 million commitment by the Weston Brain Institute for high-risk, high-reward translational research projects that have the potential to help speed up the development of treatments for neurodegenerative diseases of aging, an area that is significantly underfunded in Canada.
"There are currently more than half a million Canadians living with dementia, including Alzheimer's in Canada, and that number is expected to almost double in the next fifteen years," said Alexandra Stewart, Executive Director at the Weston Brain Institute. "Over the past four years, the Weston Brain Institute has focused our funding and attention on projects with the potential to significantly impact these Canadians."
These grants funded by the Institute span the country and range in scope from pre-clinical work to early phase clinical trials. Potential outcomes from these projects range from the development of novel therapies and biomarkers for the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's, to improved drug delivery methods.
The lack of treatments for all neurodegenerative diseases of aging, including Alzheimer's, has been called the biggest unmet need in modern medicine. These diseases are placing a large and increasing burden on Canadian society, with almost one in 12 Canadians impacted and costs of more than $22b per year. Globally the statistics are equally staggering with the cost of dementia estimated to be one trillion dollars by 2018.
About the Weston Brain Institute
The Weston Brain Institute is Canada's largest privately funded initiative aimed at accelerating breakthrough discoveries for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases of aging, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The Institute directly supports Canada's world-class neuroscience research community and focuses on high-risk, high-reward projects, independent of commercial potential, that address the existing translational gap in neurodegenerative research using an innovative fast-track granting model. The Institute is supported by The W. Garfield Weston Foundation in Canada. European programming is supported by The Selfridges Group Foundation.
SOURCE Weston Brain Institute
For further information: Catherine Thomas, Director, External Communication, 416-844-2507