Bill Gates com­mits $100m for DDF and start-ups

The Gulf Today - Business - - INTERNATIONAL -

LONDON: Bil­lion­aire Mi­crosoft co-founder Bill Gates is to in­vest $50 mil­lion in the De­men­tia Dis­cov­ery Fund (DDF), a ven­ture cap­i­tal fund that brings to­gether in­dus­try and gov­ern­ment to seek treat­ments for the brain-wast­ing dis­ease. An­other $50 mil­lion in a num­ber of start-up ven­tures work­ing in Alzheimer’s re­search.

The in­vest­ment is not part of Gates’ phil­an­thropic Bill & Melinda Gates Foun­da­tion.

With rapidly ris­ing num­bers of peo­ple suf­fer­ing from Alzheimer’s and other forms of de­men­tia, the dis­ease is tak­ing a grow­ing emo­tional and fi­nan­cial toll as peo­ple live longer, Gates told Reuters in an in­ter­view.

The DDF, which was launched in 2015 and in­volves phar­ma­mak­ers Glax­o­smithk­line, John­son & John­son, Eli Lilly, Pfizer and Bio­gen Idec as well as the UK gov­ern­ment, has al­ready in­vested in at least nine start-up com­pa­nies in­ves­ti­gat­ing po­ten­tial ways to stop or re­verse the bi­o­log­i­cal pro­cesses that lead to de­men­tia.

Gates told Reuters the ad­di­tional $50 mil­lion would be put into start-ups work­ing on some “less main­stream” ap­proaches to the dis­ease, but said he had not yet iden­ti­fied these com­pa­nies.

Along­side the $50 mil­lion in­vest­ment in DDF and the ad­di­tional $50 mil­lion planned for start-ups, Gates said he would like to award a grant to build a global de­men­tia data plat­form.

This would make it eas­ier for re­searchers to look for pat­terns and iden­tify new path­ways for treat­ment, he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.