Bill Gates introduces dementia Diagnostics Accelerator
Bill Gates has announced the introduction of the Diagnostics Accelerator, a project of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), to further ideas for earlier and better diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Gates is leading the funding with a $30 million investment.
The project is set up as a venture capital fund, bringing together biotech companies, academics, charities and other partners. One of the main bottlenecks in Alzheimer’s drug development has been a lack of validated biomarkers to diagnose patients noninvasively, monitor progression or reveal subgroups that may benefit from specific therapies in clinical trials. Currently, the only way to definitively diagnose the disease is through an autopsy; tests of cognitive decline need to rule out other possible causes. Positron emission tomography scans can be used to detect amyloid plaque deposits in the brain, but the technology is not widely available and carries high radiation exposure.