Health Care

Bill Gates investing $50M into research for Alzheimer's cure

Bill Gates investing $50M into research for Alzheimer's cure”

Billionaire and co-founder of Microsoft Bill Gates has pledged around $100 million in the fight against brain-wasting diseases, earmarking half of that for start-ups researching treatments for Alzheimer's disease.

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. "It's a bad disease that devastates both those who have it and their loved ones". And so, you know, I've seen how tough it is.

In a blog post, Mr. Gates outlined his reasons for donating, saying that Alzheimer's and dementia greatly reduce quality of life, take an extreme emotional toll on families and put an enormous economic burden on the nation's health care system.

The two-year-old DDF-which is run by venture capital firm SV Health and backed by several big biopharma companies and medical charity Alzheimer's Research U.K. -is focused on backing groups that discover and develop disease-modifying drugs for Alzheimer's, which despite decades of research can still only be treated with a handful of drugs with limited efficacy.

The economic burden is estimated at $259 billion annually, according to the Alzheimer's Association, and more than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. "It feels a lot like you're experiencing a gradual death of the person that you knew", he said in a blog post about the dementia investments.

"The human cost of Alzheimer's is much more hard to put into numbers", Gates wrote on his blog . "It's a miracle that people are living so much longer, but longer life expectancies alone are not enough". "But what happens when it's not?"

"You have a almost 50 percent chance of developing the disease if you live into your mid-80s", he wrote. Your risk of getting arthritis, Parkinson's, or another non-infectious disease that diminishes your quality of life increases with each year. People should be able to enjoy their later years - and we need a breakthrough in Alzheimer's to fulfill that.

"Gates has invested a great deal of time to better understand the full scope of the disease and how he can play a significant role in accelerating progress", the asociation said in a statement. "We extend our deep thanks to Bill Gates for his commitment to moving the Alzheimer's cause forward even faster, and extend our open arms in working together to achieve a world without Alzheimer's".

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