Britain’s Dementia Discovery Fund has formed a research collaboration with US group Immuneering Corporation that aims to identify novel drug targets and candidates for Alzheimer's disease.

Under the deal, the DDF will invest $1.3 million for the use of Immuneering's proprietary computational drug discovery platform to analyse publicly available data sets from Alzheimer’s disease patients.

The aim is to identify clinically identifiable, mechanistically linked subpopulations within Alzheimer’s disease and generate new molecular entities that will lead to new medicines to treat the condition.

“The successful discovery of new treatments for dementia will require new approaches that are both systematic and different to what has been attempted to date,” said Tetsu Maruyama, chief scientific officer of DDF.

“This collaboration brings together Immuneering’s unique drug discovery platform with DDF’s novel approach to identifying and investing in novel science to create meaningful new medicines for dementia. We believe this collaboration holds great promise for providing new insights that will lead to new targets and, ultimately, new medicines for people with Alzheimer’s.”

The DDF is a venture capital fund that invests in projects and companies to discover and develop novel, effective disease-modifying therapeutics for dementia.

Seven pharmaceutical companies - Biogen, Eli Lilly and Company, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Otsuka (Astex), Pfizer and Takeda – as well as Bill Gates, Woodford Investment Management, the NFL Players Association, the UK’s Department of Health and charity Alzheimer’s Research UK have invested in the DDF to date.

Around 44 million people worldwide suffer from dementia, but this figure is expected to double by 2030 and more than triple by 2050, placing a huge and unprecedented strain on global healthcare systems if better treatments are not discovered.