The Dementia Consortium has expanded to include Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Takeda and Evotec, who join the unique £9.5 million charity-industry dementia drug discovery collaboration.

The new phase of the Dementia Consortium sees the UK’s leading dementia research charity, Alzheimer’s Research UK, join forces to facilitate dementia drug discovery. The new names will join alongside the existing strategic partners AbbVie, Astex Pharmaceuticals, Eisai, Lilly and MSD.

The Dementia Consortium is a leading partnership programme that provides academic researchers with the funding, industry expertise and project management resources to capitalise on new drug targets for the treatment of the neurodegenerative diseases that cause dementia.

Currently, it supports seven pioneering projects, with more set to get underway, and is currently accepting applications for innovative new dementia targets with a rolling deadline for expressions of interest every three months. Successful projects may then be considered for licensing to industrial partners to facilitate the progression of novel treatments into the clinic.

Sir Simon Lovestone, neurodegeneration disease area stronghold leader at Janssen Research & Development, said: “We are delighted to collaborate as part of the Dementia Consortium, and we believe this is an exciting approach to identify novel targets for drug discovery in neurodegeneration, with the ultimate goal of helping patients all over the world who suffer from debilitating central nervous system disorders.”

Diseases focussed on by the Dementia Consortium include Alzheimer’s, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, as well as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease.