The funding will be used to develop new diagnostic tests, treatments and devices

LifeArc and the UK Dementia Research Institute (UKDRI) has invested £14.5m into seven neurodegeneration research projects as part of their £30m strategic partnership.

Established in 2022, the partnership funding is aimed at accelerating the development of new diagnostic tests, treatments and devices to treat neurodegenerative diseases that cause dementia.

In the UK, around 900,000 people are living with the terminal condition of dementia, which currently has no cure.

The two organisations aim to bridge the gap between laboratory discoveries and clinical applications to develop new treatments and therapies.

The seven projects to receive funding include those led by the UKDRI at University College London, Cambridge, King’s College London, Imperial College London, Cardiff University, the UKDRI director and the UKDRI Care Research and Technology.

“These pioneering projects will bring us ever closer to our mission of new treatments for people affected by dementia,” said Dr Kay Penicud, UKDRI director of innovation and business.

The projects range from developing treatments and therapies for neurodegenerative conditions including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, motor neurone disease (MND) and cerebral small vessel disease.

Dr Karen Skinner, chief project and portfolio officer at LifeArc, said: “Our partnership with UKDRI allows us to identify and back the most promising translational research with the potential to transform the lives of those with neurodegenerative conditions.

“We reduce risk by further validating opportunities and enhancing appeal to potential future partners, such as pharmaceutical companies, who can subsequently advance these innovations through the clinic and onto the market for those who desperately need them.”

Currently, LifeArc has invested up to £100m to tackle neurodegenerative conditions, one of its five healthcare themes with significant unmet patient needs.

Alongside the partnership with the UKDRI, additional funding has been invested in LifeArc’s MND Translational Challenge, MND Collaborative Partnership with MND charities and government funders, the MND Translation Research Fund created in partnership with the MND Association and the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.