A transatlantic partnership is putting US$3 million into research projects aimed at repurposing existing drugs as potential therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

The US-based Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), which describes itself as a “biomedical venture philanthropy”, is pooling resources with the UK’s Alzheimer’s Society in an effort to accelerate critical development programmes and bring new treatments to patients.

Each partner will fund drug-repurposing projects up to a value of US$1.5 million to leverage existing research and evidence in the hope of addressing the urgent need for new approaches to Alzheimer’s and related diseases worldwide.

“Through the repurposing of drugs in development or approved for other conditions, there is the potential to dramatically reduce the time and costs typically associated with bringing a drug from basic research and clinical development to patients,” said Dr Howard Fillit, the ADDF’s executive director and chief science officer.

The partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society “exemplifies the importance of combining and leveraging available resources to accelerate drug discovery in Alzheimer’s”, Fillit added.

The partnership is now open to research proposals under the repurposing programme, with a deadline of 5 June 2014.

More information about the requirements and review can be found at http://alzdiscovery.org/research-and-grants/applyforfunding.