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媒體新聞

英國政府牽頭,一億美元風投將用于研究癡呆癥

2015-03-18

來源:生物谷 2015-03-18

2015年3月18日訊/--近日,在英國政府和數個制藥巨頭的支持下,世界上首個致力于研發預防和治療癡呆的風險投資募資完成,該研究計劃共獲得一億美元的風險投資。

“癡呆研究基金會”專門致力于癡呆研究,并且起到聯結政府和工業界的橋梁作用。此次參與投資的公司均為醫藥界大佬,包括葛蘭素史克、強生、禮來、輝瑞以及百健艾迪。

英國衛生部長在日內瓦的一次會議上曾經宣布,要在2025年前找到治療阿茲海默癥和其它癡呆的有效方法。而葛蘭素史克的研發部門負責人對此表示,2025年完成這一任務實在是目標過大。然而,源源不斷的投入會支持學術界和小型制藥公司的研究思路,從而幫助加快研發的進程。這確實是一個難題,然而科學也是在不斷進步的。人們現在已經開始從基因層面研究神經退行性病變的機理,在這方面確實是存在許多機會。

風險投資一直是那些高風險的早期生命科學研究的重要資金來源,而這一風投是目前為止唯一一個單獨為研究癡呆而募集的。

此次摩根大通將作為英國政府的財政顧問。英國政府表示,其它有投資意向的機構還有機會加入后續階段的研究。

除了提供財政支持以外,各機構還會為研究項目提供早期階段的專家建議。英國阿茲海默癥研究中心會和工業界一道為項目提供智力支持。

獨立的醫藥公司若想參與商業上的研發,必須事先競標,由競標獲得的資金將會再投資于研究項目。

英國政府作為整個項目的帶頭機構,已經投資了2200萬美元,葛蘭素史克投資了2500萬美元,強生是1000萬美元,其余的資金來源于其它公司。

癡呆癥目前已經影響到全球5000萬人口,并且據非營利性研究機構——國際阿茲海默癥協會的估計,到2050年將會影響到全球1.35億人口。目前仍然沒有控制阿茲海默癥進展的好方法,當前的藥物僅能起到緩解癥狀的作用。(力太生物.com)

原文 Dementia drug research aided by $100 million venture capital fund

The world's first venture capital fund dedicated to finding new ways to prevent and treat dementia has raised more than $100 million with the backing of the British government and several of the world's leading drugmakers.

The global Dementia Discovery Fund is unique in focusing on a single difficult to treat disorder and in bringing together industry and government.

Drug companies involved include GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly, Pfizer and Biogen Idec.

The initiative, announced by Britain's health minister Jeremy Hunt at a meeting in Geneva on Tuesday, follows a Group of Eight (G8) nations conference in London in December 2013 that set a goal of finding a cure or effective treatment for Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia by 2025.

GSK's head of research and development Patrick Vallance told Reuters the 2025 goal was "hugely ambitious" but that pooling resources through the new fund to back promising ideas from academic groups and small biotech firms would help to accelerate research.

"It's tough to crack but the science is moving," Vallance said. "People are now beginning to look at subsets of dementia and the genetics of neurodegeneration, so there are real opportunities."

Venture capital funds are a common source of finance for high-risk, early-stage life science research, but the new fund is the first to focus solely on dementia.

The British government, which has worked with J.P. Morgan as financial adviser in setting up the fund, said that additional interested investors would have an opportunity to participate at a later stage.

As well as providing financial support, research projects that secure the fund's backing will gain expert advice during the critical early stages of research, with charity Alzheimer’s Research UK also involved alongside industry.

Individual pharmaceutical companies wanting to go on to develop particular projects commercially will be able to bid for rights to do so, with money raised from the bidding process to be reinvested in the fund.

The British government, as project leader, is contributing $22 million, while GSK is putting in $25 million and J&J $10 million, with further money coming from other companies.

Dementia, of which Alzheimer's is the most common form, affects close to 50 million people worldwide and is set to reach 135 million by 2050, according to non-profit campaign group Alzheimer's Disease International.

There is still no treatment that can slow the progression of Alzheimer's. Current drugs can do no more than ease some of the symptoms.


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