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英国政府牵头,一亿美元风投将用于研究痴呆症

2015-03-18

来源:生物谷 2015-03-18

2015年3月18日讯/--近日,在英国政府和数个制药巨头的支持下,世界上首个致力于研发预防和治疗痴呆的风险投资募资完成,该研究计划共获得一亿美元的风险投资。

“痴呆研究基金会”专门致力于痴呆研究,并且起到联结政府和工业界的桥梁作用。此次参与投资的公司均为医药界大佬,包括葛兰素史克、强生、礼来、辉瑞以及百健艾迪。

英国卫生部长在日内瓦的一次会议上曾经宣布,要在2025年前找到治疗阿兹海默症和其它痴呆的有效方法。而葛兰素史克的研发部门负责人对此表示,2025年完成这一任务实在是目标过大。然而,源源不断的投入会支持学术界和小型制药公司的研究思路,从而帮助加快研发的进程。这确实是一个难题,然而科学也是在不断进步的。人们现在已经开始从基因层面研究神经退行性病变的机理,在这方面确实是存在许多机会。

风险投资一直是那些高风险的早期生命科学研究的重要资金来源,而这一风投是目前为止唯一一个单独为研究痴呆而募集的。

此次摩根大通将作为英国政府的财政顾问。英国政府表示,其它有投资意向的机构还有机会加入后续阶段的研究。

除了提供财政支持以外,各机构还会为研究项目提供早期阶段的专家建议。英国阿兹海默症研究中心会和工业界一道为项目提供智力支持。

独立的医药公司若想参与商业上的研发,必须事先竞标,由竞标获得的资金将会再投资于研究项目。

英国政府作为整个项目的带头机构,已经投资了2200万美元,葛兰素史克投资了2500万美元,强生是1000万美元,其余的资金来源于其它公司。

痴呆症目前已经影响到全球5000万人口,并且据非营利性研究机构——国际阿兹海默症协会的估计,到2050年将会影响到全球1.35亿人口。目前仍然没有控制阿兹海默症进展的好方法,当前的药物仅能起到缓解症状的作用。(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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