MSD joins £4.5m Dementia Consortium

Will contribute neuroscience expertise and resources to discover new therapeutics for Alzheimer's

Merck & Co (known as MSD outside the US and Canada) is the latest pharmaceutical company to join the Dementia Consortium, a £4.5m charity-industry partnership between Alzheimer’s Research UK, MRC Technology and pharmaceutical companies Abbvie, Astex, Eisai and Lilly.

The firm made the announcement at the Alzheimer’s Research UK Conference, which takes place this week in Manchester. Engaging academic researchers with drug discovery forms a central theme of this year’s event and the Dementia Consortium is one of a suite of initiatives launched by the charity in recent years.

Dr Darryle Schoepp, Head of Neuroscience Discovery at MSD, said: 'MSD is very enthusiastic to join and contribute to the Dementia Consortium. At MSD, we are committed to discovering new therapeutics that benefit patients with dementia. By contributing our neuroscience expertise and resources in this unique collaborative model, collectively we have the opportunity to advance new scientific approaches and fuel the future pipeline of promising new treatments for Alzheimer’s.'

To date, the Consortium has awarded more than £1.5m to early stage drug discovery efforts for neurodegenerative diseases, including two projects that target the immune system in a bid to halt nerve cell damage in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and a project targeting TDP-43 aggregation in frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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