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Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation Launches Second Phase of $100M Diagnostics Initiative

NEW YORK — Nonprofit research organization The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) said on Tuesday that it has kicked off the second phase of its Diagnostics Accelerator program with $50 million in new funding for projects developing new tests for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

ADDF's Diagnostics Accelerator was launched in 2018 with over $30 million from various philanthropists including Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Leonard Lauder. To date, the ADDF said, the accelerator has invested around $50 million in more than 40 global research projects.

With the new funding — coming from both existing and new contributors such as the NFL Players Association, Eli Lilly, and Biogen — the accelerator aims to provide money to support the commercialization of diagnostics already in late-stage development. These include Diamir's test for blood-based microRNA biomarkers that can predict progression from cognitive impairment to Alzheimer's disease, a test being developed by RetiSpec that detects neurodegenerative changes through retinal imaging, and a digital platform for cognitive assessment from Altoida.

"We cannot slow or stop the course of Alzheimer's disease without first finding a simple way to diagnose it early, and with support from strategic partnerships like the Diagnostics Accelerator we are well on our way," ADDF Cofounder and CSO Howard Fillit said in a statement. "Our aim is to bring more diagnostic tools to patients and physicians within the next five years."