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Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation Awards $5.5M in Grants for Diagnostic Development

NEW YORK — The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) said on Wednesday that it has awarded $5.5 million in new funding to support the development of blood-based tests for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

Recipients of the funding include Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis researcher Laura Ibanez, who was awarded $281,370 to develop a test that measures cell-free ribonucleic acid to predict Alzheimer's disease onset; and the University of Gothenburg's Henrik Zetterberg, who received a $3.2 million grant to advance an Alzheimer's disease test — being developed with Roche Diagnostics — that detects amyloid beta 40 and amyloid beta 42 protein fragments.

Other award winners include Rodney Pearlman of the Bluefield Project to Cure FTD, who was awarded $1.2 million to develop a test that measures neurofilament light chain (NfL) levels in people that carry an inherited form of frontotemporal degeneration but do not show symptoms; Douglas Galasko of the University of California, San Diego, who received $375,000 to work on an NfL- and tau protein-based test for Alzheimer's disease; and DiamiR CSO Samuil Umansky, who was awarded $492,000 to investigate the use of microRNAs as biomarkers of neurodegeneration.

The funding was awarded through ADDF's Diagnostic Accelerator, a partnership between the charity and various philanthropic partners.