WILMINGTON, Mass.—Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. has announced that the company has been selected by Alzheimer’s Research UK to join the Dementia Consortium. The Dementia Consortium is a global charity-industry partnership aimed at funding promising research from academia, and helping to progress projects with the scale and strength of industry supporters.
The Dementia Consortium invests in academic led research projects, typically 2-3 years in duration, which aim to provide validation of targets for the treatment of dementia or explore the tractability of the target for drug discovery. Some of the projects already funded include novel small molecule inhibitors of the NLRP3 inflammasome, inhibitors of the interaction between key proteins involved in the proliferation of microglia, and the role of immune system regulators and receptors in neurodegeneration.
“Dementia impacts nearly 50 million people worldwide, a number that is expected to triple by 2050,” said Carol Routledge, Ph.D., director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK. “Treating dementia poses an enormous medical challenge, and we are excited to leverage Charles River’s early drug discovery expertise in our effort to tackle it.”
Applications for innovative new dementia targets are now being accepted by Alzheimer’s Research UK in the second phase of the Dementia Consortium, and new projects are now under way.
As the latest contract research organization partner chosen by Alzheimer’s Research UK to join the Dementia Consortium, Charles River scientists will collaborate with grant recipients on selected projects, consulting on areas including biological assay development and screening, high-throughput screening and medicinal chemistry.
Grant holders will have regular project review meetings with members of the Dementia Consortium, and Charles River’s integrated drug discovery approach will help academic investigators navigate their projects more easily. Successful projects that generate novel chemistry may then be considered for licensing to industry partners to facilitate the progression of novel treatments into the clinic.
“We see an incredible need to research innovative solutions to neurodegenerative diseases. The Dementia Consortium brings together the best minds from academia and industry to progress candidates through the drug discovery and development process,” noted Birgit Girshick, corporate executive vice president, Discovery & Safety Assessment, Biologics Testing Solutions, and Avian Vaccine Services, Charles River. “We are proud to be part of the important work they’re doing.”