Health secretary announces $100m Dementia Discovery Fund

Major pharmaceutical companies, Alzheimer's Research UK and government all commit in principle to investing in the fund.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt will announce the $100m Dementia Discovery Fund at the World Health Organization's First Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia. on 17 March.

Major pharmaceutical companies Biogen, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Lilly and Pfizer have all committed in principle to investing in the project, alongside Alzheimer's Research UK and the UK government.

These commitments mark a significant first step towards launching the ground-breaking fund. The companies involved will be working together in the coming months to develop the fund further.

The government has been working with J.P. Morgan to structure the Dementia Discovery Fund as an innovative method for financing dementia research. The ultimate aim is to develop pioneering new drugs to treat the condition.

The money committed by investors today includes the £15m that the UK government announced for the fund in autumn 2014. An opportunity for additional interested investors to participate in the fund is planned for a later stage.

Speaking at the WHO conference, Jeremy Hunt is expected to say:

The new fund is a unique collaboration, bringing together the combined expertise of government, financial, industry and charity partners.

It marks a global consensus that research needs greater priority and that new sources of finance are needed to translate the best science into effective treatments.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

If we are to truly defeat this devastating disease, there must be a bold and determined global effort to invest in medical research.

This fund is a major step forward in this effort. And it is thanks to the growing strength of our economy that the UK is able to lead the way – investing in pioneering research and drug development to tackle this condition once and for all.