News

Leveraging Cure Alzheimer’s Fund support leads to impressive RO1 grants

Posted: Dec. 14, 2010

At Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, one of our successful strategies is to fund research that is innovative and based on high-quality science yet deemed risky by traditional funding sources. Our entrepreneurial approach and ability to provide funds in a quick and efficient manner allows us to fund potentially groundbreaking work that otherwise might sit unpursued.

This approach is making a dramatic difference. In 2009, we reported two very successful examples of this type of leveraging by our funded researchers Robert Moir and Giuseppina Tesco. Moir’s concept that the Abeta peptide is an antimicrobial peptide, and part of the innate immune system, initially was funded by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, and this work led to an RO1 grant, the original and histroically oldest grant mechanism from the National Institutes of Health. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund supported Tesco’s pilot studies exploring the relationship between traumatic brain injury and Alzheimer’s, which allowed her to secure an RO1 grant.

And 2010 has brought even more success, with four more leveraging examples and others in the pipeline.

Charlie Glabe from University of California, Irvine, used his CAF project on anti-oligomer monoclonal antibodies as the preliminary data to support a new NIH RO1 award of $1 million over 5 years.  He used some of the antibodies he made in the CAF project to show that different types of amyloid oligomers exist and that they warrant further study to determine their role in AD. His RO1 grant will explore the structural heterogeneity of amyloid aggregates and the relationships of this conformational variation to the toxicity or pathogenic activities of amyloid oligomers.

David Holtzman at Washington University, St. Louis, explains his successful use of CAF funds:

“One of my CAF grants enabled me to gather preliminary data and publish papers that facilitated a grant application to the Ellison Medical Foundation, and within the last year, I applied for the Ellison Foundation Senior Scholar Award. The grant is related to my work on how synaptic activity regulates the Abeta peptide and the sleep/wake cycle. My application was successful and I was awarded a grant which started in October for $600,000 in direct costs over four years.”

Virginia Lee and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania proposed an innovative way to significantly reduce Abeta levels and plaque deposition in an established mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease with their “Brain-Penetrant Thromboxane Antagonists for Alzheimer's Disease Therapy” grant from Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. Their approach involved disrupting a particular biochemical process in which an omega 6 fatty acid that activates the thromboxane (TP) neuronal receptor in the brain stimulates excess Abeta production. Antagonists (drugs or compounds that bind to a receptor) previously used for this purpose did not successfully bridge the blood brain barrier and therefore proved ineffective. New technology suggested that novel compounds to intervene in this process also might be able to penetrate the blood brain barrier with minimal-to-no toxicity or other negative effects. The project showed considerable progress in the synthesis and evaluation of a number of TP receptor antagonists that are brain-penetrant.

This “proof of concept” work enabled the team to secure much greater funding, a five-year RO1 grant totaling more than $2.3 million from the federal government for further development of this high-potential therapeutic approach. Continuation of this work is ongoing in the drug discovery program in their Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research.

Sam Gandy also parlayed his Oligomer Collaborative funding from Cure Alzheimer’s into a three-year Department of Veterans Affairs grant.

This type of support is a big win all around. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund grants are providing seed capital to researchers to prove a concept and then leverage start-up funding into much larger government and private grants. Stay tuned for updates and more examples.

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE

At Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, one of our successful strategies is to fund research that is innovative and based on high-quality science yet deemed risky by traditional funding sources. Our entrepreneurial approach and ability to provide funds in a quick and efficient manner allows us to fund potentially groundbreaking work that otherwise might sit unpursued.

This approach is making a dramatic difference. In 2009, we reported two very successful examples of this type of leveraging by our funded researchers Robert Moir and Giuseppina Tesco. Moir’s concept that the Abeta peptide is an antimicrobial peptide, and part of the innate immune system, initially was funded by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, and this work led to an RO1 grant from the National Institutes of Health. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund supported Tesco’s pilot studies exploring the relationship between traumatic brain injury and Alzheimer’s, which allowed her to secure an RO1 grant.

And 2010 has brought even more success, with four more leveraging examples and others in the pipeline.

Charlie Glabe from University of California, Irvine, used his CAF project on anti-oligomer monoclonal antibodies as the preliminary data to support a new NIH RO1 award of $1 million over 5 years. He used some of the antibodies he made in the CAF project to show that different types of amyloid oligomers exist and that they warrant further study to determine their role in AD. His RO1 grant will explore the structural heterogeneity of amyloid aggregates and the relationships of this conformational variation to the toxicity or pathogenic activities of amyloid oligomers.

David Holtzman at Washington University, St. Louis, explains his successful use of CAF funds:

“One of my CAF grants enabled me to gather preliminary data and publish papers that facilitated a grant application to the Ellison Medical Foundation, and within the last year, I applied for the Ellison Foundation Senior Scholar Award. The grant is related to my work on how synaptic activity regulates the Abeta peptide and the sleep/wake cycle. My application was successful and I was awarded a grant which started in October for $600,000 in direct costs over four years.”

Virginia Lee and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania proposed an innovative way to significantly reduce Abeta levels and plaque deposition in an established mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease with their “Brain-Penetrant Thromboxane Antagonists for Alzheimer's Disease Therapy” grant from Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. Their approach involved disrupting a particular biochemical process in which an omega 6 fatty acid that activates the thromboxane (TP) neuronal receptor in the brain stimulates excess Abeta production. Antagonists (drugs or compounds that bind to a receptor) previously used for this purpose did not successfully bridge the blood brain barrier and therefore proved ineffective. New technology suggested that novel compounds to intervene in this process also might be able to penetrate the blood brain barrier with minimal-to-no toxicity or other negative effects. The project showed considerable progress in the synthesis and evaluation of a number of TP receptor antagonists that are brain-penetrant.

This “proof of concept” work enabled the team to secure much greater funding, a five-year RO1 grant totaling more than $2.3

At Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, one of our successful strategies is to fund research that is innovative and based on high-quality science yet deemed risky by traditional funding sources. Our entrepreneurial approach and ability to provide funds in a quick and efficient manner allows us to fund potentially groundbreaking work that otherwise might sit unpursued.

 

This approach is making a dramatic difference. In 2009, we reported two very successful examples of this type of leveraging by our funded researchers Robert Moir and Giuseppina Tesco. Moir’s concept that the Abeta peptide is an antimicrobial peptide, and part of the innate immune system, initially was funded by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, and this work led to an RO1 grant from the National Institutes of Health. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund supported Tesco’s pilot studies exploring the relationship between traumatic brain injury and Alzheimer’s, which allowed her to secure an RO1 grant.

 

And 2010 has brought even more success, with four more leveraging examples and others in the pipeline.

 

Charlie Glabe from University of California, Irvine, used his CAF project on anti-oligomer monoclonal antibodies as the preliminary data to support a new NIH RO1 award of $1 million over 5 years.  He used some of the antibodies he made in the CAF project to show that different types of amyloid oligomers exist and that they warrant further study to determine their role in AD. His RO1 grant will explore the structural heterogeneity of amyloid aggregates and the relationships of this conformational variation to the toxicity or pathogenic activities of amyloid oligomers.

 

David Holtzman at Washington University, St. Louis, explains his successful use of CAF funds:

 

“One of my CAF grants enabled me to gather preliminary data and publish papers that facilitated a grant application to the Ellison Medical Foundation, and within the last year, I applied for the Ellison Foundation Senior Scholar Award. The grant is related to my work on how synaptic activity regulates the Abeta peptide and the sleep/wake cycle. My application was successful and I was awarded a grant which started in October for $600,000 in direct costs over four years.”

 

Virginia Lee and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania proposed an innovative way to significantly reduce Abeta levels and plaque deposition in an established mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease with their “Brain-Penetrant Thromboxane Antagonists for Alzheimer's Disease Therapy” grant from Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. Their approach involved disrupting a particular biochemical process in which an omega 6 fatty acid that activates the thromboxane (TP) neuronal receptor in the brain stimulates excess Abeta production. Antagonists (drugs or compounds that bind to a receptor) previously used for this purpose did not successfully bridge the blood brain barrier and therefore proved ineffective. New technology suggested that novel compounds to intervene in this process also might be able to penetrate the blood brain barrier with minimal-to-no toxicity or other negative effects. The project showed considerable progress in the synthesis and evaluation of a number of TP receptor antagonists that are brain-penetrant.

 

This “proof of concept” work enabled the team to secure much greater funding, a five-year RO1 grant totaling more than $2.3 million from the federal government for further development of this high-potential therapeutic approach. Continuation of this work is ongoing in the drug discovery program in their Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research.

 

Sam Gandy also parlayed his Oligomer Collaborative funding from Cure Alzheimer’s into a three-year Department of Veterans Affairs grant.

 

This type of support is a big win all around. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund grants are providing seed capital to researchers to prove a concept and then leverage start-up funding into much larger government and private grants. Stay tuned for updates and more examples.

million from the federal government for further development of this high-potential therapeutic approach. Continuation of this work is ongoing in the drug discovery program in their Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research.

Sam Gandy also parlayed his Oligomer Collaborative funding from Cure Alzheimer’s into a three-year Department of Veterans Affairs grant.

This type of support is a big win all around. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund grants are providing seed capital to researchers to prove a concept and then leverage start-up funding into much larger government and private grants. Stay tuned for updates and more examples.

Board Update 2010: Our work is fueling progress

Posted: Dec. 14, 2010

Our focus on funding high-quality, innovative work is fueling progress in Alzheimer’s research

Dear Friends,

It has been an outstanding year at Cure Alzheimer’s Fund(CAF). Our strategy of using a business and venture approach for funding research is working. We’ve been recognized in The Wall Street Journal, Time magazine and AARP, featured on NPR and CNN.com and invited to exclusive conferences at the White House, TEDMED and the Milken Institute.

NY Times article highlights Abeta research of Cure Alzheimer Fund Researchers

Posted: Dec. 14, 2010

Three members of Cure Alzheimer's Fund Research Consortium - Dr. David Holtzman, Dr. Robert Malinow and Dr. Sam Gandy - are featured in a New York Times article highlighting their groundbreaking work on amyloid beta protein and its role in Alzheimer's. Veteran reporter Gina Kolata discusses how their important research is part of "a wave of unexpected findings" leading to new insights about the disease and potential new drug targets to attack Alzheimer's.

Dr. Holtzman put it best in the article how these new findings are offering real hope to the millions of people living with this devastating disease and their families. “We have a richer view of the genesis of Alzheimer’s disease as well as new directions for research, prevention and treatment.”

Read the full article here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/14/health/14alzheimers.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=science

Summit Success for Alzheimer's Advocate

Posted: Dec. 13, 2010

Alan Arnette, raising funds for Alzheimer's research, successfully completed his first summit as part of The 7 Summits Climb for Alzheimer's. Congratulations Alan! Here is a bit from his most recent dispatch:

The true summit is quite tiny, room for two people with quite a drop-off. But the large summit plateau allowed our entire team of ten to spread out for pictures, videos and push-ups. The view was spectacular. I will post my pictures and a panoramic video when I get home but let me say it was my best summit view ever. This was an emotional moment for me thinking of our goal, my supporters, and my family. I want to dedicate this 1st of the 7 summits to those with early onset Alzheimer's.

The return to High Camp was fast completing a long 12 hour climb followed a nice sleep. With a deteriorating weather forecast, we made a quick trip down from High Camp the next day to Vinson Base Camp - carrying all our tents and climbing gear - to catch the Twin Otter back to Union Glacier. From there the flight back to Punta - eventually. So, the schedule? We understand that the current poor weather pattern will continue for the next 48 hours meaning the earliest we could leave would be Monday, December 13. We are passing the time in somewhat heated 'storm port' shelter during the day and our tents at night - all relative since the sun never sets. As I reflect on the past few weeks, I am grateful to work for your support. Each step on summit day was accompanied by a mantra of "one penny, two penny, three pennies, more" All for research. Climb On! Alan Memories are Everything

Read more of Alan's dispatches>

Pledge to support Cure Alzheimer's Fund and research with every step of Alan's climbs>

CDC Reports Life Expectancy down a bit, but death from Alzheimer’s up 7.5%

Posted: Dec. 10, 2010

The report released on December 9, 2010 by the National Center for health Statistics compares mortality statistics for major diseases between 2007 and 2008 with notes about longer running trends. Alzheimer’s disease remains the #6 cause of death, but jumped 7.5% in the number of deaths between 2007 and 2008. The report also noted that the death rate increased more than 14% from 2003 to 2008.

Several of the leading causes of death saw declines, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, homicide and accidents. Infant mortality dropped about 2%. But increases were seen in Alzheimer’s, flue and pneumonia, high blood pressure, suicide and kidney disease, with Alzheimer’s leading the increases.

The full report can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/NCHS.

This disturbing statistic for Alzheimer’s disease should not come as a surprise. Diagnosis and reporting are getting better, and as other causes of death begin to decline, we live longer and are more subject to diseases of aging, such as Alzheimer’s. Plus pure demographics is working against us; the baby boomers are now entering the age where Alzheimer’s becomes apparent.  Approximately 10% of those aged 65 and older have Alzheimer’s; for those 85 and older, the number comes close to half.

While keeping the pressure on to find the causes of and treat these other terrible diseases, we need to regard the Alzheimer’s increase as a clear not-so-early warning that without effective intervention soon, the disease will simply overwhelm us --- our health care systems, our families and an our own and our country’s ability to pay for the care that will be required.

And yet, research budgets at the National Institutes of Health and its National Institute of Aging specifically, continue to erode. We are not facing up to this problem and will pay dearly for it in the not-too-distant future.

Privately funded research can help through focused, strategic pursuit of the real causes of the disease to then accelerate development of effective therapies. But only the government has the resources at sufficient scale to break the back of this disease.

All of us can help by first, contributing to effective, results-oriented private research; and second, by insisting that our elected national officials increase the public’s investment in Alzheimer’s research.

This CDC report should serve as a clarion call to action. If our public officials have either ignored this epidemic until now, or regarded it as “just another problem we have to face”, this report should help order priorities and increase the sense of urgency  around doing all we can to stop this disease.

Raising Money for Research by Climbing in Antarctica

Posted: Dec. 1, 2010

Alan Arnette is in Antarctica climbing Mt. Vinson as part of his 7 Summits Climb for Alzheimer's. Check out his first audio dispatch as he describes his flight in and the pristine snowy landscape of summer near the south pole. It's hard to imagine that it's light all day right now in Antarctica, while at Cure Alzheimer's Fund's main office just outside Boston, it's dark by 5 p.m.

Listen to the dispatch>

Read updates and progress about the Mt. Vinson climb>

Read more about The 7 Summits Climb for Alzheimer's: Memories are Everything>

Alan is attempting to climb the highest peak on each continent as part of a campaign to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer's research. Every penny donated to Arnette’s quest will go to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund to support research. The cost of the climbs is being covered by the Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Program of Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy and Pfizer Inc. Weather and technology permitting, Alan will be dispatching reports via Twitter and on his blog during his climb. So stay tuned!

Alot of Good Science, Not Enough Funding

Posted: Nov. 30, 2010

Cure Alzheimer's Fund co-founder Phyllis Rappaport hit a key point when interviewed this week by Joe Crankshaw in the Treasure Coast Palm, there isn't enough funding for Alzheimer's research, even though there is a lot of good science that needs to be supported.

Rappaport explains:

We understand so much more about Alzheimer's now then even just four years ago. We have more science then we have money, we have so many avenues to pursue. But this has been an exciting month. The National Neuroscience convention has just ended, and having top scientists discussing our projects and bouncing ideas off each other is exciting.

She also spoke about the devestating impact of Alzheimer's disease and hope for progress with more awareness and funding.

Read the article>

 

 

Off to the Coldest Spot on Earth!

Posted: Nov. 24, 2010

After several years of planning, Alan Arnette is off to the first mountain of his 7 Summits Climb. His first climb is Mount Vinson in Antartica which is one of the coldest places on the planet (so maybe not the coldest spot on the earth!).

Follow his progress on his website>

Spry Living also just featured Alan, his campaign and efforts to raise money for a cure in a piece title Climbing for Alzheimer's and it's Caregivers>

Bon Voyage Alan and Happy Thanksgiving!

Ending Alzheimer's by 2020 - Podcast

Posted: Nov. 17, 2010

Bob DeMarco is featuring a podcast entitled, Rudy Tanzi The Plan to End Alzheimer's by 2020, on his website, the Alzheimer's Reading Room. We encourage you to listen to the podcast, as Bob writes:

"Please listen to Dr. Tanzi's words carefully. You might want to listen more than once to get a good understanding of his approach, plan, and a clear understanding of why he is optimistic."

The Alzheimer's Reading Room is a terrific source of information for the entire Alzheimer's community. The blog focuses on those suffering from Alzheimer's disease, Alzheimer's caregivers, and the art of Alzheimer's caregiving.

To listen to the podcast on the Alzheimer's Reading Room site click here>

 

 

Did you miss Cure Alzheimer's Fund on NPR?

Posted: Nov. 11, 2010

Take a moment for this excellent work reporting on our progress and explaining the important steps needed to get to a cure. Co-Founder and Chairman, Jeff Morby and Research Consortium Chair, Rudy Tanzi were also interviewed by Emily Rooney on Greater Boston and by Mindy Todd on The Point and featured in the Cape Cod Times.

 

Click here to listen to Parts One and Two of Venture Philanthropy: An Investors Approach to Curing Alzheimer's>

 

Watch the Greater Boston tv show>

Listen to The Point>

Read The Brain is their Business in the Cape Cod Times>