Drug Discovery call for proposals

Our Drug Discovery programme funds research to identify and test drug treatments for Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

Please note this part of our research funding programme is currently paused.

Alzheimer's Society is continuing to seek applications that identify and test drug treatments for Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. 

Since 2011 our Drug Discovery programme has focused on repurposing and repositioning of existing drugs. We are now funding a portfolio of studies that look at the preclinical identification, and early and late phase testing of drugs for Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. We are grateful to many funding partners including Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), and British Heart Foundation in making this work possible. 

Academic-led clinical studies in drug discovery

We are pleased to be continuing to work with Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) to fund academic led clinical proposals, through the ADDF Programme to Accelerate Clinical Trials (PACT).  This program will fund clinical studies to measure the safety and tolerability of new drugs for Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia, as well of proof of efficacy studies with biomarker or cognitive outcomes. 

We remain very interested in funding repurposing studies, which seek to leverage the benefit of translated preclinical work and safety data, but also welcome proposals of  potential therapies with novel mechanisms and no-prior indications.

Therapies addressing one of more of the following targets are considered high priority, although this list is not exclusive:: Neuroinflammation, protein degradation/autophagy, growth factor signalling, synaptic function/morphology, calcium regulation, energy utilization/mitochondria function, insulin sensitivity, epigenetics, ApoE function and cholesterol metabolism, vascular injury and the blood-brain barrier interface, cognitive enhancers, myelin changes, ischemia and oxidative stress, and tau-related toxicities.

Applicants can apply for funding in the range of $100,000 up to $1.5M per application, depending on the stage of the research project. Applications submitted to this call will be reviewed jointly by Alzheimer's Society and ADDF, and eligible for joint funding from the two organisations.  

There are quarterly deadlines for applications; for 2017 these are 10th March, 9th June, 8th September and 8th December. Letters of intent should be submitted 2 weeks before the indicated deadline date. We shall endeavour to communicate decisions within 90 days. 

Follow this link to submit an application.

Preclinical applications in drug discovery

We do not have dedicated funding calls for preclinical applications in drug discovery, but we currently offer two project grant deadlines each year for biomedical applications, falling in March and September each year, for which these types of bids would be eligible. More information and guidance is available on our project grant page

Industry-led studies in drug discovery

Alzheimer's Society has partnered with MRC-Technology and 7 other medical research charities to launch Neurodegeneration Medicines Acceleration Programme (NEUROMAP) which seeks to invest in promising stalled or deprioritized drug candidates owned by pharmaceutical partners. To discuss this programme further, please contact MRC-Technology directly.  

Improving the landscape and design of clinical studies 

Alzheimer's Society also wishes to help create an environment that supports and enables clinical research, and welcome discussions with potential partners on projects that improve the delivery and design of clinical trials. We can facilitate conversations with patients and the public through our Research Network. 

With NIHR and Alzheimer's Research UK we recently launched Join Dementia Research, a service that matches patients to clinical studies to support recruitment in to clinical trials. 

Non-pharmacological and complex lifestyle interventions

We wish to highlight that Alzheimer's Society also supports the development and testing of non-pharmacological interventions, including psychosocial interventions as well as interventions aimed at risk reduction or behavior change. We currently offer two project grant deadlines each year for care, services and public health applications, falling in March and September each year. 

Where next?

We are happy to discuss informally your ideas and future applications. Please get in touch with one of the team at [email protected], or with the Head of Research at the email below. 

For discussions about Alzheimer's Society Drug discovery programme, please contact:

Dr. Richard Oakley, Associate Director of Research, Alzheimer's Society

Email: [email protected]

For discussions about the ADDF and its funding calls, please contact: 

Diana Shineman, PhD, Director Scientific Affairs, Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation

Phone: 212-901-8007 | Email: [email protected]

For discussions about the project grants, please contact a member of Alzheimer’s Society Research team: [email protected]