ADDF Diagnostics Accelerator Funding for FTD Biomarker Development

The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation’s (ADDF) Diagnostics Accelerator (DxA) initiative will provide up to $5 million in funding total for FTD biomarker development. These funds represent $2.5 million in support from AFTD, matched by $2.5 million allocation of the ADDF’s DxA funds.

The DxA was launched in July 2018 through funding commitments from philanthropists Bill Gates, ADDF co-founder Leonard A. Lauder and others, including the Dolby family, the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, Jeff Bezos, Mackenzie Scott, and AFTD.

Funding is available for either peripheral biomarkers or digital biomarkers as of November 2020. The DxA is part of the ADDF’s venture philanthropy strategy, an innovative model that gives it the flexibility to back promising cutting-edge research that may not have a guaranteed immediate commercial return. It will strike a balance between taking more risks than traditional venture capital funds and a focus on short-term development of products for the marketplace.

FTD-focused projects funded by ADDF’s Diagnostics Accelerator include the following. For more details on these and other Diagnostics Accelerator projects, please refer to the ADDF portfolio.

Remote blood biomarker monitoring in frontotemporal lobar degeneration: Neurofilament Surveillance Project (NSP)
Bluefield Project to Cure FTD
Rodney Pearlman, PhD
Funding Period: October 2019 – July 2024
Amount: $1,200,000
Project Description: The Neurofilament Surveillance Project (NSP) is a precompetitive, public-private partnership to qualify plasma neurofilament light chain (NfL) as an endpoint for f-FTLD prevention trials, so that it can indicate therapeutic efficacy prior to the onset of symptoms.

Quantitative Profiling of Proteopathy-Associated Proteins and their Fragments in Blood to Diagnose AD and FTD and to Monitor Treatment Response
Boston Children’s Hospital
Judith Steen, PhD
Funding Period: September 2020 – August 2022
Amount: $572,678
Project Description: This proposal focuses on blood-based fragments of Tau and TDP43 as potential biomarkers for FTD and AD to help differentiate neurodegenerative diseases and monitor treatment efficacy in clinical trials. This work represents the evolution of a project previously funded by AFTD through the Biomarkers Initiative, a program that invested in earlier stage biomarker development.

Please visit ADDF’s Diagnostics Accelerator web page for details and application instructions.

AFTD is proud to partner with the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation on several initiatives to advance FTD diagnosis and treatment. Other ongoing initiatives include the Treat FTD Fund launched in 2016 to support clinical trials, and the Accelerating Drug Discovery for FTD program, launched in 2007 to support drug discovery programs.