Billionaires | July 20, 2018

Bill Gates funds biotech accelerator for Alzheimer’s

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

Gates is backing a $30 million venture philanthropy accelerator that will support early stage biotech companies working on Alzheimer’s research, detection and diagnosis. The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation’s Diagnostics Accelerator will make grants to biotech companies, academic medical centers, nonprofits and others over the next three years.

“Alzheimer’s research is a frontier where we can dramatically improve human life,” Gates wrote on his blog, while outlining a priority of finding simpler, less invasive and more affordable diagnostic tests as a starting point. Estée Lauder chairman Leonard Lauder, the Dolby family, the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, and others are also supporting the accelerator.

Gate’s funding for the accelerator is part of a $100 million commitment pledge he made to advancing Alzheimer’s research and eventually finding a cure. (For Gates, supporting Alzheimer’s research is personal: his father was diagnosed with the disease.) His commitment to the Diagnostics Accelerator follows his pledge of $50 million the U.K.-based Dementia Discovery Fund.