The government’s flagship initiative for finding dementia drug treatments – the “Dame Barbara Windsor Dementia Mission” announced last year by the then PM Boris Johnson – is to be headed by Hilary Evans and Professor Nadeem Sarwar.
Evans, CEO of Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK), and Sarwar, who has held leadership positions at global pharmaceutical company Eisai, have been appointed co-chairs of the Dementia Mission, which aims to accelerate the search for effective treatments.
“We’ve made great strides in dementia research over the last decade but that progress will be lost without urgent action to maximise the impact of R&D investment and deliver new treatments that people with dementia so desperately need,” said ARUK research director Dr Susan Kohlhaas.
“The Mission co-chairs have a once in a generation opportunity to transform dementia research in the UK, and I can think of no better leaders to be at the forefront of this Mission.”
ARUK medical director Professor Jonathan Schott said the Dementia Mission would take inspiration from the Covid-19 Vaccine Taskforce:
“We saw that it is possible to dramatically speed up drug discovery, clinical trials and the licensing and delivery of new therapies at scale. Now is the time to take the lessons learnt and apply them to the next health care crisis of our time – dementia.”
The appointments were announced at a World Dementia Council meeting in the Netherlands by government science minister George Freeman.