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Philanthropist invests $3.5 million in Buck Institute's Alzheimer's drug development effort
Date:1/31/2011

Retired San Francisco real estate developer Douglas Rosenberg says he has a new job helping to find a cure for Alzheimer's disease. Through the Ellen and Douglas Rosenberg Foundation, the venture philanthropist is betting at least $3.5 million that Buck faculty Dale Bredesen, MD has the correct take on how to thwart the memory robbing disease that affects over 5 million Americans. The two have formed a unique partnership aimed at developing treatments based on the results of small molecule screenings that show promise in cell culture and animal models of the disease. Rosenberg's goal is to raise at least $10 million to get the new drug candidates into early clinical trials.

"We can't afford to wait, I can't afford to wait," said Rosenberg. "Big Pharma is not stepping up to the plate and the federal government, through the National Institutes of Health, is not providing money for this type of drug development either."

Rosenberg has seen the worst of Alzheimer's. His father, prominent San Francisco businessman and nationally-renowned philanthropist Claude Rosenberg, Jr. died from the neurodegenerative disease in 2008. His stepfather died from the condition that same year. His stepmother succumbed to complications of Alzheimer's in 2010.

A friend invited Rosenberg to hear Bredesen speak at the Stanford Marin Club in November 2007. Rosenberg said he got excited about Bredesen's research. "It was a fresh approach -- he was taking a look at the root causes of Alzheimer's way upstream from other work I was familiar with," said Rosenberg. "Ironically, I had never been to a Stanford function before, so I assumed it wasn't an accident that we met." The two men became friends.

Bredesen, an academic neurologist turned researcher, focuses on Alzheimer's as a disorder involving an imbalance in signaling between neurons that impacts brain plasticity, rather than the current dogma that Alzheimer's is a disease of toxicity stemming predo
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Contact: Kris Rebillot
krebillot@buckinstitute.org
415-209-2080
Buck Institute for Age Research
Source:Eurekalert

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