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Awards for Drug Discovery Research for Frontotemporal Degeneration Announced

NEW YORK, March 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) and the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD) announced today the recipients of their fifth annual research award, Frontotemporal Degeneration Drug Discovery Program.  The goal of the program is to accelerate the development of novel therapies for frontotemporal degeneration (FTD). 

The ADDF/AFTD program awarded $300,000 to three academic scientists developing biomarkers for FTD. The award winners are: Adam Boxer, MD, PhD, University of California, San Francisco; William Seeley, MD, University of California, San Francisco; and Charlotte Teunissen, PhD, VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  An independent panel of 7 experts from the ADDF's Scientific Review Board and AFTD's Medical Advisory Council evaluated 15 applications submitted from around the world.  

"To develop effective treatments for FTD, biomarkers are crucially needed to select appropriate patients for clinical trials and to monitor responses to treatments," said Howard Fillit, MD, ADDF Executive Director.  "Yet, there are currently no effective biomarkers available.  We are optimistic that these three programs will fulfill this unmet need and help advance drug discovery efforts for FTD."    

FTD is a devastating form of dementia characterized by profound changes in behavior, personality, language and movement. It is the second most common cause of dementia under the age of 60 years, most frequently having its onset between the ages of 40 and 65.  As with Alzheimer's disease, there are no drugs to treat, prevent or cure FTD. 

"We continue to be very pleased with the quality of applications for this program," said Susan L-J Dickinson, AFTD Executive Director. "This year's recipients are all engaged in research that offers both caregivers and patients the optimism they need to face the challenges of living with FTD. We are proud to continue our partnership with ADDF to support their work and the hope it brings to those suffering from this terrible disease."

The ADDF/AFTD Award Program has provided a total of $1,905,000 to 19 research projects since 2007.  The ADDF and AFTD are continuing their partnership in 2012 and invite applications for novel drug discovery programs for FTD.  A total of $300,000 is available.  The deadline for submission is September 20, 2012.  Application details are available on the ADDF website:

About the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation
The mission of the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) is to accelerate the discovery and development of drugs to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer's disease, related dementias and cognitive aging. The ADDF has granted more than $51 million to fund over 370 Alzheimer's drug discovery programs in academic centers and biotechnology companies in 18 countries.  For more information about the ADDF, please visit

About the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD)
The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD) is a not-for-profit organization created in 2002, to advocate for more funding into the causes and treatments for frontotemporal degeneration (FTD), as well as to provide caregivers and patients with a central place to find information and support.  AFTD is the resource people turn to for accurate information about FTD, support groups and resources regarding care, research and FTD education conferences.

In addition to providing funding for this drug discovery program, AFTD continues to fund basic and clinical research that is essential to improving our understanding of this relatively rare, but significant disease. For more information about AFTD, visit





SOURCE Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation
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