Lauder family pledges $200 million to the development of drugs to treat Alzheimer's

By Amanda Pauley | Published: 5-Apr-2023

The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation will use the donation to research new treatments for the disease based on the biology of ageing

The Lauder family has donated US$200m to the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) to fuel the development of new treatments. 

The funding will be used to research novel methods to prevent, diagnose, treat and cure Alzheimer's disease. 

The ADDF hopes to bring to market “a new generation of drugs” based on an understanding of the biology of ageing, which can be used in combination with anti-amyloid therapies to “stop” the disease. 

The money will enable the organisation to explore biomarkers and clinical trials aimed at novel targets and “move the most promising research forward”. 

Work on the project is already underway, with 75% of the clinical trials in today's robust and diverse drug pipeline aimed at novel targets.

The gift is from three generations of the Lauder family – the sons of the cosmetic giant Estée Lauder, Leonard and Ronald, and her grandchildren William, Gary, Aerin and Jane.

It is the largest donation ever given to the foundation.

Leonard and Ronald established the ADDF 25 years ago in honour of their mother who had Alzheimer’s.  

More than six million Americans and their families are currently living with Alzheimer’s.

“Alzheimer’s disease does not affect just one person, it impacts entire families,” said Leonard Lauder, Co-Chairman and co-founder of ADDF. 

“That is why this family gift sets the stage for the next generation to tackle and, ultimately, end this devastating disease. 

“We are seeing important progress, and we feel confident that this gift will build on the current momentum to cure Alzheimer’s disease.”

Dr Howard Fillit, co-founder and Chief Science Officer at the ADDF, commented: “Many of the most promising treatments being studied right now are based on our understanding of the biology of ageing… which focuses on the many processes that go wrong in the ageing brain to cause Alzheimer’s.

“We believe we will conquer this disease using precision medicine approaches that have been successful in preventing and treating other diseases of chronic ageing, such as cancer.

“The biomarkers being developed by the ADDF’s Diagnostics Accelerator will play a key role, allowing us to pinpoint the best drugs to target the specific causes of each patient’s Alzheimer’s.”

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