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New Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Center Established In Indiana

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New drug discovery center announcement at IU School of Medicine. (Jill Sheridan/IPB News)

The search for pharmaceutical treatments for Alzheimer’s and dementia has so far been unsuccessful, but a new drug discovery center aims to change that.

The National Institutes of Health is gifting $36 million to fund the new center, one of two to be established nationwide. The Indiana University School of Medicine will partner with Purdue University to develop research tools and technologies to identify new treatment options.

Alan Palkowitz will lead the center. He was previously the vice president of discovery chemistry research at Eli Lilly.

"The pharmaceutical industry has experienced several setbacks in the pursuit of an Alzheimer’s therapy. I know firsthand, I was part of them," says Palkowitz.

The five year grant will fund up to 20 new positions. 

Palkowitz says new studies will focus on specific proteins and genes associated with the disease.

"That’s teaching us a lot about the origins and the progression of the disease, that go beyond where a lot of efforts have focused which is really on the advanced stages of the disease, where it may be too late to have an impact," says Palkowitz. 

The IU School of Medicine is already home to a number of other dementia-related studies and initiatives.

Contact Jill at jsheridan@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @JillASheridan.

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