Alzheimer’s disease; AD: AD is the most common neurodegenerative disease that causes dementia, with about 70% of dementia patients.
Senile plaque; Amyloid plaque: Lesions appear as deposits of toxic beta amyloid protein in the patient’s brain.
Neurofibrillary tangle; NFT: Lesions caused by abnormally hyperphosphorylated tau protein deposited in the patient's brain.
Early, precise, and simple diagnostic technologies will contribute to dementia prevention. However, currently available diagnostic tools are complicated and expensive. We aim to develop and commercialize diagnostic kits that can predict Alzheimer's disease with a simple blood test.
Studies on Alzheimer's disease have traditionally focused on beta-amyloid and tau proteins. However, new findings are changing the paradigm of research on the biological basis of dementia. Accordingly, more diverse and complex perspectives, such as those focusing on the gut-brain axis, immune system, and sex differences, will be employed.
To date, several symptomatic drugs for Alzheimer’s disease, such as Donepezil (Aricept), have been approved by the US FDA. However, global pharmaceutical companies have failed to develop new disease-modifying drugs because of their insufficient effectiveness in improving dementia and/or various side effects.
We plan to conduct research to identify novel therapeutic targets and develop new disease-modifying drugs based on new perspectives on the causes of dementia.
The world's dementia population is estimated to be about 46.8 million in 2015, but to nearly triple by 2050 to reach 135 million. In Korea, the population is expected to exceed 1.2 million by 2030.
The dementia population is rapidly increasing due to the rapid growth of the aged population in Korea. Medical expenses and socioeconomic burden are expected to increase accordingly.
The market share of Alzheimer's disease, which accounts for the highest proportion of dementia, amounted to US $ 4.9 billion in 2013 and is growing at an annual average growth rate of 10.5% (predicted to exceed US $ 11.3 billion by 2023).
Global pharmaceutical companies including Eisai (Japan), Pfizer (Aricept, USA), Forest, Lundbeck (Namenda, Germany), Novartis (Exelon, USA), and recently, China's start-up Green Valley Pharma have invested hugely to the R&D for new disease-modifying Alzheimer’s disease drugs.
Recently, Biogen and Eisai announced a positive result of the phase III clinical trial with Aducadumab. Korea dementia research community is advised to put effort into investigators are advised to put effort on developing new disease-modifying drugs, As the market for dementia treatment continues to increase, Korean dementia research community is advised to put effort into developing new disease-modifying drugs.