Wilmington’s Charles River Labs Joins Dementia Consortium, Reaffirms Commitment To Neuroscience Research

Below is a press release from Charles River Laboratories, which is headquartered in Wilmington:

WILMINGTON, MA — Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. announced last week that the Company has been selected by Alzheimer’s Research UK to join the Dementia Consortium. The Consortium is a global charity-industry partnership aimed at funding promising research from academia and helping progress projects with the scale and strength of industry supporters.

The Consortium invests in academic led research projects, typically 2-3 years in duration, which aim to provide validation of targets for the treatment of dementia or explore the tractability of the target for drug discovery. Projects already funded include, among others: novel small molecule inhibitors of the NLRP3 inflammasome, inhibitors of the interaction between key proteins involved in the proliferation of microglia, and the role of immune system regulators and receptors in neurodegeneration. Applications for innovative new dementia targets are now being accepted by Alzheimer’s Research UK in the second phase of the Dementia Consortium and new projects are now under way.

As the latest contract research organization (CRO) partner chosen by Alzheimer’s Research UK to join the Consortium, Charles River scientists will collaborate with grant recipients, on selected projects, consulting on areas including: biological assay development and screening, high-throughput screening and medicinal chemistry. Grant holders will have regular project review meetings with members of the Dementia Consortium, and Charles River’s unique integrated drug discovery approach will be leveraged with academic investigators to help them navigate their projects. Successful projects that generate novel chemistry may then be considered for licensing to industry partners to facilitate the progression of novel treatments into the clinic.

“We see an incredible need to research innovative solutions to neurodegenerative diseases. The Dementia Consortium brings together the best minds from academia and industry to progress candidates through the drug discovery and development process. We are proud to be part of the important work they’re doing,” said Birgit Girshick, Corporate Executive Vice President, Discovery & Safety Assessment, Biologics Testing Solutions, and Avian Vaccine Services, Charles River.

“Dementia impacts nearly 50 million people worldwide, a number that is expected to triple by 2050. Treating dementia poses an enormous medical challenge, and we are excited to leverage Charles River’s early drug discovery expertise in our effort to tackle it,” added Carol Routledge, PhD, Director of Research, Alzheimer’s Research UK.

About the Dementia Consortium

The Dementia Consortium is a global initiative that provides academic researchers with funding and collaborative access to industry expertise and resources to validate novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of the neurodegenerative diseases that cause dementia. Now in its second phase, the Dementia Consortium sees the UK’s leading dementia research charity Alzheimer’s Research UK, join forces with the pharmaceutical companies AbbVie, Astex Pharmaceuticals, Eisai, Lilly, MSD, Johnson & Johnson Innovation and Takeda, as well as partner research organizations Evotec and Charles River.

About Charles River

Charles River provides essential products and services to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, government agencies and leading academic institutions around the globe accelerate their research and drug development efforts. Our dedicated employees are focused on providing clients with exactly what they need to improve and expedite the discovery, early-stage development and safe manufacture of new therapies for the patients who need them.

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