What We Do

The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation's mission is to rapidly accelerate the discovery of drugs to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer's disease.

Founded in 1998 by co-chairmen Leonard A. and Ronald S. Lauder, the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) provides funding to leading scientists who are conducting the most promising, innovative Alzheimer’s drug research worldwide.

Our Funding Model
We follow a venture philanthropy model, funding breakthrough research in academia and the biotech industry. And we’re the only such charity solely dedicated to funding the development of drugs for Alzheimer’s. Through the tremendous support of our donors, the ADDF has awarded more than $70 million to fund over 450 Alzheimer’s drug discovery programs and clinical trials.

Our Strategy
The ADDF focuses on translating the knowledge we have gained about the causes of Alzheimer’s disease into drugs to conquer it.  We support an underfunded area— preclinical drug development and early-stage clinical trials of potential drug targets.  These projects hold great promise, but also great risk. And most are not far enough along in the drug development pipeline to attract financial support from the pharmaceutical industry, federal funders, or other major partners. By assuming the risk and bridging the critical gap in funding between basic research and human clinical trials, the ADDF enables leading scientists to pursue cutting-edge research projects that would otherwise go unexplored.

Our Future
Today, Alzheimer’s disease affects 44 million people and is the only top 10 cause of death that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed. But we have the power to stop this devastating disease in its tracks. By advancing the most promising research across the globe, the ADDF increases the odds that we will conquer Alzheimer’s disease.

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