David Cameron is set to announce a drive to develop new drugs to slow down the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease – or even find a cure by 2025.
His commitment follows warning from experts that research has made little progress in identifying treatment for dementia, which afflicts increasing numbers of people as the population ages.
He will argue that immediate action is needed to address a market failure on dementia research, which is running one fifth of the level of spending on cancer research.
Speaking at a summit of health and finance leaders in London, Mr Cameron will say: “Dementia now stands alongside cancer as one of the greatest enemies of humanity.
“In the UK alone there are around 800,000 people living with dementia. Worldwide that number is 40 million and is set to double every 20 years.
“We have to fight to cure it. I know some people will say it’s not possible, but we have seen with cancer what medicine can achieve.”
The Medical Research Council will use today’s event to announce the world’s biggest study into dementia, involving two million people, alongside a £100m research pledge from Alzheimer’s Research UK.