NEW YORK, Jan. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Alzheimer's Drug
Discovery Foundation of Canada (ADDF-Canada) and The W. Garfield Weston
Foundation today announced a new funding collaboration to support a clinical
trial investigating the potential for hypertension drugs to slow Alzheimer's
disease progression. The trial will be led by Dr. Sandra Black and the Toronto
Dementia Research Alliance at the University of Toronto.
"Hypertension has been suggested to be a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease for
almost 30 years, yet we have not adequately translated this knowledge into the
clinic for the benefit of patients. Dr. Black's study will begin to address this
important issue in a novel study design, investigating the possibility that some
anti-hypertensive agents may also be neuroprotective," said Howard Fillit, MD,
executive director and chief science officer of the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery
Foundation. "We are grateful to The W. Garfield Weston Foundation for their
collaboration in funding this important work."
Different classes of anti-hypertensive drugs may have different effects on the
brain beyond just blood pressure control. In this study, angiotensin converting
enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), will be
compared for the treatment of hypertension in patients with Alzheimer's disease.
ARBs, but not ACEIs, have been shown to both improve cognition in animal studies
and interfere with disease processes involved in the development of Alzheimer's
disease. Clinical trials designed to directly compare these two
anti-hypertensive drug classes in patients with Alzheimer's disease have not yet
"Our exploratory clinical study will compare ARBs versus ACEIs in a "face-off"
to slow brain degeneration in people with Alzheimer's disease who are already
taking medications to control blood pressure," said Dr. Sandra Black, the
executive director of the Toronto Dementia Research Alliance and research
program director at Sunnybrook Research Institute at the University of Toronto.
"We will use brain imaging, and measure cognition and quality of life over a one
year period to compare the rate of brain shrinkage in the people on ACEIs vs.
If positive, this study would lead to practice-changing implications, especially
for hypertension control in Alzheimer's patients. Funding for this trial, which
will cost $992,388USD, was made possible through a generous grant by The W.
Garfield Weston Foundation to ADDF-Canada.
"With a new mandate to accelerate the development of safe and effective
breakthrough treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, The W. Garfield Weston
Foundation is pleased to support Dr. Black's compelling research through
ADDF-Canada," said W. Galen Weston, chairman and president of The W. Garfield
About the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF)
The mission of the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) is to accelerate
the discovery of drugs to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer's disease, related
dementias and cognitive aging. The ADDF has granted more than $60 million to
fund almost 400 Alzheimer's drug discovery programs in academic centers and
biotechnology companies in 18 countries. Launched in 2013, the Alzheimer's Drug
Discovery Foundation of Canada (ADDF-Canada) is the first international
affiliate of the US-based ADDF. ADDF-Canada is focused on expanding preclinical
drug discovery and clinical trial capacity in Canada. For more information on
ADDF-Canada, please contact: Howard Fillit MD, 212-901-8000. For more
information about the ADDF, please visit www.AlzDiscovery.org.
About Sunnybrook Research Institute
Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI) is the research enterprise of Sunnybrook
Health Sciences Centre and is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.
Scientists at SRI strive to understand and prevent disease, and to develop
treatments that enhance and extend life. Our vision is to invent the future of
health care. The 270 scientists working at SRI are renowned for excellence in
the biological, physical and evaluative clinical sciences. Areas of expertise
are diseases of the brain and heart; cancer; musculoskeletal conditions;
rehabilitation; trauma, emergency and critical care; women and babies, and
veterans and community. Each year, SRI conducts over $120 million in research
across 450,000 square feet, including in the world's first Centre for Research
in Image-Guided Therapeutics. For more information, visit
About Toronto Dementia Research Alliance
Established by the Toronto Academic Health Science Network in mid-2009, the
Toronto Dementia Research Alliance (TDRA) is a coalition of the five
memory/dementia clinics affiliated with the University of Toronto (Baycrest,
Centre for Addictions and Mental Health, St. Michael's Hospital, Sunnybrook
Health Sciences Centre, and University Health Network), who have come together
for the purpose of creating a new paradigm for collaborative clinical research
in dementia, to quickly translate basic research discoveries into clinical
trials. The TDRA's ultimate goal is tomitigate suffering from neurodegenerative
disorders through understanding mechanisms and through finding better targets
for disease modification and earlier means to detect and treat these diseases.
The TDRA administrative core consists of: Executive Director, Dr. Sandra Black;
Director of Strategy, Dr. Barry Greenberg; Program Manager, Dr. Ellie Aghdassi;
and Project Coordinator, Dr. Ljubica Zotovic.
About The W. Garfield Weston Foundation
The W. Garfield Weston Foundation is a private Canadian family foundation,
established in the 1950's by Willard Garfield Weston and his wife Reta. In 1924
Garfield inherited his father's company and during his life established baking
and retail businesses throughout Canada and in many parts of the world. The
founders believed that as the funds are generated through the hard work and
success of his Canadian companies, grants should be given in Canada for the
benefit of Canadians. For three generations, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation
has maintained a family tradition of supporting charitable organizations across
Canada. Today the Foundation directs the majority of its funds to projects in
the fields of neuroscience, land conservation, education, and scientific
research in Canada's North.
SOURCE Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation