MEMBERS of the team at Nublue, a Lancaster-based digital agency and web hosting provider, met with the Division of Biomedical and Life Sciences at Lancaster University recently to learn more about the work of their chosen charity this year, Defying Dementia.
Nublue will be helping the charity to raise funds to continue developing a revolutionary new drug with the potential to halt the progress of Alzheimer’s disease.
The drug, known as R1-OR2-TAT, prevents a protein called beta-amyloid from building up and forming plaques between the nerve cells in the brain.
And amyloid seems to be the most likely cause of the damage that underpins Alzheimer’s disease.
If successful in clinical trials, the drug could potentially slow or maybe even halt the progression of Alzheimer’s. It could also pave the way for new drugs to be developed that could slow or prevent other neurodegenerative disorders.
Unfortunately, developing a safe and effective new drug never comes cheap – and the Defying Dementia team are hard at work raising funds to take the development of their drug forwards to clinical trials.
The team is led by Professor David Allsop, the first person to isolate the ‘senile’ amyloid plaques which build up between nerve cells in the brain.
The Defying Dementia team is also the first to take a crowdfunded approach to developing their drug, having raised over £30,000 through JustGiving, Lancaster University’s Friends Programme and donations received by post and over the phone.
This year Nublue decided on Defying Dementia as their first annual chosen charity. In the past the company has raised funds for individual, one-off events for a variety of causes.
“Some members of the Nublue team have relatives working in dementia care, or personal experience of the impact dementia can have,” said Michael Ashworth, Nublue’s managing director.
“We really wanted to support the work of this amazing cause, not least because both Nublue and Defying Dementia have shared roots at Lancaster University.”