The Taube Koret Center was established in 2009 with gifts from Tad Taube Philanthropies and the Koret Foundation and with Dr. Steven Finkbeiner as Director. The mission of the center from its inception is to find therapies to treat devastating neurological diseases such as Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
The challenge of developing therapeutics is enormous. It’s difficult and risky. It’s also very expensive. Some estimate it costs nearly $2 billion to develop a new drug. As of 2016, not a single drug slows the progression of any of these neurodegenerative diseases. Drug companies have tried to develop therapies, but those efforts have failed. As a result, they have reduced their investment in neurotherapeutics.
To overcome these challenges, we have a threefold strategy.
- First, we do ground-breaking research to understand the causes of these diseases with cutting-edge technologies, some we invented that are not available in drug companies. These include using patient stem cells to model disease, genomics, artificial intelligence, and robotic microscopy.
- Second, we work hard to fund drug discovery by leveraging the gifts we receive to obtain additional resources from foundations and grants from the state and federal governments. Since we started, we have raised about $10 in funds from other sources for every $1 we received as a gift.
- Third, we collaborate with scientists in universities and drug companies from all over the world because we know we can’t do this alone.
The Center is very successful. Scientific insights from research by the Center helped to lay the foundation for the development of drugs that are in clinical trials right now. The Center discovered therapeutic targets and compounds itself and is developing them into therapies. Furthermore, the Center has made its unique technologies and capabilities available to scientists from all over the world so that the best ideas for treatments are prioritized no matter where they originate.