Dementia Discovery Fund

Cultivating Innovation in Dementia Research

The Dementia Discovery Fund is a close collaboration between charity, industry and the government, to provide much-needed investment in innovative dementia research

The Dementia Discovery Fund is a Global Effort

0" allowfullscreen>

The Dementia Discovery Fund is a Global Effort

Dementia affects more than 47 million people worldwide and at a cost to the global economy of over US $604 billion every year. The DDF is a global effort bringing together funding from the private sector, charity, and industry from all over the world.

Bill Gates has invested $50 million to accelerate progress towards disease-modifying therapies for Alzheimer’s disease.

View press release

Do you live or work in, or operate from the United States of America?

Yes No

Investing in Innovative Research

0" allowfullscreen>

Investing in Innovative Research

Managed by SV Life Sciences Managers LLP, the DDF is a specialist venture capital fund, aiming to discover and develop breakthrough treatments for dementia.

We have a mandate to validate novel hypotheses and expand the breadth of targets and mechanisms in development for dementia over the 15 year life of the fund.

This enables the DDF to invest in truly novel, early-stage projects starting from target identification, and explore novel biological insights for translation into disease-modifying drugs.

I'm looking for funding for a dementia focused project or company

More

The Impact of Dementia

As the average age of the population grows, dementia is quickly becoming one of the biggest global challenges we face – the burden is increasing proportionately.

There are no existing therapies that have a meaningful impact on symptoms or the disease.


Reference:
Prince et al (2015) World Alzheimer Report 2015, The Global Impact of Dementia

47m People affected by dementia worldwide1
9.9m New cases of dementia in 2015
$818bn Global cost of dementia in 20152

We will invest in innovative approaches to bring disease-modifying drugs to the clinic

For very early stage programmes, DDF has mechanisms in place to fund up to $1m for hypothesis testing with the aim of company spin-out on achievement of agreed milestones.

For companies closer to the clinic, DDF will invest or co-invest larger amounts in order to progress through candidate selection and early clinical trials.

We have invested in a small molecule chemical library of over 500,000 compounds to support drug discovery programmes

To find out more click here

How We Will Help You

Clinical and Scientific Strategy
Operational Support
Investment

We understand what you do – our team has experience in discovery, preclinical and clinical development through to commercialisation based on decades of experience in global pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, contract research organisations (CRO) and academia. So, from personal experience, we can provide guidance and hands-on support to help you develop your invention/insight in order to achieve our goal of getting innovative drugs to dementia patients.

We know how to run projects and businesses like yours – we collaborate with scientific founders from across the world to develop innovative drugs that get to market. Our international team has strong operating expertise from across the life sciences arena, and we enjoy rolling up our sleeves to help build project and financing plans, recruit teams, provide operational management, and offer strategic support to help demonstrate how your invention/insight can have a clinical impact in dementia patients.

We have been successful – since 1993, SV Life Sciences has created and/or funded over 175 life sciences companies in the US and EU, working collaboratively with universities, academic institutes and the biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry. We have a proven record discovering and developing new drugs, many of which are now in routine clinical use and are helping patients every day across a range of indications.

Dementia Projects and Companies Looking for Funding

Dementia Projects and Companies Looking for Funding

We are keen to hear from scientists, researchers and companies developing novel therapies for Dementia, who are in need of funding and help.

Please send a non-confidential introductory email and project or business plan to DDFProjects@svlsm.com

next arrow

Press Release

Latest Posts

DDF attracts investment from NFL Players ...

[…] Read more

JLABS – Meet With…Dementia Discovery Fund

The DDF are pleased to be presenting at upcoming Johnson & Johnson JLABS Meet with… sessions in New York and

[…] Read more

DDF attracts $50 million investment from ...

[…] Read more

DDF notes major collaboration between portfolio ...

London, 24 October 2017 – The DDF notes that its first portfolio company, Alector, a privately owned biotechnology company and AbbVie

[…] Read more

DDF Invests in $20 Million in ...

Ness Ziona, Israel June 27, 2017 – Mitoconix Bio Ltd., a biopharmaceutical company focused on therapies for neurological diseases, announced

[…] Read more

Dementia Discovery Fund Annual Update

Dementia Discovery Fund Annual Update Nine investments made since launch, collaborations established with world-leading academic institutions, scientific strategy prioritised and

[…] Read more

DDF to Invest $5 Million in ...

Dementia Discovery Fund to Invest $5 Million in Cerevance to Seek New Treatments for Dementia London and Boston, 3 May

[…] Read more

Autifony Therapeutics obtains £1.3 million in ...

London, UK – 15th March 2017 – Autifony Therapeutics Limited (“Autifony”), which is pioneering the development of novel pharmaceutical treatments

[…] Read more

DDF Acquires Small Molecule Library and ...

The Dementia Discovery Fund announces the acquisition of a >500,000 compound, CNS-biased small molecule library The DDF and Aptuit enter

[…] Read more

DDF invests in Gen2 Neuroscience Ltd

Gen2 is a start-up drug discovery company seeking to develop drugs that target toxic tau species that cause pathology in

[…] Read more

SV appoints world-renowned Chief Scientific Officer ...

Tetsuyuki Maruyama joins from Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd as CSO Laurence Barker from GSK also joins as Chief Business Officer

[…] Read more

DDF Makes First Investment in Alector ...

First investment of Dementia Discovery Fund is in pioneering immuno-modulatory antibody discovery company, Alector LLC Alector LLC is developing antibody

[…] Read more

Launch of Dementia Discovery Fund New ...

[…] Read more
next arrow

Do you live or work in, or operate from the United States of America?

Yes No

Latest Posts

JLABS – Meet With…Dementia Discovery Fund

The DDF are pleased to be presenting at upcoming Johnson & Johnson JLABS Meet with… sessions in New York and Cambridge, MA, where there will be opportunities for academics and innovative new companies to meet with the DDF team.

The purpose of the Meet with Series events sponsored by JLABS is to help start-up entrepreneurs, as well as the academic community, connect with potential partners, such as big pharma or other investment corporations, through one-on-one meetings. It is also a chance for the featured corporation to outline their specific business development goals and clarify what types of products or research they are interested in and how best to approach them to get the partnering process started.

Barbara Tate, Venture Partner, DDF will be in attendance to present an overview of the DDF, key areas of interest and investment models. Following the presentation, she will be on hand to meet with a handful of approved applicants one-on-one after the presentation.

 

To be considered for a one-on-one meeting, please complete a short application through the links below:

New York – December 13, 2017: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nyc-session-meet-withdementia-discovery-fund-tickets-38419247002

Cambridge, MA – January 23, 2018: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/meet-with-dementia-discovery-fund-tickets-38627701495

 

Do you live or work in, or operate from the United States of America?

Yes No

Latest Posts

DDF notes major collaboration between portfolio company Alector and AbbVie

London, 24 October 2017 – The DDF notes that its first portfolio company, Alector, a privately owned biotechnology company and AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV), a global biopharmaceutical company, today announced a global strategic collaboration to develop and commercialise medicines to treat Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

 

Immuno-neurology is a rapidly evolving scientific area focused on harnessing the power of the immune system to attack devastating neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. There is increasing rationale – from large-scale human genetic analyses and animal model studies – that immune deficiencies within the central nervous system play an important role in the progression of neurodegeneration. Alector has developed an innovative immuno-neurology technology platform to simultaneously address multiple pathologies associated with neurodegeneration.

 

DDF’s investment in Alector reflects the team’s belief that there is a significant opportunity to develop dementia drugs targeting biological pathways beyond the prevailing amyloid beta hypothesis. It has an initial portfolio of 12 investments in drug discovery companies and projects targeting areas including microglial biology and inflammation, mitochondrial dynamics, trafficking and membrane biology and synaptic physiology and function.

 

Tetsu Maruyama Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of the DDF said: “I am delighted that Alector, the first investment made by the DDF, has achieved so much over the last two years and has built a compelling early pipeline of biotherapeutics focused on immuno-neurology for a range of different dementias. It is exciting that AbbVie, a leading research-driven pharmaceutical company has recognised Alector’s expertise and made such a significant commitment to this collaboration.”

 

“Alzheimer’s is among the most difficult-to-treat diseases and there is an urgent need for new scientific approaches that lead to better therapies for patients,” said Jim Sullivan, Ph.D., vice president, pharmaceutical discovery, AbbVie. “Alector’s unique approach to engaging the immune system to combat neurodegeneration reflects our commitment to target this epidemic in new ways. We recognised the potential of Alector’s research first as an AbbVie Ventures portfolio company and are now eager to partner with them to further develop this platform into meaningful advances for patients.”

 

“We seek to advance the field of immuno-neurology as a new therapeutic modality for dementia and neurodegeneration. We anticipate that immuno-neurology therapies will have as much of an impact on brain disorders as immuno-oncology is having on cancer,” said Arnon Rosenthal Ph.D., chief executive officer, Alector. “We look forward to co-developing our disease-modifying drugs in true partnership with AbbVie, which is making a bold commitment to the field.”

 

Under the terms of the agreement, AbbVie and Alector have agreed to research a portfolio of antibody targets and AbbVie has an option to global development and commercial rights to two targets. Alector will conduct exploratory research, drug discovery and development for lead programs up to the conclusion of the proof of concept studies. Upon exercise of the option, AbbVie will lead development and commercialisation activities. Alector and AbbVie will co-fund development and commercialisation and will share global profits equally. Alector will receive a $205 million upfront payment and a potential, future equity investment of up to $20 million.

Latest Posts

DDF Invests in $20 Million in Series A Funding of Mitoconix Bio to Develop Neurodegenerative Disease Therapies

Ness Ziona, Israel June 27, 2017 – Mitoconix Bio Ltd., a biopharmaceutical company focused on therapies for neurological diseases, announced today that it has secured a $20 million round of Series A funding. The round was led by Remiges Ventures with participation from OrbiMed, Dementia Discovery Fund, Arix Bioscience, RMGP Bio-Pharma investment Fund and others. The proceeds will be used to advance Mitoconix Bio’s lead product for the treatment of Huntington’s disease through preclinical and clinical development and to expand its therapeutic pipeline to treat additional neurodegenerative disorders by improving mitochondrial function.

 

“We are very excited to complete our financing round with a leading group of investors that recognize the transformative potential of Mitoconix Bio’s technology for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases,” said Dr. Eyal Neria, CEO of Mitoconix Bio. “The great need for medicines to slow or arrest progression of neurodegenerative diseases motivates us to rapidly advance our lead product to clinical development and to create a pipeline of therapies for these devastating diseases.”

 

Mitoconix Bio is pioneering a disease-modifying strategy of improving mitochondrial functions for treating neurodegenerative diseases. Mitochondria are the energy-generating organelles within cells, and their proper function is critical for human health. Excessive mitochondrial fragmentation resulting in small and dysfunctional mitochondria is a central pathological process in human diseases and specifically neurodegeneration[i]. Mitoconix Bio’s lead product MTC-1203, is a first-in-class selective inhibitor of excessive mitochondrial division for treating Huntington’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. MTC-1203 has demonstrated efficacy in mouse models of Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

 

Established in August 2016 in the FutuRx incubator, Mitoconix Bio’s program is based on the breakthrough scientific discoveries of its founder Daria Mochly-Rosen, The George D. Smith Professor in Translational Medicine at Stanford University, School of Medicine, and her team. The Stanford team has identified the molecular-based pathological interactions leading to excess mitochondrial fission and based on that identified pharmacological inhibitors of excess fission[ii]. Mitoconix exclusively licensed the technology from Stanford University.

 

Taro Inaba, Founder and Managing Partner of Remiges Ventures, said, “Mitoconix Bio offers a disruptive approach of improving mitochondrial health for treating neurodegenerative diseases, which is based on the breakthrough discoveries of Prof. Mochly-Rosen. We are extremely excited to lead Mitoconix Bio’s Series A round that provides sufficient funds to bring its lead product to the clinic, aiming to be a first-in-class disease-modifying therapeutic for treating neurodegenerative diseases including Huntington’s disease.”

 

Dr. Einat Zisman, FutuRx CEO, said, “This is the second successful series A round of a FutuRx portfolio company this year. This investment validates the quality of the technologies that are selected and effectively incubated by FutuRx, resulting in portfolio companies that are attractive to global biopharma investors.” Anya Eldan, General Manager, Start-Up Division, Israel Innovation Authority, added, “The Israel Innovation Authority Biotech Incubator program brings together experienced investors and management teams. Government support reduces the risk and enables establishment of innovative early stage ventures such as Mitoconix.”

 

About Neurodegenerative diseases and Huntington’s disease

Neurodegenerative diseases are a group of brain disorders characterized by progressive and irreversible neuronal damage and loss, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases. Neurodegenerative disease symptoms are diverse, but generally include decline in movement capabilities and mental abilities. Huntington’s disease is a fatal genetic disorder that causes a progressive loss of nerve cells in the brain, leading to physical and mental deterioration. Growing evidence links neurodegeneration to mitochondrial dysfunction and specifically to excessive mitochondrial division, also known as mitochondrial fission.

[i] Archer, S. L. (2013) ‘Mitochondrial Dynamics — Mitochondrial Fission and Fusion in Human Diseases’, New England Journal of Medicine 369 pp. 2236–2251.

[ii] Guo, X., Disatnik, M.-H., Monbureau, M., Shamloo, M., Mochly-Rosen, D. and Qi, X. (2013) ‘Inhibition of mitochondrial fragmentation diminishes Huntington’s disease-associated neurodegeneration.’, The Journal of clinical investigation. 123, pp. 5371–88.

 

 

Latest Posts

Dementia Discovery Fund Annual Update

Dementia Discovery Fund Annual Update

Nine investments made since launch, collaborations established with world-leading academic institutions, scientific strategy prioritised and international team strengthened

Significant new investment from Woodford Investment Management

London and Boston, 19 June 2017 – The Dementia Discovery Fund, a venture capital fund focused on discovering and developing novel therapies for dementia, today announces an update on progress made in its first year of investment and significant new investment by Woodford Investment Management via Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT).

The DDF, launched in October 2015, announced its first investment in January 2016 and has made significant progress, on track with the Fund’s goals, towards delivering new drug approaches to modify the course of dementia treatment. Achievements demonstrated to date include:

  • Nine investments made exploring novel mechanisms or creating unique and valuable infrastructure, three further near term opportunities identified
  • Four compelling key scientific themes identified to focus investment with the flexibility to also support high-quality opportunistic projects
  • Strong industrial, scientific and academic network established to drive deal flow and a wide range of investible opportunities seen
  • Brought on board an exciting team of Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, along with a world-leading SAB and SV’s Biotech and Venture Partners in both London and Boston, combining to bolster blue-chip DDF team already in place

Tetsu Maruyama, CSO of the DDF, said: “The DDF has a unique approach and this first year of investing has shown clearly how our new way of focusing investment and deploying an expert team can unlock areas of dementia research that would otherwise be underdeveloped or unacknowledged. We draw on the combined expertise of our network and collaborate creatively with researchers, entrepreneurs, investors, charities and industry. The fact that, in addition to investing in established businesses, we are willing and able translate ripe, investible science through translational projects, company formation and our establishment of Entrepreneurs-in-Residence is particularly critical in meeting what is a huge and growing global challenge.”

Kate Bingham, Managing Partner of SV, said: “One year into investing at DDF and we see a material change on the horizon which could be classified as comparable to the oncology scene more than a decade ago. It has been enormously gratifying to have seen the vision behind the DDF – of creating new opportunities in dementia research – being realised so early. There is no shortage of high-quality international science in the field and there is a vast opportunity in taking validated interventions and insights from other disease areas and applying them to dementia. We know we are making progress and we look forward to building on this strong start and making a significant difference to the field. The new investment by Woodford Investment Management is strong validation of the DDF’s highly innovative approach.”

Scientific Strategy
A goal of the DDF is to bring greater diversity to dementia research, explore areas beyond the prevailing amyloid beta hypothesis and to take insights from other therapeutic areas an apply those to the brain.

Working closely with its world-class Scientific Advisory Board, the DDF team has developed a scientific strategy which currently prioritises investment into four defined and executed key scientific areas supported by human genetic and pathological data. These are: microglial biology and inflammation; mitochondrial dynamics; trafficking and membrane biology; and synaptic physiology and function. Compelling opportunities outside these areas are also reviewed.

Team
Since launch, the DDF has built an outstanding in-house team with deep experience in neuroscience. The core DDF team works closely with its Scientific Advisory Board and world-class consultants in London and Boston, as well as the established venture management team at SV. The team is also supported by Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, bringing additional experience in translation, research and academia. The DDF is actively seeking new Entrepreneurs-in-Residence to lead translational projects and early stage companies.

Management of the fund is led by Tetsu Maruyama, Chief Scientific Officer and Laurence Barker, Chief Business Officer. Tetsu joined from Takeda where he was Head of Global Drug Discovery. Laurence joined the DDF from GSK where he was Head of Investment Management in Worldwide Business Development, responsible for managing GSK’s venture investment portfolio. Team ethos and strategy is streamlined with a rapid communication and decision making process in place.

Portfolio companies and translational programmes review
DDF’s current investments include research-led projects, new companies and investments in established companies:

Portfolio companies

  • Cerevance, a start-up company exploiting a powerful novel platform for identifying and validating new disease targets in human brain tissue developed at Rockefeller University and experienced drug discovery scientists in Cambridge, UK
  • Tiaki Therapeutics, a DDF-formed company industrialising a sophisticated in vitro model of brain immune cell function to identify modulators of microglial function for treatment of neurodegeneration
  • DDF ChemCo, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the DDF with a proprietary 500,000 molecule CNS-focused compound library available for use by DDF portfolio companies, projects and external collaborators
  • Gen2 Neuroscience, a UK-based, seed-stage company founded by University of Cambridge Professor Rick Livesey, seeking to identify specific disease-associated forms of tau, a protein closely associated with neurodegeneration
  • Alector, a California-based biotech company developing antibody drugs to boost the brain’s immune response to neurodegeneration with an academic founder from Columbia University

Translational programmes

  • Rheostat, projects aiming to identify tractable targets to restore normal mitochondrial function in Parkinson’s disease, accessing materials and expertise from Toronto, and Harvard Universities
  • Parkinson’s Dementia Targets Platform, accessing data from Harvard Medical School seeks to test a novel target identification platform for factors that contribute to accelerated dementia in Parkinson’s disease patients
  • Autifony collaboration, an established biotech company with clinical assets in CNS diseases. DDF is collaborating on a project based on discoveries from Yale University to explore a specific ion channel and its potential role in Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Membrane Contact Sites Project, a series of synergistic projects with world-leading membrane function and cell biology experts from several Ivy League Universities

Contacts:

Dementia Discovery Fund
Laurence Barker, CBO, laurence.barker@svlsm.com, +44 20 7421 7092

Consilium Strategic Communications
Mary-Jane Elliott, Chris Gardner, Ivar Milligan, Melissa Gardiner
DDF@consilium-comms.com
+44 20 3709 5700

About the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF)
The DDF is a venture capital fund which invest in projects and companies to discover and develop novel, effective disease-modifying therapeutics for dementia. Seven leading pharmaceutical companies (GSK, Biogen, Lilly, Takeda, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Astex, a subsidiary of Otsuka), the UK’s Department of Health and charity Alzheimer’s Research UK have invested in the DDF to date. Heads of Neuroscience and R&D represent these strategic investors on the DDF Scientific Advisory Board and work closely with SV’s dedicated team of neuroscientists and experts to identify and evaluate novel approaches for the treatment of dementia. SV won the bid to become Manager in a competitive selection process held in 2015.

About SV Life Sciences and SV Health Investors (‘SV’)
SV Health Investors, formerly SV Life Sciences, is a leading healthcare and life sciences venture capital and growth equity firm. SV’s goal is to transform healthcare – one investment at a time – by supporting the entrepreneurs who create and build breakthrough companies and treatments. With over $2 billion in capital under management in seven private healthcare funds, a 20-year track record in the US and Europe and offices in Boston, San Francisco and London, SV drives the development of new, innovative technologies.

About Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT)
WPCT is the £800m investment trust launched in April 2015 by Woodford Investment Management Ltd (Woodford). The trust invests mainly in early-stage and early-growth companies but also has exposure to some blue-chip companies. Woodford is a fast-growing asset management company built on a founding philosophy of transparency and simplicity. Launched in May 2014, the company has more than £17bn assets under management. Further information can be found at https://woodfordfunds.com

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT IS NOT FOR PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, IN OR INTO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. THIS ANNOUNCEMENT IS NOT AN OFFER OF SECURITIES FOR SALE INTO THE UNITED STATES. THE SECURITIES REFERRED TO HEREIN HAVE NOT BEEN AND WILL NOT BE REGISTERED UNDER THE U.S. SECURITIES ACT OF 1933, AS AMENDED, AND MAY NOT BE OFFERED OR SOLD IN THE UNITED STATES, EXCEPT PURSUANT TO AN APPLICABLE EXEMPTION FROM REGISTRATION. NO PUBLIC OFFERING OF SECURITIES IS BEING MADE IN THE UNITED STATES

Latest Posts

DDF to Invest $5 Million in Cerevance to Seek New Treatments for Dementia

Dementia Discovery Fund to Invest $5 Million in Cerevance to Seek New Treatments for Dementia

London and Boston, 3 May 2017 – The Dementia Discovery Fund, an innovative global investment fund managed by SV Life Sciences and launched in 2015 to develop disease modifying drugs for dementia, today announced a $5 million investment in the initial financing round of start-up drug discovery company, Cerevance.
With locations in Boston, Massachusetts and Cambridge, UK, Cerevance is harnessing a proprietary technology platform, invented in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute laboratory of Nathaniel Heintz, Ph.D. at Rockefeller University. The technology will enable the molecular analysis of specific cell types in human brain tissue rather than relying on animal models to reveal critical pathways and receptors present in vulnerable cell populations as well as molecular responses in those cell populations to diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

“We are eager to see Cerevance immediately apply its powerful approach to dementia,” said Tetsuyuki Maruyama, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of the Dementia Discovery Fund who will serve on Cerevance’s Board of Directors. “Our Scientific Advisory Board, which contains senior R&D leaders from seven global pharmaceutical and biotech companies, is confident that Cerevance will make breakthrough discoveries, enabling the company to advance new medicines that may prevent, slow or reverse the process of a broad range of devastating dementias.”
“There are 50 million dementia patients worldwide, and 10 million more being diagnosed each year,” said Laurence Barker, Ph.D., Chief Business Officer of the Dementia Discovery Fund. “With
exceptional science, a strong sense of urgency, a leadership team that has previously succeeded together in drug discovery and solid investor support, Cerevance is well positioned to deliver life-
changing therapeutics for dementia patients.”

“It is thrilling to welcome an investor whose strategic focus is so perfectly aligned with our mission,” said Brad Margus, Chief Executive Officer of Cerevance. “The investment team and strategic investors involved with the Dementia Discovery Fund will give Cerevance access to a dream team of world-class advisors.”

Together with the $36 million in commitments of equity and non-dilutive capital from Lightstone Ventures and Takeda Pharmaceuticals Company, Ltd. (TSE: 4502) announced in December, the
new company has now raised over $41 million.

About the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF)
The DDF is a venture capital fund which invests in projects and companies to discover and develop novel, effective disease-modifying therapeutics for dementia. Seven leading pharmaceutical companies (GSK, Biogen, Lilly, Takeda, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Astex, a subsidiary of Otsuka), the UK’s Department of Health, and charity Alzheimer’s Research UK have invested in the DDF to date. Heads of Neuroscience and R&D represent these strategic investors on the DDF Scientific Advisory Board and work closely with SV’s dedicated team of neuroscientists and experts to identify and evaluate novel approaches for the treatment of dementia. SV Life Sciences won the bid to become Manager in a competitive selection process held in 2015.  www.theddfund.com

About Dementia
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) accounts for over 60% of cases of dementia, and affects 1% of the world’s population. At 85 years of age, there is a 50% chance of developing AD, and the incidence is increasing with aging demographics. Initial symptoms include difficulty remembering recent events, which progresses to disorientation, mood changes, and loss of motivation. Patients become wheelchair bound and entirely dependent on care givers. The impact of dementia is therefore on the patient, their family, and wider society. AD charities actively highlight the societal impact of AD. The World Alzheimer Report estimates that costs are split 20% on medical care, 40% on social services, and 40% on primary care givers. Caregiving often has a negative impact on health, employment, income and family finances.
The World Alzheimer Report (2015) has estimated that the annual costs associated with dementia amounted to 1% of the world’s gross domestic product ($600 billion in 2010, rising to $818 billion in 2015). The report estimates that 35.6 million people worldwide were living with dementia in 2010. It forecasts 66 million by 2030, and 115 million by 2050.

Contacts:

Dementia Discovery Fund
Dr Laurence Barker, Chief Business Officer
Email: laurence.barker@svlsm.com

Cerevance, LLC
Rob Middlebrook, Chief Financial Officer
Email: rob@cerevance.com

Latest Posts

Autifony Therapeutics obtains £1.3 million in funding from Innovate UK and the Dementia Discovery Fund to explore novel approach to treatment of dementia

London, UK – 15th March 2017 – Autifony Therapeutics Limited (“Autifony”), which is pioneering the development of novel pharmaceutical treatments for serious disorders of the central nervous system, today announced a new funding award of £895,000 from the Biomedical Catalyst for initiation of a research programme with a novel approach to the treatment of dementia. An investment of £400,000 from the Dementia Discovery Fund (“DDF”) will also be used to pursue this highly novel approach to dementia treatment.

Autifony will use its extensive expertise in the voltage-gated ion channel field to tackle a different subtype of potassium channel, which has been implicated in Alzheimer’s disease (“AD”) and potentially other dementias, through regulation of synapse function. Synaptic function is impaired early in the course of the disease and therefore novel drugs that target this previously unexplored ion channel could have potential not only to improve symptoms of AD, but to be disease modifying.

Dr Charles Large, Chief Executive Officer of Autifony Therapeutics commented: “We are excited to be using our expertise in ion channel drug discovery for a research programme in an area of such huge unmet medical need – dementia is one of the largest problems facing our society in the 21st century. The renewed Biomedical Catalyst and unique Dementia Discovery Fund partnership are making significant contributions to pioneering research in this field and we are fortunate in having attracted funding from both to progress our research in this important area.”

Dr Tetsu Maruyama, Chief Scientific Officer of the Dementia Discovery Fund commented: “DDF’s mission is to ensure that new and original opportunities to treat dementias receive the resources that can enable their success. Autifony, as world leaders in their field, have an innovative approach to dementia discovery that could validate new treatment strategies and at the same time kickstart a rapid discovery with real potential to deliver relief to millions of patients.”

-ENDS-

About Autifony Therapeutics Ltd
Autifony Therapeutics is an independent UK based biotechnology company formed in 2011 as a spin-out from GSK, which retains equity in the company. The Company is focused on the development of high value, novel medicines to treat serious diseases of the central nervous system. It is funded by SV Life Sciences, Touchstone Innovations plc, Pfizer Venture Investments, International Biotechnology Trust PLC, and UCL Business plc. www.autifony.com

About the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF)
The DDF is a venture capital fund which invest in projects and companies to discover and develop novel, effective disease-modifying therapeutics for dementia. Seven leading pharmaceutical companies (GSK, Biogen, Lilly, Takeda, Pfizer, J&J, and Astex, a subsidiary of Otsuka), the UK’s Department of Health and charity Alzheimer’s Research UK have invested in the DDF to date. Heads of Neuroscience and R&D represent these strategic investors on the DDF Scientific Advisory Board and work closely with SV’s dedicated team of neuroscientists and experts to identify and evaluate novel approaches for the treatment of dementia. SV Life Sciences won the bid to become Manager in a competitive selection process held in 2015. www.theddfund.com

About Dementia
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) accounts for over 60% of cases of dementia, and affects 1% of the world’s population. At 85 years of age, there is a 50% chance of developing AD and the incidence is increasing with ageing demographics. Initial symptoms include difficulty remembering recent events, which progresses to disorientation, mood changes, and loss of motivation. Patients become wheel-chair bound and entirely dependent on carers. The impact of dementia is therefore on the patient, their family, and wider society. AD charities actively highlight the societal impact of AD. The World Alzheimer Report estimates that costs are split 20% on medical care, 40% on social services, and 40% on primary carers. Caregiving often has a negative impact on health, employment, income and family finances. In the UK, there are estimated to be over 670,000 people acting as primary, unpaid carers for people with dementia, saving an estimated £11bn each
year from the public purse.

The World Alzheimer Report (2015) has estimated that the annual costs associated with dementia amounted to 1% of the world’s gross domestic product ($600bn in 2010, rising to $818bn in 2015). The report estimates that 35.6m people worldwide were living with dementia in 2010. It forecasts 66m by 2030, and 115m by 2050.

About Innovate UK
Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. It works with people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy. For further information visit www.innovateuk.gov.uk

About Biomedical Catalyst
Catalysts are run jointly by Innovate UK and the Research Councils. A Catalyst is a form of research and development funding which focuses on a specific priority area and aims to help take projects from research to as close to commercial viability as possible. The Catalyst model supports projects in priority areas where the UK research base has a leading position and where there is clear commercial potential. Current Catalysts include: Biomedical Catalyst, Agri-tech Catalyst and the Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst.

For more information, please contact:

Autifony Therapeutics Limited
Dr Charles Large, Chief Executive Officer
E: charles.large@autifony.com

Instinctif Partners
Sue Charles, Tim Watson, Alex Bannister
T: +44 (0) 20 7866 7860
E: Autifony@instinctif.com

Dementia Discovery Fund
Dr Laurence Barker, Chief Business Officer
E: laurence.barker@svlsm.com

Latest Posts

DDF Acquires Small Molecule Library and Enters Strategic Partnership with Aptuit to Kickstart Dementia Drug Discovery Programmes

  • The Dementia Discovery Fund announces the acquisition of a >500,000 compound, CNS-biased small molecule library
  • The DDF and Aptuit enter into a strategic partnership to leverage the DDF library and Aptuit’s capabilities for dementia drug discovery

LONDON, BOSTON, GREENWICH, 28 February 2017 – The Dementia Discovery Fund (‘DDF’), a venture capital fund focused on discovering and developing novel therapies for dementia, and Aptuit, an integrated drug discovery CRO, announce a strategic drug discovery partnership to kick-start small molecule drug discovery programmes for novel dementia-related targets. The DDF has acquired a 513,000 compound, CNS-focussed small molecule library. Together with Aptuit, the DDF, DDF companies, partners and collaborators will be able to run high throughput screens using this curated library, biased towards compound properties favourable for CNS drug discovery. The combination of DDF’s CNS discovery expertise and Aptuit’s world-class drug discovery capabilities will support companies and academics to translate their biological, genetic and other insights into successful drug discovery programmes, cultivating acceleration of innovation in the dementia field.

Academic researchers and early stage start-up companies often struggle to access high quality small molecule libraries to develop tool compounds to probe the druggability of their novel targets. Through this library, the DDF can support projects with a specific and testable hypothesis that could deliver therapeutic benefit to patients. A further challenge in the dementia field is the need to identify molecules that can access targets in brain tissue, across the blood brain barrier. By granting ready access to this curated library with chemical properties favourable for blood brain barrier penetration, DDF hopes to enable and support new approaches that will cure dementia, in line with the DDF mission.

The DDF small molecule library is housed at the high throughput screening site of Aptuit, in Basel, Switzerland. Aptuit has expertise in compound library management, high throughput screening, selectivity testing, hit characterization and progression of discovery programmes. Aptuit will perform screens against the library, or can facilitate offsite screening of the library if required. Access to the library will be enabled for academic groups and early drug discovery companies as part of a DDF investment or on a fee-for-service basis through DDF ChemCo, a wholly-owned DDF company established to manage the library.

“Our ownership of the DDF ChemCo small molecule library and partnership with Aptuit will allow DDF to help innovative researchers and companies test novel discovery strategies for dementia drug discovery rapidly and cost-effectively. This will help us achieve our mission to create diverse and effective new medicines for people with dementia,” said Tetsu Maruyama, CSO of the DDF.

Stephan Fasler, CEO Aptuit (Switzerland) AG commentated, “Discovering and developing new treatments for the causes of dementia is an important task to help protect today’s increasingly aging society. Aptuit is therefore very proud to be part of this strategic partnership. We will offer DDF companies, partners and collaborators support in achieving their goals by making available our experience and expertise in computational chemistry, compound logistics, assay development and hit discovery to provide tailored solutions for these drug discovery programs.”

Information for academics and companies interested in screening the library can be downloaded from the DDF website or requested by contacting ddfchemco@svlsm.com.

About The Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF)

The DDF is a venture capital fund that invests in projects and companies to discover and develop novel, effective, disease-modifying therapeutics for dementia. Seven leading pharmaceutical companies (GSK, Biogen, Lilly, Takeda, Pfizer, J&J, and Astex, a subsidiary of Otsuka), the UK’s Department of Health and charity Alzheimer’s Research UK have invested in the DDF to date. Heads of Neuroscience and R&D represent these strategic investors on the DDF Scientific Advisory Board and work closely with SV’s dedicated team of neuroscientists and experts to identify, evaluate and develop novel approaches for the treatment of dementia. SV Life Sciences won the bid to become Manager in a competitive selection process held in 2015.

About Aptuit

Aptuit provides the most complete set of integrated early discovery to mid-phase drug development services in the pharmaceutical industry including Drug Design & Discovery, API Development and Manufacture, Solid State Chemistry, CMC, Preclinical and IND enabling GLP/GMP programs. Fully integrated drug discovery & development services are available from our facilities in the UK, Italy, and Switzerland.

Aptuit Holdings, LLC is partnered with Welsh, Carson, and Anderson & Stowe, one of the world’s leading private equity investors.

For more information, please visit www.aptuit.com

DDF ChemoCo CNS-Biased Small Molecule Library

Latest Posts

DDF invests in Gen2 Neuroscience Ltd

Gen2 is a start-up drug discovery company seeking to develop drugs that target toxic tau species that cause pathology in dementia, thereby slowing disease progression.

London and Boston, 3 June 2016 – The Dementia Discovery Fund, managed by SV Life Sciences, an innovative global investment fund launched in October 2015 to develop disease modifying drugs for dementia, announces an investment in new drug discovery company Gen2 Neuroscience Ltd. Gen2 is a seed company engaged in the discovery and development of novel treatments for dementia targeting abnormal forms of the essential cellular protein tau. The company uses proprietary platforms (human diseased and healthy neurons generated from inducible stem cells derived from dementia patients) to identify and target pathological forms of tau, with the aim of developing novel drugs to these tau species. The development of such a novel anti-tau therapeutic intervention could make it possible to slow disease progression.

Gen2 Neuroscience has a strong founding team led by Rick Livesey (CEO) from the University of Cambridge who brings a deep understanding of tau biology and the use of human stem cell systems for research in neurodegeneration. Mark Treherne PhD (CEO of Talisman, Ex-Pfizer, BioFocus, Senexis) is Chairman, and Emily Scraggs PhD (COO of Talisman, formerly RAND Corp, Viant Corp, Keane Inc) is COO.

Carol Routledge, Venture Partner, said: “DDF’s mission is to provide resources for worldleading scientists to pursue novel approaches to treating dementia. This investment in Gen2 and its scientific team is fully aligned with our mission.”

Rick Livesey, Gen2 Neuroscience, CEO, added: “The entire Gen2 team is excited to work with the DDF to accelerate the development of anti-tau therapeutics in dementia. The DDF team is providing valuable support at this key stage in the company’s development.”

For further information please visit the DDF website at www.theddfund.com

Contacts:

SV Life Sciences – Dementia Discovery Fund
Carol Routledge, Venture Partner, carol.routledge@svlsm.com, +44 20 7421 7091
Laurence Barker, CBO, laurence.barker@svlsm.com, +44 20 7421 7094

Gen2 Neuroscience Ltd
Rick Livesey, CEO, rick@gen2neuro.com, +44 1223 804074
Emily Scraggs, COO, emily@gen2neuro.com, +44 7917 730429

Consilium Strategic Communications
Mary-Jane Elliott, Chris Gardner, Amber Fennell, Ivar Milligan
DDF@consilium-comms.com +44 20 3709 5700

About Gen2 Neuroscience Ltd
Gen2 is a seed-stage company founded in January 2016 based in Cambridge UK using neuronal platforms (human diseased and healthy neurons generated from stem cells) to identify disease-associated aberrant forms of tau. The company was founded and is led by Rick Livesey, from the Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge an academic with a deep understanding of tau and its biology. Co-founders, Mark Treherne PhD (Chairman) and Emily Scraggs PhD (COO), bring decades of proven management and business experience. Legal services for Gen2 are provided by Simon Wallwork, partner at Slater Heelis LLP.

About the Dementia Discovery Fund
The DDF is an innovative global investment fund with the goal of delivering new disease modifying drugs for dementia by 2025. The fund was created by six pharma companies (Biogen, GSK, J&J, Lilly, Pfizer, Takeda), the UK Department of Health and Alzheimer’s Research UK who have each contributed money and expertise through a dedicated DDF Scientific Advisory Board. In late 2015, SV Life Sciences was appointed to be Manager of the DDF. World-class neuroscientists have been hired into the SV team in London and Boston to lead the scientific strategy, led by Dr Tetsu Maruyama, who most recently headed up Takeda’s global discovery and neuroscience group. The DDF works collaboratively with universities, academic institutes, government, the regulatory agencies and the pharmaceutical industry internationally to identify and develop novel drugs for dementia.

About SV Life Sciences
SV Life Sciences is a leading international life sciences venture capital firm. SVLS affiliated funds have invested in over 175 private life sciences companies since the early 1980s and the firm closed its first dedicated life sciences fund in 1994. The SVLS team manages six private venture capital funds with approximately $2 billion of capital under management. The firm employs a diversified strategy within life sciences in order to selectively capitalise on an expanding opportunity in biotech, medical devices and health-care services. SVLS has offices in Boston, London and San Francisco.

Latest Posts

SV appoints world-renowned Chief Scientific Officer to lead the new DDF investment team

  • Tetsuyuki Maruyama joins from Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd as CSO
  • Laurence Barker from GSK also joins as Chief Business Officer
  • Follows appointments of Carol Routledge and Barbara Tate as Venture Partners

London, 25 January 2016 – The Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) www.TheDDFund.com, an innovative global investment fund launched in October 2015 to discover and develop new disease modifying drugs for dementia, announces the appointment of Tetsuyuki Maruyama PhD as its Chief Scientific Officer.

Dr Tetsuyuki Maruyama will join the DDF in April 2016 from Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd where for the past five years he has been Senior VP, General Manager, Pharmaceutical Research Division, leading global drug discovery after his initial appointment as Head of CNS Research. Prior to this he was Director of GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s neuroscience research centre in Singapore, and led Alzheimer’s Disease target discovery efforts at Merck Sharpe & Dohme, Ltd. Dr Maruyama has lectured in neuroscience at Yale University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Edinburgh, and Cardiff University, where he was Professor in the Cardiff School of Biosciences. Dr Maruyama’s research has been published in the world’s leading scientific journals (under his previous name, Paul Chapman).

In addition, Dr Laurence Barker will join the DDF as Chief Business Officer in February 2016 from GlaxoSmithKline Plc where he has been Head of Investment Management, Worldwide Business Development. He has previously held business development roles at Syntaxin Ltd and MorphoSys AG and has an MBA from the University of Cambridge.

Barbara Tate joined the DDF as Venture Partner in Boston following the successful $485m deal between Biogen and Rodin – which she helped start with Atlas Venture. Dr Tate was previously Senior Director of Neuroscience at Pfizer following her long successful academic career at Harvard and Brown.

Dr Maruyama, Dr Barker, Dr Tate all join Dr Carol Routledge who joined the DDF in September 2015. Dr Routledge was previously Head of Translational Medicine, Biopharm Discovery, GSK, following 30 years of neuroscience drug discovery and development experience from prior roles at GSK, Syntex, Wyeth and BTG.

Kate Bingham, Managing Partner at SV Life Sciences Managers LLP, manager of the DDF, said: “The assembly of such a high calibre DDF team so soon after the Fund’s launch demonstrates the interest in this field and belief in what this Fund can deliver. Tetsu’s experience in global discovery, both in big pharma and academia, is exceptional and we look forward to welcoming him and Laurence soon.”

Tetsuyuki Maruyama, Chief Scientific Officer of the DDF, added: “The DDF has the mission to change the approach, diagnosis and treatment of dementia and I am pleased to be joining such a strong team who have already made significant progress since launch towards this ambitious goal.”

Contacts:

Dementia Discovery Fund
Carol Routledge, Venture Partner
carol.routledge@svlsm.com
+44 20 7421 7091

Consilium Strategic Communications
Mary-Jane Elliott, Chris Gardner, Amber Fennell, Ivar Milligan
DDF@consilium-comms.com
+44 20 3709 5700

About the Dementia Discovery Fund
The DDF is an innovative global investment fund established in October 2015 to deliver new disease modifying drugs for dementia by 2025. Managed by SV Life Sciences Managers LLP, DDF investors include the UK Government’s Department of Health, Alzheimer’s Research UK and world-leading major pharmaceutical companies: Biogen, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Lilly, Pfizer and Takeda. The DDF works collaboratively with universities, academic institutes, government, the regulatory agencies and the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry internationally to identify and develop novel dementia research projects.

About SV Life Sciences Managers LLP
SV Life Sciences Managers manages life sciences investments for both the Dementia Discovery Fund (www.TheDDFund.com) and the publicly listed fund International Biotechnology Trust plc (www.ibtplc.com). The investment team have a breadth of experience across both public and private investing.

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT IS NOT FOR PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, IN OR INTO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. THIS ANNOUNCEMENT IS NOT AN OFFER OF SECURITIES FOR SALE INTO THE UNITED STATES. THE SECURITIES REFERRED TO HEREIN HAVE NOT BEEN AND WILL NOT BE REGISTERED UNDER THE U.S. SECURITIES ACT OF 1933, AS AMENDED, AND MAY NOT BE OFFERED OR SOLD IN THE UNITED STATES, EXCEPT PURSUANT TO AN APPLICABLE EXEMPTION FROM REGISTRATION. NO PUBLIC OFFERING OF SECURITIES IS BEING MADE IN THE UNITED STATES

Latest Posts

DDF Makes First Investment in Alector LLC

  • First investment of Dementia Discovery Fund is in pioneering immuno-modulatory antibody discovery company, Alector LLC
  • Alector LLC is developing antibody drugs that harness the immune system to fight dementia

London, 7 January 2016 – The Dementia Discovery Fund, an innovative global investment fund launched in October 2015 to deliver new disease modifying drugs for dementia, announces its first investment in antibody discovery company Alector LLC (San Francisco, CA). Alector’s approach is based on the hypothesis that neurodegeneration is caused by a failure of the immune system to clear the brain of pathological proteins that accumulate in a host of neurodegenerative diseases.

In partnership with Adimab and other antibody discovery platforms, Alector is identifying high affinity antibodies against specific targets that stimulate immune cells to clear aberrant proteins from the brain. This immuno-neurology approach follows the precedent of recent clinical successes in immuno-oncology, and is potentially applicable to a range of neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Following the recent Series C raise of over $30M this summer, the Dementia Discovery Fund co-invested in the current Series D funding round of $29.5M with Polaris Partners, OrbiMed Advisors, MRL Ventures, GV (formerly Google Ventures), Topspin Partners, Mission Bay and Amgen Ventures.

Alector LLC has a strong management team of serial entrepreneurs with successful track records in drug development. Co-founders Arnon Rosenthal, PhD (CEO), and Tillman Gerngross, PhD (Chairman) have both been backed by SV in previous ventures that led to successful exits (Rinat, Glycofi and Adimab).

Carol Routledge, Venture Partner at SV Life Sciences Managers LLP, manager of the DDF, said: “Alector’s novel targets are supported by substantial preclinical and genetic data. We are confident that Alector’s management team has the expertise to bring these potentially disease-modifying treatments to the clinic, and that their immuno-modulatory approach will prove safe and effective.”

Contacts:

Dementia Discovery Fund
Carol Routledge, Venture Partner
carol.routledge@svlsm.com
+44 20 7421 7091

Consilium Strategic Communications
Mary-Jane Elliott, Chris Gardner, Amber Fennell, Ivar Milligan
DDF@consilium-comms.com
+44 20 3709 5700

About Alector LLC
Alector is a hypothesis-driven, neurology-focused startup that’s pioneering the discovery and development of first-in-class, immuno-modulatory therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Alector combines state-of-the-art antibody technology and recent discoveries in neuro-immunology and human genetics to develop a broad platform of novel therapeutics that harness the immune system to fight dementia and neurodegeneration. Alector’s strategy is to efficiently generate and validate antibody drugs that engage key disease-altering, genetically-validated neuro-immune targets. Alector’s approach is enabled by a strategic alliance with Adimab, the technology leader in the discovery of fully human antibodies and bispecifics.

About the Dementia Discovery Fund
The Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) is an innovative global investment fund established in October 2015 to deliver new disease modifying drugs for dementia by 2025. Managed by SV Life Sciences Managers LLP, the DDF investors include the UK Government’s Department of Health, Alzheimer’s Research UK and world-leading major pharmaceutical companies: Biogen, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Lilly, Pfizer and Takeda. The DDF works collaboratively with universities, academic institutes, government, the regulatory agencies and the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry internationally to identify and develop novel dementia research projects.

About SV Life Sciences
SV Life Sciences is a leading international life sciences venture capital firm. SVLS affiliated funds have invested in over 175 private life sciences companies since the early 1980s and the firm closed its first dedicated life sciences fund in 1994. The SVLS team manages six private venture capital funds with approximately $2billion of capital under management. The firm employs a diversified strategy within life sciences in order to selectively capitalise on an expanding opportunity in biotech, medical devices and health-care services. SVLS has offices in Boston, London and San Francisco.

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT IS NOT FOR PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, IN OR INTO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. THIS ANNOUNCEMENT IS NOT AN OFFER OF SECURITIES FOR SALE INTO THE UNITED STATES. THE SECURITIES REFERRED TO HEREIN HAVE NOT BEEN AND WILL NOT BE REGISTERED UNDER THE U.S. SECURITIES ACT OF 1933, AS AMENDED, AND MAY NOT BE OFFERED OR SOLD IN THE UNITED STATES, EXCEPT PURSUANT TO AN APPLICABLE EXEMPTION FROM REGISTRATION. NO PUBLIC OFFERING OF SECURITIES IS BEING MADE IN THE UNITED STATES

Do you live or work in, or operate from the United States of America?

Yes No