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

3 May 2017
Dementia Discovery Fund 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

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Dementia Discovery Fund 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

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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

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Dementia Discovery Fund 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

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Dementia Discovery Fund 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.

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SV Life Sciences Managers LLP, Manager of Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) 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

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Dementia Discovery Fund 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

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