Investors

The DDF represents the first time that charity, government and the pharmaceutical industry have joined together on this scale with a venture capital firm with the combined aim of tackling a major global health issue.

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WSJ Health Forum – 22 May 2018

On May 22, 2018, the editors of The Wall Street Journal will convene influential business leaders, policy makers and experts from

[…] Read more

DDF welcomes recent FDA guidance which opens new paths for Alzheimer’s treatments

13 February 2018   The DDF welcomes new draft guidance from the FDA that endorses a new approach in Alzheimer’s

[…] Read more

Bill Gates interview cites DDF investment

Bill Gates reveals personal reason he’s helping fight Alzheimer’s disease (30 January 2018) Bill Gates built an empire by being

[…] Read more

JLABS – Meet With…Dementia Discovery Fund

Following last year’s meetings in New York and Cambridge, the DDF are again pleased to be presenting at upcoming Johnson

[…] Read more

DDF attracts investment from NFL Players Association

London, 16 November 2017 – The Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) today announces an investment from the US National Football League

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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 Bill Gates

– Broad range of novel approaches to develop disease modifying dementia drugs – London, 13 November 2017 – The Dementia Discovery Fund

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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

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

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

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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

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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

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Autifony Therapeutics obtains £1.3 million in funding from Innovate UK and the Dementia Discovery Fund ...

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

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

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

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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

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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

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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

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Launch of Dementia Discovery Fund New Fund Raises $100 Million to Deliver Novel Approaches to ...

UK Department of Health, Alzheimer’s Research UK and major global pharmaceutical companies invest $100 Million Ground breaking collaboration to address

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WSJ Health Forum – 22 May 2018

On May 22, 2018, the editors of The Wall Street Journal will convene influential business leaders, policy makers and experts from across the health and health-care industries to focus on the innovations transforming this critical sector of the economy.

DDF Venture Partner Barbara Tate will be participating in a session entitled ‘Treating the Brain’, discussing how efforts to crack the code of Alzheimer’s and develop effective therapies have met with failure after failure, but many companies and scientists are still optimistic they will find a way to treat the memory-robbing disease.

The event is being held in Washington DC, and invitations to attend can be requested from the event site below:

https://healthforum.wsj.com/

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DDF welcomes recent FDA guidance which opens new paths for Alzheimer’s treatments

13 February 2018

 

The DDF welcomes new draft guidance from the FDA that endorses a new approach in Alzheimer’s Disease research that would rely on an improvement in biomarkers to approve medicines before patients show any signs of the illness, instead of demonstrating that a drug alleviates symptoms.  To entice researchers, the FDA has said it would accelerate approval of a drug for people who do not yet indicate they have the disease, if the treatment has an effect on a biomarker.  DDF, which was launched in 2015 to identify and evaluate novel approaches for the treatment of dementia, welcomes the new protocol which, according to the new draft guidance released by FDA in February 2018, will help to ease drug development for Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Tetsu Maruyama Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of the DDF, said: “DDF’s dedicated team of neuroscientists and experts are working closely together with industry and its strategic investors, including the UK’s Department of Health and charity Alzheimer’s Research UK, to identify and evaluate novel approaches for the treatment of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.  To date there are no safe, efficacious and meaningful medicines to treat this major disease area.  DDF is investing in truly novel, early-stage projects starting from target identification, and exploring novel biological insights for translation of science into disease-modifying drugs and we welcome this move by FDA.”

 

See Bill Gates’ recent blog post here

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Bill Gates interview cites DDF investment

Bill Gates reveals personal reason he’s helping fight Alzheimer’s disease (30 January 2018)

Bill Gates built an empire by being a technological problem solver, but now the Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist is working to solve the problem of Alzheimer’s disease.

As part of the “Brain Power” series on TODAY, special anchor Maria Shriver talked to Gates about his mission to solve the medical mystery of the chronic neurodegenerative disease, which causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills.

Play video: https://www.today.com/health/bill-gates-reveals-personal-reason-he-s-helping-fight-alzheimer-t121865

Alzheimer’s hits close to home for Gates, who revealed for the first time that his father, 92-year-old Bill Gates Sr., suffers with the disease.

“More and more people are getting Alzheimer’s, and it’s a tragic disease,” said Gates.

In 2017 alone, Americans spent $259 billion caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Despite decades of research, the cause of the disease is still unknown and effective treatments still unavailable.

But Gates, who’s investing $100 million of his own money to find a cure, is optimistic.

“I really believe that if we orchestrate the right resources, it’s solvable,” the tech mogul told Shriver.

As co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest private charity, Gates already helps fund the fights against HIV, polio and malaria around the world.

But the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, which currently affects 5.5 million Americans and their families, is different, he says.

Gates argues that right now too many research dollars go toward mainstream treatments that aren’t effective. He wants to see more money spent on new, unconventional research. That’s why half of Gates’ $100 million will go to the Dementia Discovery Fund, an organization focusing on innovative research.

“I’m an optimist. Bringing in new ideas, that’s what we’re gonna have to do, to have great drugs for this in the next 10 to 15 years,” Gates said.

To fast-track treatments for those with Alzheimer’s, Gates designated the remaining $50-million to fund a national patient registry, one that will speed up recruitment for clinical trials, and a groundbreaking international database for research that will help scientists share data, and perhaps collaborate, with one another.

“By looking at this data, we can start to understand, are there multiple syndromes here that are slightly different? Is it different in different races; is it different from men than women?” Gates said. “One of the things we’re trying to figure out is, when does the Alzheimer’s really get started? When would you need to treat somebody to completely avoid them getting Alzheimer’s?”

Gates, who at 62, revealed he worries about developing Alzheimer’s like his dad, says his $100 million donation is only the beginning of his mission.

Gates told Shriver he’s putting out a call to everyone, old and young, to help in the fight by donating time and money, participating in clinical trials, and making important lifestyle changes — like regularly exercising and eating a healthy diet — to help reduce their own risks.

For more information on how to volunteer for a clinical trial in your area that helps fight Alzheimer’s disease, go to the Alzheimer’s Association website.

Today interview ends

See Bill Gates’ blog post here

See our Dementia Discovery Fund video here

Contacts:
Dementia Discovery Fund
Laurence Barker, CBO
laurence@svhealthinvestors.com
+44 20 7421 7094

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

Latest Posts

JLABS – Meet With…Dementia Discovery Fund

Following last year’s meetings in New York and Cambridge, the DDF are again pleased to be presenting at upcoming Johnson & Johnson JLABS Meet with… session in Toronto, ON, 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 link below:

Toronto – March 15, 2018: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/investor-spotlight-the-dementia-discovery-fund-tickets-41526552035

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DDF attracts investment from NFL Players Association

London, 16 November 2017 – The Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) today announces an investment from the US National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), to support the DDF’s work in the discovery and development of novel, effective disease-modifying therapeutics for dementia. The DDF, managed by SV Health, is a unique venture fund focused entirely on discovering and developing novel therapies for dementia and was formed through the collaboration of leading pharmaceutical companies, the UK Department of Health and the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK).

 

The NFLPA investment recognises the importance of advancing the frontiers of medical research to seek effective therapies across a range of neurodegenerative diseases. NFL players have been subjected to traumatic brain injury and this investment is another example of how the union has considered solutions to ensure its members are protected, treated and cared for.

 

Every year, an estimated 42,000 people suffer a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) or concussion. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which results from the long term, irreversible consequences of repeated mild head impacts, is a progressive disorder with now well characterised neuropathology.  CTE has been reported in a range of sportspeople including American Football players, boxers, rugby and soccer players. Its onset is tragically early and its symptoms include mood and behaviour change, impairments to planning, reasoning and short-term memory and motor function, and ultimately dementia.

 

Kate Bingham, Managing Partner of SV, said: “This investment from the NFLPA is a further recognition of the potential of our approach to lead to important treatments for dementia, and, potentially, a broad range of associated neurodegenerative disorders. At the DDF, we are focusing our efforts on scientific approaches, such as inflammation, mitochondrial function and the preservation and enhancement of healthy brain cells, and these areas are highly likely to be important to CTE or TBI, leading to renewed hope for treatment of these terrible disorders.”

 

Ahmad Nassar, President of NFL Players, Inc. added: “We believe the DDF’s novel model presents a real opportunity to improve the treatment of neurological diseases, and, importantly for us, provide valuable insights into neurodegenerative disorders which have been associated with our sport. Our investment fits with our strategy of supporting research into new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent common injuries in current and retired NFL players which has included previously supporting projects to slow and reverse the accumulation of Tau protein in the brain which leads to CTE.”

 

The NFLPA investment into the DDF follows a recent $50m investment by Bill Gates and represents further US interest in the fund, reflecting the global importance of developing new treatments for dementia.

 

Since its launch in October 2015, the DDF has made significant progress building an initial portfolio of 12 investments in drug discovery companies and projects predominantly in the UK and US in areas including microglial biology and inflammation, mitochondrial dynamics, trafficking and membrane biology and synaptic physiology and function.  The DDF team believes there is a significant opportunity to develop dementia drugs targeting biological pathways beyond the prevailing amyloid beta hypothesis and to apply insights from areas such as oncology and immunology to develop novel drugs targeting these other biological pathways that may drive different forms of dementia.

 

The DDF is uniquely positioned to benefit from the expertise of its world-class Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) which includes heads of Neuroscience and/or R&D from seven major pharma companies (Biogen, Eli Lilly and Company, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Otsuka (Astex), Pfizer and Takeda) and ARUK, who collectively have a large network and experience in neuroscience drug discovery. The SAB provides ongoing advice and knowledge, offers insights on different approaches and historical failures, suggests priority areas to explore new approaches to treat dementia and advises on strategies to drugging these new pathways.

 

In line with increased investor demand the DDF team will grow, including the appointment of a Chief Executive to lead the organisation.

 

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

 

Contacts:

Dementia Discovery Fund

Laurence Barker, CBO, laurence@svhealthinvestors.com, +44 20 7421 7094

 

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 invests in projects and companies to discover and develop novel, effective disease-modifying therapeutics for dementia. Seven leading pharmaceutical companies (Biogen, Eli Lilly and Company, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Otsuka (Astex), Pfizer and Takeda), Bill Gates, Woodford Investment Management via Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT), 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. www.theddfund.com

 

About 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 the NFL Players Association

The National Football League Players Association is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests. The NFLPA has shown that it will do whatever is necessary to assure that the rights of players are protected—including ceasing to be a union, if necessary, as it did in 1989. In 1993, the NFLPA again was officially recognized as the union representing the players, and negotiated a landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL. The current CBA will govern the sport through 2020. Learn more at www.nflpa.com.

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

 

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DDF attracts $50 million investment from Bill Gates

– Broad range of novel approaches to develop disease modifying dementia drugs –

London, 13 November 2017 – The Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) today announces a $50 million investment from Bill Gates. The investment is Gates’ first to accelerate progress toward diseasemodifying therapies for Alzheimer’s disease. The DDF, managed by SV Health, is a unique venture fund focused entirely on discovering and developing novel therapies for dementia and was formed through the collaboration of leading pharmaceutical companies, the UK Department of Health and the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK).

Since its launch in October 2015, the DDF has made significant progress building an initial portfolio of 12 investments in drug discovery companies and projects predominantly in the UK and US in areas including microglial biology and inflammation, mitochondrial dynamics, trafficking and membrane biology and synaptic physiology and function. The DDF team believes there is a significant opportunity to develop dementia drugs targeting biological pathways beyond the prevailing amyloid beta hypothesis and to apply insights from areas such as oncology and immunology to develop novel drugs targeting these other biological pathways that may drive different forms of dementia.

The DDF is uniquely positioned to benefit from the expertise of its world-class Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) which includes heads of Neuroscience and/or R&D from seven major pharma companies (Biogen, Eli Lilly and Company, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Otsuka (Astex), Pfizer and Takeda) and ARUK, who collectively have a large network and experience in neuroscience drug discovery. The SAB provides ongoing advice and knowledge, offers insights on different approaches and historical failures, suggests priority areas to explore new approaches to treat dementia and advises on strategies to drugging these new pathways.

With this increased investor demand the DDF team will grow, including the appointment of a Chief Executive to lead the organisation.

Kate Bingham, Managing Partner of SV, said: “Our ambition at launch was to identify and deliver new drug approaches for tackling dementia. Two years on, the DDF has made significant strides towards achieving that, attracting global investment and some of the most impressive teams, companies and entrepreneurs working in neurodegeneration research. In the first example of its kind in dementia, the DDF has now brought together funding from the private sector, charity and industry, and we’re especially pleased to get so much interest from the US in a British fund. We welcome Bill Gates’ involvement as we collaborate to solve one of the biggest issues in global healthcare. We look forward to the growing deal flow and next stages of development in the companies that the fund supports.”

Bill Gates added: “I believe we are at a turning point in Alzheimer’s research and development, which the Dementia Discovery Fund is playing an important role in by exploring new approaches to treat the disease. This is a frontier where we can dramatically improve human life. It’s a miracle that people are living so much longer, but longer life expectancies alone are not enough. People should be able to enjoy their later years – and we need a breakthrough in Alzheimer’s to fulfil that. I’m excited to join the fight and can’t wait to see what happens next.”

Patrick Vallance, President, R&D, GSK, said: “Dementia is one of the biggest challenges of global healthcare today and it’s a challenge that isn’t going to be solved by working in silos. To address the growing burden of dementia, we must collaborate and invest in the early science to really enhance our understanding of the disease and its complex biology, and then apply this knowledge in a way that is targeted towards making treatments. As a founding investor in DDF, we wanted to be part of a fund dedicated to rooting out the new, exciting, different ideas outside of the mainstream, with the focus needed to tackle dementia in the right way.”

Dan Skovronsky, Senior Vice President of Clinical and Product Development, Eli Lilly and Company, said: “The DDF is an excellent example of early-stage researchers collaborating with pharmaceutical companies to facilitate ground-breaking work in biotechnology. At Lilly, we’re pleased to support the Fund as it aims to uncover new biological targets, works with some of the top scientists around the world, and translates new science into what we hope will make a meaningful medicine for patients and support caregivers.”

Doug Giordano, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Business Development, Pfizer, said: “Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, is one of the greatest healthcare challenges facing the world today. Forty-seven million people were living with dementia in 2015 and this is projected to nearly double every 20 years. The work that the DDF is doing has enormous potential to produce treatments that could arrest the course of dementia and we look forward to continuing to support these efforts.”

Paul Stoffels, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson, said: “We are excited about this new partnership to advance the future of brain health. Together with the DDF, Johnson & Johnson is working collaboratively with industry, government, and other partners to support leading researchers and fund promising new science. Together we are advancing brain research, studying innovative, potentially disease-modifying treatments for patients with dementia. We are hugely impressed by the progress made by the DDF to date and the support that it has received from international investors.”

Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, said: “Tackling dementia is one of my top priorities as Health Secretary, and I want the UK to become the best country in the world for care, support, research and awareness. I am extremely proud that Britain is at the forefront of innovative international collaborations like the Dementia Discovery Fund – this substantial investment could help us to change the lives of millions of people.”

Hilary Evans, Chief Executive, Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “The gravity of the impact of dementia increases every day and the millions affected worldwide desperately need effective treatment options. We’re seeing a step change in global ambitions around tackling dementia, both in understanding the diseases behind the condition and translating the most innovative ideas towards new therapies. I believe that the DDF offers an ideal approach for accelerating the search for new treatments, investing in nimble and innovative drug discovery work in small, focused projects and companies, which have the advantage of being cost and time effective. We welcome today’s fresh investment in the DDF – with growing investment and advancing science across the world, we are on the cusp of making significant breakthroughs for people with dementia and their families.”

See Bill Gates’ blog post here

See our Dementia Discovery Fund video here

Contacts:
Dementia Discovery Fund
Laurence Barker, CBO
laurence@svhealthinvestors.com
+44 20 7421 7094

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 invests in projects and companies to discover and develop novel, effective disease-modifying therapeutics for dementia. Bill Gates, seven leading pharmaceutical companies (Biogen, Eli Lilly and Company, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Otsuka (Astex), Pfizer and Takeda), Woodford Investment Management via Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT), 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. www.theddfund.com

About 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.

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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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.

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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.

 

 

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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

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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

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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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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

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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.

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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

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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

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Launch of Dementia Discovery Fund New Fund Raises $100 Million to Deliver Novel Approaches to Treatment of Dementia

  • UK Department of Health, Alzheimer’s Research UK and major global pharmaceutical companies invest $100 Million
  • Ground breaking collaboration to address one of the largest ever unmet medical needs
  • SV Life Sciences appointed as Fund Manager
  • theddfund.com

London, 21 October 2015, The Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF), an innovative new global investment fund to support discovery and development of novel dementia treatments has launched, raising $100 Million from investors including the UK Government’s Department of Health (DoH) and Alzheimer’s Research UK alongside world-leading major pharmaceutical companies including Biogen, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Lilly, Pfizer and Takeda.

SV Life Sciences (SVLS), a leading international life sciences venture capital firm, has been appointed as Fund Manager, bringing to the DDF a proven global track record of identifying and supporting the development of novel therapeutic approaches in a range of clinical indications including neuroscience. A world-class Scientific Advisory Board, with representatives from the DDF’s strategic investors and world-leading international academics is being set up to share expertise, expand the DDF’s collaborative networks and advise the investment team.

The DDF has been established to deliver new drug approaches for dementia by 2025 to diagnose and intervene early to modify the course of disease while improving symptoms and thereby laying the foundations for effective therapies.

The DDF will work collaboratively with universities, academic institutes and the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry internationally to identify novel dementia research projects and nurture these through the pre-clinical phase, enabling further development in clinical trials. The DDF’s priorities are to explore and develop novel hypotheses in dementia research and to increase global interest and industry confidence in the value of dementia research.

Kate Bingham, Managing Partner of SV Life Sciences, commented: “Developing new treatments for dementia is hugely important but also enormously challenging. Very few new therapies have become available in recent years and those on the market all address symptoms and have no effect on the underlying disease. By creating a new source of funding for innovative dementia research and working creatively with researchers, entrepreneurs, charities, industry and Government, we believe the DDF can make a significant difference to the identification and development of new treatment approaches.”

Commenting on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry investors, Patrick Vallance, President, Pharmaceuticals R&D, GSK, said: “The scientific community’s most powerful tool in its fight against dementia is collaboration, to stimulate new avenues of drug discovery. This is a complex and costly area of research, and if we’re to succeed in developing innovative new treatments, we must be prepared to work together and jointly shoulder the risk of ambitious new approaches. This new fund provides the framework for us to do precisely that, bringing together world-leaders in dementia research and combining resources to invest in exciting potential new therapies and start-up companies.”

Sir David Cooksey GBE Hon FMedSci, who has been advising the Department of Health, added: “This unique initiative will bring much needed new money into dementia research but more importantly represents a new way of doing things. It will ensure some of the best minds in government, industry and the investment community combine their efforts on dementia and create a new path for innovative research to be turned into effective and game-changing treatments.”

Dr Dennis Gillings CBE, World Dementia Envoy, added: “Dementia is a ticking bomb and with the global cost of dementia care expected to reach over $1 trillion by 2030 we must continue to do more. Research is currently not delivering the results we need; we need early and accurate diagnosis, effective treatment and improved care and support to avoid serious economic and social impacts. Emanating from the World Dementia Council, the DDF aims to unlock investment and encourage innovation in dementia research and development for this critical global health issue.”

Matthew Norton, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “A fund of this type is a world-first for dementia research, and Alzheimer’s Research UK is delighted to be part of this unique collaboration to bring much-needed new investment into dementia research. By focusing on new approaches for treating the condition, we hope investments made through the fund will increase our chances of delivering treatments to the people who so desperately need them. With no treatments currently able to tackle the diseases that cause dementia, the condition is arguably our greatest medical challenge and this initiative is a vital part of the fightback.”

For further information please contact:

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 Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) is an innovative global investment fund established in October 2015 to deliver new drug approaches for dementia by 2025 to diagnose, intervene early and treat to modify the course and symptoms of the disease. The DDF, managed by SV Life Sciences, has raised $100 Million from investors including 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 will work 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 been investing in life sciences companies since the early 1980s and the firm closed its first dedicated life sciences fund in 1994.

The SVLS team manages five private venture capital funds with approximately $1.9 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.

Alzheimer’s Research UK
ARUK is the UK’s leading Alzheimer’s research charity aiming to defeat dementia. ARUK powers world class studies that give the best chance of beating dementia sooner and the charity’s pioneering work focuses on prevention, treatment and cure. ARUK is energising a movement across society to support, fund and take part in dementia research and they aim to empower people across all generations through greater understanding of dementia.

About Biogen
Through cutting-edge science and medicine, Biogen discovers, develops and delivers to patients worldwide innovative therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, hematologic conditions and autoimmune disorders. Founded in 1978, Biogen is one of the world’s oldest independent biotechnology companies and patients worldwide benefit from its leading multiple sclerosis and innovative haemophilia therapies.

About GSK
GSK is one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. It is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information please visit www.gsk.com.

About Johnson & Johnson
Caring for the world one person at a time inspires and unites the people of Johnson & Johnson. Johnson & Johnson embraces research and science – bringing innovative ideas, products and services to advance the health and well-being of people. Their approximately 127,000 employees at more than 265 Johnson & Johnson operating companies work with partners in health care to touch the lives of over a billion people every day, throughout the world. Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. is the venture capital subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. It is comprised of experts and leaders in the health care and technology venture communities who identify early market indicators, health care trends, and strategic investment opportunities.

About Eli Lilly and Company
Lilly is a global healthcare leader that unites caring with discovery to make life better for people around the world. It was founded more than a century ago by a man committed to creating high-quality medicines that meet real needs, and today it remains true to that mission in all its work. Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. To learn more about Lilly, please visit www.lilly.com and newsroom.lilly.com/social-channels.

About Pfizer Inc.
Pfizer applies science and its global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve lives. It strives to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products. Its global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines as well as many of the world’s best-known consumer health care products. Every day, Pfizer staff work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with their responsibility as one of the world’s premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, they collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on them. To learn more, please visit www.pfizer.com.

About Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited
Located in Osaka, Japan, Takeda (TSE: 4502) is a research-based global company with a main focus on pharmaceuticals. As the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan and one of the global leaders of the industry, Takeda is committed to striving towards better health for people worldwide through leading innovation in medicine. Additional information about Takeda is available through its corporate website, www.takeda.com.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS PRESS RELEASE IS INTENDED TO PROVIDE GENERAL BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT DDF FOR THOSE WITH AN INTEREST IN DEMENTIA RESEARCH. PLEASE NOTE THAT AN INVESTMENT IN DDF IS NOT AVAILABLE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC. INTERESTS IN DDF ARE BEING DISTRIBUTED ON A PRIVATE PLACEMENT BASIS TO PERSONS WHO ARE, OR MAY BE TREATED ON REQUEST AS, PROFESSIONAL CLIENTS WITHIN THE MEANING OF ANNEX II OF THE MARKETS IN FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS DIRECTIVE (2004/39/EC)).

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.