- Pioneering immuno-neurology company was DDF’s first investment in 2015
- Progress of company supports DDF investment programme to accelerate discovery and development of disease-modifying dementia therapies
London, [7 February] 2019 – The Dementia Discovery Fund (“DDF”), a venture capital fund focused on discovering and developing novel therapies for dementia, welcomes the news that Alector, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering immuno-neurology, a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of neurodegeneration, has today commenced trading as a public company, following the successful completion of its $176 million initial public offering in the United States.
Alector was the DDF’s first investment in 2015 and the completion of its IPO is a significant milestone that supports DDF’s mission to invest in innovative scientific approaches with the potential to bring disease-modifying dementia therapies to patients. Alector is one of 16 companies and translational projects in which the DDF has invested to date.
Alector has devoted the last five years to the development of novel therapeutics that harness the brain’s immune system to treat neurodegeneration, identifying over 40 immune system targets, progressing more than 10 programmes into preclinical research, and advancing two product candidates, AL001 and AL002, into clinical development.
AL001, initially aimed at treating a genetically-defined sub-population of patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), has demonstrated phase I proof-of-mechanism in the central nervous systems of healthy volunteers, with further data expected this year. A phase I dose escalation study of AL002, in development for the treatment of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, as part of a global strategic partnership with AbbVie, is ongoing. Two additional product candidates, AL003 for Alzheimer’s disease and AL004 for multiple degenerative disorders, are also expected to enter the clinic this year.
Angus Grant, CEO of the Dementia Discovery Fund, said: “I am delighted that Alector, the first of DDF’s investments, has reached this significant milestone. It is testament to the company’s innovative science and novel approach to developing future treatments for dementia.
“Alector’s progress serves as a great illustration of how the DDF’s investment choices can contribute to furthering the field of neuroscience research. The development of immunotherapies has, in recent years, dominated our progress in tackling cancer and Alector’s approach in harnessing the power of the immune system to target neurodegeneration was a compelling investment opportunity for the DDF.
Press Release linked here