Dementia News

2 July 2019
DDF notes the appointment of Jonathan Behr, PhD as Partner

SV Health Investors announces the appointment of Jonathan Behr, PhD as Partner in the Dementia Discovery Fund

Former managing director of JDRF T1D Fund joins DDF leadership team

London, 2 July 2019 – The Dementia Discovery Fund (“DDF” or “the Fund”), the venture capital fund delivering both high-impact therapeutics for age related dementias and financial returns by investing in, creating, and supporting innovative companies, is pleased to announce the appointment of Jonathan Behr, PhD as Partner. This appointment is made to grow the DDF team and add additional investment experience now that the opportunity for the DDF has been demonstrated.

Jonathan will be responsible for helping to build the Fund’s investment portfolio by leading investments in new and established companies that are pursuing novel approaches in dementia with the aim of providing meaningful, disease-modifying treatments for patients. Jonathan will also work closely with the Fund’s existing portfolio companies in advisor and director roles. As a member of DDF’s leadership team, he will work alongside senior colleagues to develop and drive DDF’s investment strategy.

Angus Grant, CEO of the Dementia Discovery Fund, said: “We are delighted to welcome Jonathan to the DDF Team. His deep expertise in venture investment and venture creation experience, particularly in building one of the largest mission-driven venture funds, will be of enormous benefit to DDF as we accelerate our investments and continue to identify cutting-edge therapeutic approaches to change the course of dementia.”

Jonathan Behr, Partner at the Dementia Discovery Fund, said: “I am excited to join the Dementia Discovery Fund at this critical time. The prevalence of dementia is on the rise and there is an urgent need for investment in innovative companies developing effective therapies for patients. The investment and strategic support this Fund can provide is unrivalled. I look forward to bringing my experience from the T1D Fund to the fantastic DDF team.”

Jonathan joins the DDF from the JDRF T1D Fund, a growing $75 million mission-driven fund focused on venture investments in companies developing solutions for type 1 diabetes, where he joined at inception as the fund’s first managing director. He led the development of the fund’s investment strategy with the board of directors, built an investment team, and led 14 of the fund’s first investments. Prior to the JDRF T1D Fund, Jonathan was a Market Sector Leader and Executive in Residence at Partners Healthcare Innovation, leading a team responsible for driving technology translation from research hospitals affiliated with Harvard Medical School.  His areas of responsibility included neuroscience, and successes included Tilos Therapeutics. He has held senior venture creation roles, including Principal at PureTech Ventures (PRTC) and Vice President of New Ventures for Enlight Biosciences. In these roles he co-founded and supported seven companies and took senior operating roles in several. In all his prior roles he was a director or observer on more than 13 companies including Provention Bio (PRVB), AntolRx, Exosome Diagnostics, and Entrega Inc.

Jonathan has a PhD in Biological Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute fellow, and received his B.S. in Bioengineering summa cum laude as phi-beta-kappa co-valedictorian from Rice University.

Since completing its fundraising in 2018, with £250 million ($350 million at the time of completion) raised from an influential group of strategic investors including industry, private, government, and impact investors, the DDF has made significant progress building a portfolio of investments in drug discovery companies and projects, predominantly in the UK and US, in four key areas including neuroimmunology, trafficking of molecules in and around cell membranes, mitochondrial health and brain synapses.