- 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.”
Dementia Discovery Fund
Carol Routledge, Venture Partner
+44 20 7421 7091
Consilium Strategic Communications
Mary-Jane Elliott, Chris Gardner, Amber Fennell, Ivar Milligan
+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.
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