The Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) is a venture capital fund created to facilitate the development of effective treatments for dementia. We combine the rigor of venture capital investment with a focus on dementia. Our focus enables us to apply learnings and repeatedly engage the scientific community to refine our investment strategy over time. The rigor is critical to investing the fund in projects and companies that we expect to have a major impact on the field.
To differentiate our investments and meet our ambitious goals, we have decided on key areas of scientific focus. We believe the underlying science in these topics is mature enough to support drug discovery, and that focused investment – which has been lacking to date – will enable new therapeutic strategies.
a) Inflammation, immunology and microglial function
Investigations into the genetic risk factors for dementia increasingly point towards inflammatory mechanisms. We embrace this area of scientific focus wholly and will review proposals in this area with great interest.
b) Membrane contact site biology
We feel there is significant evidence pointing towards disrupted organelle function, especially endo-lysosomal trafficking, in the etiology of dementia. This category is purposely broad to encourage creative thinking about membranes, trafficking, and related cellular processes.
c) Mitochondrial dynamics
Mitochondrial health is critical to the function of eukaryotic cells and evidence suggests their dynamics change in dementia. We are looking to invest in companies targeting mitochondrial dynamics and their role in dementia.
d) Synaptic physiology and structure
Cognition is the direct result of intact synapses and their functional plasticity. Studies suggest synaptic vulnerability contributes to dementia, and we will fund proposals looking to protect vulnerable synapses or restore functionality.
Although we have key areas of scientific focus, we are always looking for innovative ideas that will transform the way we think about dementia treatments. We will invest in the best science, with the best chance of leading to meaningful treatments for dementia.
To meet this goal, we want to hear from everyone in the biosciences space who can help us identify the next big ideas in dementia drug discovery!
Send an email with whatever non-confidential information you want us to consider to: