Dementia Discovery Fund

Cultivating Innovation in Dementia Research

The Dementia Discovery Fund is a close collaboration between charity, industry and the government, to provide much-needed investment in innovative dementia research

Investing in Innovative Research

The global consensus is that funding dementia research needs to be considered a greater priority. By combining the expertise of our investors with the world’s most promising scientific talent, we aim to support innovative research into novel therapeutic strategies, laying the foundation for an effective, disease-modifying treatment for dementia.

From exploratory diagnostics and biomarkers to novel therapeutic approaches, if your research project has the potential to deliver transformational clinical impact, we will invest in you. Our world-renowned scientific team will work closely with you, providing expertise and support, to ensure your ideas are nurtured and allowed to reach their full potential.

I'm looking for funding for a dementia-focused project or company

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“We desperately need a new drug to treat dementia patients. In order to do this quickly, we must work with the best scientists across the globe in both academia and industry, and all stakeholders in government, charitable and philanthropic organisations.”
Prof. Chas Bountra
Professor of Translational Medicine,
University of Oxford

Seeding innovation. Cultivating discovery. Together we can find a cure.

The Impact of Dementia

As the average age of the population grows, dementia is quickly becoming one of the biggest global challenges we face – the burden is increasing proportionately.

There are no existing therapies that have a meaningful impact on symptoms or the disease.

47m People affected by dementia worldwide1
9.9m New cases of dementia every year2
$818bn Global cost of dementia in 20152

We will invest in innovative approaches to bring disease-modifying drugs to the clinic

Our goal is to invest over $200m over fifteen years to support the creation of novel disease-modifying drugs for dementia.

We know that great, innovative ideas need to be supported at every stage in order to generate new, successful drugs

How We Will Help You

Clinical and Scientific Strategy
Operational Support
Investment

We understand what you do – our team has experience in discovery, preclinical and clinical development through to commercialisation based on decades of experience in global pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, contract research organisations (CRO) and academia. So, from personal experience, we can provide guidance and hands-on support to help you develop your invention/insight in order to achieve our goal of getting innovative drugs to dementia patients.

We know how to run projects and businesses like yours – we collaborate with scientific founders from across the world to develop innovative drugs that get to market. Our international team has strong operating expertise from across the life sciences arena, and we enjoy rolling up our sleeves to help build project and financing plans, recruit teams, provide operational management, and offer strategic support to help demonstrate how your invention/insight can have a clinical impact in dementia patients.

We have been successful – since 1993, SV Life Sciences has created and/or funded over 175 life sciences companies in the US and EU, working collaboratively with universities, academic institutes and the biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry. We have a proven record discovering and developing new drugs, many of which are now in routine clinical use and are helping patients every day across a range of indications.

Meet the DDF Team

Dementia Projects and Companies Looking for Funding

We are keen to hear from scientists, researchers and companies developing novel therapies for Dementia, who are in need of funding and help.

Please send an introductory email and project or business plan to DDFProjects@svlsm.com

Press Release

Latest News

Dementia Discovery Fund Acquires Small Molecule Library

Dementia Discovery Fund Acquires Small Molecule Library and Enters Strategic Partnership with Aptuit to Kickstart Dementia Drug Discovery Programmes

[…] Read more

Dementia Discovery Fund 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

[…] Read more

World-renowned Chief Scientific Officer to lead the new DDF investment team

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

[…] Read more

Dementia Discovery Fund Makes First Investment in Alector LLC

The Dementia Discovery Fund, an innovative global investment fund launched in October 2015 to deliver new disease modifying drugs for

[…] Read more

Launch of Dementia Discovery Fund

[…] Read more

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Latest Posts

Dementia Discovery Fund 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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SV Life Sciences Managers LLP, Manager of Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) 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

Latest Posts

Dementia Discovery Fund 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.

Latest Posts

Dementia Discovery Fund 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