The Dementia Discovery Fund has raised $350M (€300M) to support industrial and academic scientists doing early-stage research to develop new dementia medicines.
Launched in 2015, the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) is dedicated to investing in early-stage ventures that develop disease-modifying therapeutics for all types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Yesterday, the DDF completed a $350 (€300M) fundraising that far exceeded its initial target of $200M (€270M), making it the first and largest venture fund dedicated to dementia.
Managed by the VC firm SV Health, the fund will make investments ranging from £100,000 for projects focused on testing scientific hypotheses up to £10M for proof-of-concept clinical trials.
A total of sixteen companies have already received funding from the DDF. Among them are gen2, a British company using stem cells to identify drugs that target the tau protein, which forms aggregates in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s; or Mitoconix, in Israel, which develops peptide drugs to prevent mitochondria from dividing excessively in diseases like Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
The World Health Organization estimates that there are 47 million people affected by dementia worldwide, and as the population ages, this number is expected to keep growing. However, there are no therapies able to stop or modify the disease beyond managing the symptoms. Research into new therapies will be essential to finally put a stop to it.
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