EQT Life Sciences has closed its inaugural LSP Dementia Fund, raising approximately €260 million ($283 million) in fee-generating assets under management, meeting the hard cap and surpassing the target fund size of €100 million ($108.9 million).
The LSP Dementia Fund is dedicated to investing in companies that are developing breakthrough drug therapies and medical technologies across the spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases.
There are 54 million patients with dementia worldwide, and without significant time and investment in battling the disease, this number is predicted to triple by 2050. However, investment in dementia research and development is lower than major healthcare challenges such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, and cardiovascular disease.
The LSP Dementia Fund will advance innovation
The LSP Dementia Fund has been created to help bridge this gap by advancing breakthrough dementia innovation to bring new drugs to patients, while seeking to generate strong financial returns for its investors.
The LSP Dementia Fund investment team is led by Philip Scheltens, professor emeritus at Amsterdam University Medical Center and one of the world’s most renowned dementia researchers, having appeared in more than 1,100 scientific publications.
The other partners in the investment team are Felice Verduyn-van Weegen, Cillian King, and Arno de Wilde.
The LSP Dementia Fund is supported by a range of investors including the Alzheimer’s Association, the world’s largest charity and advocacy organization in the field, insurance companies, the European Investment Fund, and several global pharmaceutical companies – including from Asia and the U.S. Other investors include endowments, foundations, and other private investors.
The LSP Dementia Fund intends to invest in 10 to 15 companies in total. Having made its first investment in NewAmsterdam Pharma, which focuses on cardiovascular and Alzheimer’s disease, in January 2021, the fund has since invested in four companies.
One is Muna Therapeutics, which specializes in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Last year, it was also awarded a $4.9 million grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF).
The others are AviadoBio (frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)), Nobi (smart care solutions in nursing homes) and QurAlis (FTD and ALS).
Improving life for dementia patients
Scheltens, partner and head of the LSP Dementia Fund, said: “The final close marks the end of a very successful fundraising journey in which we have experienced strong interest and commitment. This gives us the confidence to invest in groundbreaking science and entrepreneurship, which this field so urgently needs. I am very proud to be leading such an experienced team of neuroscientists and investors and being part of an organization with such a high standing in the field of life sciences.”
René Kuijten, partner and head of EQT Life Sciences, said: “EQT Life Sciences aims to improve patient’s lives by supporting the development of breakthrough therapies. We strongly believe that neurodegenerative diseases are the next big challenge after oncology and cardiovascular diseases. With this fund, EQT Life Sciences is now in a strong position to support companies at the cutting-edge of battling this disease.”
The LSP Dementia Fund is a Dutch fund managed by a Dutch AIFM.