Dementia Discovery Fund to Invest $5 Million in Cerevance to Seek New Treatments for Dementia

LONDON & BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Dementia Discovery Fund, an innovative global investment fund
managed by SV Life Sciences and launched in 2015 to develop disease
modifying drugs for dementia, today announced a $5 million investment in
the initial financing round of start-up drug discovery company,
Cerevance.


With locations in Boston, Massachusetts and Cambridge, UK, Cerevance is
harnessing a proprietary technology platform, invented in the Howard
Hughes Medical Institute laboratory of Nathaniel Heintz, Ph.D. at
Rockefeller University. The technology will enable the molecular
analysis of specific cell types in human brain tissue rather than
relying on animal models to reveal critical pathways and receptors
present in vulnerable cell populations as well as molecular responses in
those cell populations to diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
disease.

“We are eager to see Cerevance immediately apply its powerful approach
to dementia,” said Tetsuyuki Maruyama, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer
of the Dementia Discovery Fund who will serve on Cerevance’s Board of
Directors. “Our Scientific Advisory Board, which contains senior R&D
leaders from seven global pharmaceutical and biotech companies, is
confident that Cerevance will make breakthrough discoveries, enabling
the company to advance new medicines that may prevent, slow or reverse
the process of a broad range of devastating dementias.”

“There are 50 million dementia patients worldwide, and 10 million more
being diagnosed each year,” said Laurence Barker, Ph.D., Chief Business
Officer of the Dementia Discovery Fund. “With exceptional science, a
strong sense of urgency, a leadership team that has previously succeeded
together in drug discovery and solid investor support, Cerevance is well
positioned to deliver life-changing therapeutics for dementia patients.”

“It is thrilling to welcome an investor whose strategic focus is so
perfectly aligned with our mission,” said Brad Margus, Chief Executive
Officer of Cerevance. “The investment team and strategic investors
involved with the Dementia Discovery Fund will give Cerevance access to
a dream team of world-class advisors.”

Together with the $36 million in commitments of equity and non-dilutive
capital from Lightstone Ventures and Takeda Pharmaceuticals Company,
Ltd. (TSE: 4502) announced in December, the new company has now raised
over $41 million.

About the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF)

The DDF is a venture capital fund which 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, Johnson & Johnson, 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 and evaluate novel approaches
for the treatment of dementia. SV Life Sciences won the bid to become
Manager in a competitive selection process held in 2015. www.theddfund.com

About Dementia

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) accounts for over 60% of cases of dementia, and
affects 1% of the world’s population. At 85 years of age, there is a 50%
chance of developing AD, and the incidence is increasing with aging
demographics. Initial symptoms include difficulty remembering recent
events, which progresses to disorientation, mood changes, and loss of
motivation. Patients become wheelchair bound and entirely dependent on
caregivers. The impact of dementia is therefore on the patient, their
family, and wider society. AD charities actively highlight the societal
impact of AD. The World Alzheimer Report estimates that costs are split
20% on medical care, 40% on social services, and 40% on primary
caregivers. Caregiving often has a negative impact on health,
employment, income and family finances.

The World Alzheimer Report (2015) has estimated that the annual costs
associated with dementia amounted to 1% of the world’s gross domestic
product ($600 billion in 2010, rising to $818 billion in 2015). The
report estimates that 35.6 million people worldwide were living with
dementia in 2010. It forecasts 66 million by 2030, and 115 million by
2050.

Contacts

Dementia Discovery Fund
Dr Laurence Barker, Chief Business
Officer
laurence.barker@svlsm.com
or
Cerevance
Rob
Middlebrook, Chief Financial Officer
rob@cerevance.com