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, has announced a $5 million investment in the initial financing round of startup drug discovery company, Cerevance.
With locations in Boston, Massachusetts and Cambridge, U.K., 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 announced in December, the new company has now raised over $41 million.