$100m Big Pharma-backed VC fund to focus on dementia research
The UK government recently collaborated with J.P. Morgan to structure the Dementia Discovery Fund in order to finance the dementia research, with the ultimate aim is to develop new drugs to treat the condition.
The money committed by investors today includes £15m ($22m) that the UK government announced for the fund last fall, while Alzheimer’s Research UK will invest $5m in the fund over five years. Other interested investors will be able to participate in the fund at a later stage, according to the government.
The fund was announced by Britain's health minister Jeremy Hunt at a WHO meeting on Tuesday. Hunt said that the fund “marks a global consensus that research needs greater priority and that new sources of finance are needed to translate the best science into effective treatments.”
The announcement follows a Group of Eight (G8) nations conference from 2013 that set a goal of finding an effective treatment for Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia by 2025.
GSK's head of research and development Patrick Vallance told Reuters the 2025 goal was "hugely ambitious" but that pooling resources to back promising ideas from academic groups and small biotech firms would help to accelerate research.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron added in a statement: “This fund is a major step forward in this effort” to “truly defeat this devastating disease.”