Big pharma joins UK government in Alzheimer's research funding boost
This article was originally published in Scrip
Biogen, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Lilly and Pfizer have all committed in principle to investing, alongside the charity Alzheimer's Research UK and the UK government, in a $100m Dementia Discovery Fund announced by the UK health secretary Jeremy Hunt at the World Health Organization’s First Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia on 17 March. The UK government has been working with JP Morgan to structure the Dementia Discovery Fund as an innovative method for financing dementia research. It will be structured as a typical venture capital fund, but will be the first to focus solely on dementia research. The idea is to bring together the combined expertise of government, financial, industry and charity partners to develop pioneering new drugs to treat the condition. The money committed by investors includes the £15m that the UK government announced for the fund in autumn 2014, plus $25m (about £17m) from GlaxoSmithKline, $10m from Johnson & Johnson and further undisclosed commitments from the other companies. There will be an opportunity for additional interested investors to participate in the fund at a later stage.
You may also be interested in...
Private Company Edition: The Dementia Discovery Fund started in 2015 with plans to raise $200m to fund early-stage development of disease-modifying drugs, but recently closed its fundraising with $350m in commitments. Also, Kaleido's $101m Series C is among three recent $100m-plus rounds.
Positive Phase II data for Aptinyx’s novel NMDA receptor modulator are strong enough to take the product into a pivotal study in this difficult-to-treat area.
Orchard Therapeutics is on the cusp of the first approval for its ex vivo gene therapy, Libmeldy, for metachromatic leukodystrophy.