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Major pharmaceutical companies back new $100 million Dementia Discovery Fund


Travers Smith LLP has advised SV Life Sciences, a leading international life sciences venture capital firm, in relation to the launch of The Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF), an innovative new global investment fund to support discovery and development of novel dementia treatment. 

The new fund has raised US$100 million from investors including the UK Government’s Department of Health and Alzheimer’s Research UK, alongside major pharmaceutical companies including Biogen, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Lilly, Pfizer and Takeda. Travers Smith’s client SV Life Sciences has been appointed as Fund Manager.

The DDF has been established to deliver new drug approaches for dementia by 2025 to diagnose and intervene early to modify the course of disease while improving symptoms and laying the foundations for effective therapies. The DDF will work collaboratively with universities, academic institutes and the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry internationally to identify novel dementia research projects and nurture these through the pre-clinical phase, enabling further development in clinical trials. The DDF’s priorities are to explore and develop novel approaches to dementia research and to increase global interest and industry confidence in the value of dementia research.

The Travers Smith team, which advised SV Life Science on this transaction, was led by head of investment funds Sam Kay, who was assisted by associate Eilidh Campbell. Financial services regulatory advice was provided by partner Stephanie Biggs and associate Danny Riding. Tax partner Emily Clark and associate Elena Rowlands advised on tax law aspects of the transaction.

Other advisers on the transaction included Simmons & Simmons, acting for the UK Government’s Department of Health, and Ropes & Gray, acting for the investors.

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