DDF Acquires Small Molecule Library and Enters Strategic Partnership with Aptuit to Kickstart Dementia Drug Discovery Programmes

February 28, 2017
  • The Dementia Discovery Fund announces the acquisition of a >500,000 compound, CNS-biased small molecule library
  • The DDF and Aptuit enter into a strategic partnership to leverage the DDF library and Aptuit’s capabilities for dementia drug discovery

LONDON, BOSTON, GREENWICH, 28 February 2017 – The Dementia Discovery Fund (‘DDF’), a venture capital fund focused on discovering and developing novel therapies for dementia, and Aptuit, an integrated drug discovery CRO, announce a strategic drug discovery partnership to kick-start small molecule drug discovery programmes for novel dementia-related targets. The DDF has acquired a 513,000 compound, CNS-focussed small molecule library. Together with Aptuit, the DDF, DDF companies, partners and collaborators will be able to run high throughput screens using this curated library, biased towards compound properties favourable for CNS drug discovery. The combination of DDF’s CNS discovery expertise and Aptuit’s world-class drug discovery capabilities will support companies and academics to translate their biological, genetic and other insights into successful drug discovery programmes, cultivating acceleration of innovation in the dementia field.

Academic researchers and early stage start-up companies often struggle to access high quality small molecule libraries to develop tool compounds to probe the druggability of their novel targets. Through this library, the DDF can support projects with a specific and testable hypothesis that could deliver therapeutic benefit to patients. A further challenge in the dementia field is the need to identify molecules that can access targets in brain tissue, across the blood brain barrier. By granting ready access to this curated library with chemical properties favourable for blood brain barrier penetration, DDF hopes to enable and support new approaches that will cure dementia, in line with the DDF mission.

The DDF small molecule library is housed at the high throughput screening site of Aptuit, in Basel, Switzerland. Aptuit has expertise in compound library management, high throughput screening, selectivity testing, hit characterization and progression of discovery programmes. Aptuit will perform screens against the library, or can facilitate offsite screening of the library if required. Access to the library will be enabled for academic groups and early drug discovery companies as part of a DDF investment or on a fee-for-service basis through DDF ChemCo, a wholly-owned DDF company established to manage the library.

“Our ownership of the DDF ChemCo small molecule library and partnership with Aptuit will allow DDF to help innovative researchers and companies test novel discovery strategies for dementia drug discovery rapidly and cost-effectively. This will help us achieve our mission to create diverse and effective new medicines for people with dementia,” said Tetsu Maruyama, CSO of the DDF.

Stephan Fasler, CEO Aptuit (Switzerland) AG commentated, “Discovering and developing new treatments for the causes of dementia is an important task to help protect today’s increasingly aging society. Aptuit is therefore very proud to be part of this strategic partnership. We will offer DDF companies, partners and collaborators support in achieving their goals by making available our experience and expertise in computational chemistry, compound logistics, assay development and hit discovery to provide tailored solutions for these drug discovery programs.”

Information for academics and companies interested in screening the library can be downloaded from the DDF website or requested by contacting ddfchemco@svlsm.com.

About The Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF)

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

About Aptuit

Aptuit provides the most complete set of integrated early discovery to mid-phase drug development services in the pharmaceutical industry including Drug Design & Discovery, API Development and Manufacture, Solid State Chemistry, CMC, Preclinical and IND enabling GLP/GMP programs. Fully integrated drug discovery & development services are available from our facilities in the UK, Italy, and Switzerland.

Aptuit Holdings, LLC is partnered with Welsh, Carson, and Anderson & Stowe, one of the world’s leading private equity investors.

For more information, please visit www.aptuit.com

DDF ChemoCo CNS-Biased Small Molecule Library

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