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Press Release

Astex Joins the Dementia Discovery Fund as a Strategic Investor

Astex Pharmaceuticals
Posted on: 21 Nov 16

Astex Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel small molecule therapeutics for oncology and diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), announced today that it has become a strategic investor in The Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF; DDF is a new venture fund set up to promote innovation in dementia research and to support the next generation of drug discovery approaches for neurodegenerative disease. The fund is managed by SV Life Sciences, a leading venture capital firm with a long track record of successful life science investing.

Astex joins the DDF investor group which includes the UK Government’s Department of Health (DoH) and Alzheimer’s Research UK alongside major pharmaceutical companies including Biogen, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Lilly, Pfizer and Takeda. Astex will participate in the Scientific Advisory Board of the DDF, which includes representatives from the other DDF strategic investors as well as world-leading academics, to share expertise, expand the DDF’s collaborative networks and advise the investment team. The DDF’s priorities are to explore and develop novel hypotheses in neurodegenerative diseases which could lead to new disease modifying treatments for dementia.

As part of Otsuka, a major Japanese pharmaceutical company with a strong tradition in developing treatments for disorders of the CNS, Astex has an emerging focus on CNS drug discovery and is using its proprietary fragment-based drug discovery platform to discover new drug candidates. Involvement in DDF provides Astex with a further mechanism to contribute to the identification of new and emerging areas of science for drug discovery with the aim to develop new treatment options for patients with neurodegenerative disease.

About Astex Pharmaceuticals

Astex is a leader in innovative drug discovery and development, committed to the fight against cancer and diseases of the central nervous system. Astex is developing a proprietary pipeline of novel therapies and has a number of partnered products being developed under collaborations with leading pharmaceutical companies. Astex is a member of the Otsuka Group, based in Japan. Otsuka is a global healthcare company with the corporate philosophy: “Otsuka – people creating new products for better health worldwide.” Otsuka researches, develops, manufactures and markets innovative and original products, with a focus on pharmaceutical products for the treatment of diseases and nutraceutical products for the maintenance of everyday health.

For more information about Astex Pharmaceuticals, please visit

For more information about Otsuka Pharmaceutical, please visit

About the Dementia Discovery Fund

The Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) is an innovative global investment fund established in October 2015 to deliver new drug approaches for dementia by 2025 to diagnose, intervene early and treat to modify the course and symptoms of the disease. The DDF, managed by SV Life Sciences, has raised more than $100 Million from investors including the UK Government’s Department of Health, Alzheimer’s Research UK and world-leading major pharmaceutical companies: Astex, Biogen, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Lilly, Pfizer and Takeda. The DDF will work collaboratively with universities, academic institutes, Government, the regulatory agencies and the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry internationally to identify and develop novel treatments for dementia.

About SV Life Sciences

SV Life Sciences (SVLS) is a leading international life sciences venture capital firm. SVLS -managed funds have been investing in life sciences companies since the early 1980s and the firm closed its first dedicated life sciences fund in 1994. The SVLS team manages five venture capital funds with approximately $1.9 billion of capital under management. The firm employs a diversified strategy within life sciences in order to selectively capitalise on an expanding opportunity in biotech, medical devices and health-care services. SVLS has offices in Boston, London and San Francisco.

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Business Wire

Last updated on: 21/11/2016

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