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The Dementia Discovery Fund Significantly Enhances its Neuroscience R&D Expertise to Support its Portfolio

The Dementia Discovery Fund Significantly Enhances its Neuroscience R&D Expertise to Support its Portfolio


World-recognized experts Dr. Lynne Hughes and Dr. James Summers appointed as Venture Partners



Boston, MA (US) and London (UK) – April 7th, 2021. The Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF), the venture capital fund investing in, and creating, biotech companies pursuing transformational therapeutic approaches for dementias, announces the appointments of Dr. Lynne Hughes and Dr. James Summers as Venture Partners, bringing additional world-leading expertise in neuroscience research and development.


Dr. Jonathan Behr, Partner at The Dementia Discovery Fund, said, “We are delighted to welcome Lynne and Jim to DDF. Both are world-recognized experts in dementia and neuroscience R&D and their considerable expertise reinforces the key differentiation and value proposition of the DDF as we continue to invest in innovative dementia therapeutics and platform companies. Their contribution is expected to be particularly valuable as our portfolio companies mature and advance into clinical-stage development.”


Dr. Hughes, said, “I am delighted to join DDF and its experienced team. The firm has been a pioneer in neuroscience investing, funding innovative dementia research and working creatively with entrepreneurs, academics and the industry to design and develop global Alzheimer’s disease trials. I look forward to working with my colleagues to help manage and expedite drug development to combat this dreadful disease.”


Dr. Summers, said, “I am pleased to join the impressive DDF team and excited to work together with them to achieve the important goal of bringing transformative therapies to patients with dementia.”


Dr. Lynne Hughes

Dr. Lynne Hughes brings over 35 years of experience in global clinical research. She has been involved, to some extent, in the development of most neurology products over the past 20 years on the global markets. She joins DDF from IQVIA, (formerly Quintiles and IMS Health, Inc.), a global provider of advanced analytics, technology solutions, and clinical research services, where she worked for 22 years and recently retired as Vice President and Global Head, Medical & Therapeutic Strategy, Neurology.


Her expertise in neurology spans many diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease, pain, multiple sclerosis, acute care (including traumatic brain injury and stroke), migraine, epilepsy, as well as neuro-orphan indications.


Lynne currently sits on multiple advisory boards and steering and executive committees. She is a member of the National Institute of Aging (NIA-NIH) a task force for recruitment into AD trials and development of the US National Framework, and is co-chair of the Davos Alzheimer's Collaborative (DAC), a group dedicated to expediting clinical AD trials. She is also a member of the G7 & G20 World Dementia Councils.


At DDF, Lynne will use her deep neurology R&D expertise to advise DDF’s portfolio companies on clinical development strategies as they plan to advance their drug candidates into clinical trials.


Dr. James Summers

Dr. James Summers has over 30 years of drug discovery and pharmaceutical research management experience. He currently serves on the board of directors, scientific advisory board and as an advisor to several biotechnology companies and venture capital firms. 


Jim was formerly Vice President of Neuroscience Research at AbbVie, where he focused on the discovery of new drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, pain, and psychiatric disorders. Under his leadership, teams have advanced more than 20 compounds into clinical development.


While at AbbVie, Jim also established new research sites in Cambridge, MA and Shanghai, China. He was an architect of strategies that defined the future direction of global research organizations, and championed multiple successful out-licensing deals, biotech collaborations and venture investments.


Jim is currently an existing member of the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) of DDF portfolio companies Nitrome Biosciences, Caraway Therapeutics, Cerevance, Tiaki Therapeutics, and as Venture Partner brings his extensive experience to contribute to R&D strategy across DDF’s broader portfolio.


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Last Updated: 07-Apr-2021