The Dementia Discovery Fund and Immuneering announce a Research Collaboration to identify novel drug targets and drug candidates for Alzheimer’s disease

By June 18, 2018July 17th, 2020News

Cambridge, MA and London, 18 June 2018 – The Dementia Discovery Fund (“DDF”) and Immuneering Corporation (“Immuneering”) today announce they have entered into a joint research collaboration to identify novel drug targets and drug candidates for Alzheimer’s disease.  As part of the collaboration, the DDF will invest $1.3 million for the use of Immuneering’s proprietary computational drug discovery platform to analyse publicly available data sets from Alzheimer’s disease patients.  The goal of the collaboration is to identify clinically identifiable, mechanistically linked subpopulations within Alzheimer’s disease and generate new molecular entities (NMEs) that will ultimately lead to new medicines to treat Alzheimer’s disease.


Since its launch in February 2008, Immuneering has partnered with leading pharmaceutical companies to accelerate and improve the discovery and clinical development of novel drugs.  The Immuneering team applies proprietary computational biology methods and an advanced drug discovery platform to high-throughput molecular data (including gene expression, genomics, and binding data).  Immuneering’s data-driven approach to drug discovery is particularly well-suited to help unravel the complexity of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.


Ben Zeskind, CEO, Immuneering, said: “Together with the DDF, we aim to help further the scientific understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and identify disease-modifying medications by combining patient data with our drug discovery platform.”


Since its launch in October 2015, the DDF has built a portfolio of investments in drug discovery companies and projects in the UK and US in areas including microglial biology and inflammation, mitochondrial dynamics, trafficking and membrane biology, and synaptic physiology and function. The DDF team believes there is a significant opportunity to apply insights from diverse areas such as oncology and immunology to develop novel drugs targeting specific biological pathways that drive different clinical presentations of dementia.


Tetsu Maruyama, CSO, DDF, said: “The successful discovery of new treatments for dementia will require new approaches that are both systematic and different to what has been attempted to date. This collaboration brings together Immuneering’s unique drug discovery platform with DDF’s novel approach to identifying and investing in novel science to create meaningful new medicines for dementia. We believe this collaboration holds great promise for providing new insights that will lead to new targets and, ultimately, new medicines for people with Alzheimer’s.


About the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF)
The DDF is a venture capital fund which invests in projects and companies to discover and develop novel, effective disease-modifying therapeutics for dementia. Seven leading pharmaceutical companies (Biogen, Eli Lilly and Company, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Otsuka (Astex), Pfizer and Takeda), Bill Gates, Woodford Investment Management via Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT), the NFL Players Association, 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 and evaluate novel approaches for the treatment of dementia. SV won the bid to become Manager in a competitive selection process held in 2015.


About SV Health Investors (SV)
SV Health Investors, formerly SV Life Sciences, is a healthcare and life sciences venture capital and growth equity firm. SV targets early-stage opportunities in biotechnology; early-stage and revenue-stage opportunities in medical devices; and growth equity investments for later-stage businesses in healthcare services and digital health. Over the past 20 years, SV Health Investors has invested in more than 175 companies. The firm currently had over $2.5 billion of capital commitments under management. SV Health Investors has offices in Boston and London.


About Immuneering Corporation
Immuneering is fundamentally re-engineering the process by which new medicines are discovered and developed to be faster, less expensive, and more likely to succeed.  The company’s proprietary drug discovery platform identifies “hits” (the molecular structures that form the basis of new medicines) in a matter of days or weeks, rather than the months or years of target identification and high-throughput screening typically required. This acceleration is made possible by applying artificial intelligence (AI) and other advanced algorithms to high-throughput data, and draws on Immuneering’s decade of experience in applying high-throughput data to pharmaceutical R&D.  Immuneering’s team of experts also provides world-class bioinformatics and computational biology services.