International law firm Simmons & Simmons has advised the UK Department of Health on the launch of the global Dementia Discovery Fund.
The Dementia Discovery Fund is the world’s first venture capital fund dedicated to funding pre-clinical research for a cure or treatment of dementia and is a collaboration between the UK Government (Department of Health), six global pharmaceutical companies (Biogen, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company) and the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK. Simmons & Simmons, working as a team with the Government Legal department, advised the Department of Health on all matters related to the launch of the fund, including the competitive tender to appoint the fund manager, which resulted in the appointment of venture capital firm SV Life Sciences.
The new fund is a significant collaboration that brings together the combined expertise of government, financial, industry and charity partners. Simmons & Simmons has a long standing track record of acting for the UK Government on high profile, innovative matters. Its market leading sector expertise in both Life Sciences and Asset Management and Investment Funds enabled it to help navigate simultaneously the complex regulatory framework in both of these sectors.
Commenting on the transaction, partner Charles Mayo, said:
“Supporting our clients on innovative projects such as the Dementia Discovery Fund reinforces the rationale for our sector approach: by combining excellence in asset management with in-depth knowledge of life sciences research and development, together with the Government Legal Department, we have been able to advise the UK Government in taking a critical step towards addressing one of the substantial public health challenges of the 21st century.”
Partner Matthew Pitman also added:
“Investment funds continue to be an important source of capital in a complex regulatory environment – innovative funding structures are certainly on the increase. We were delighted that our experience had a valuable contribution to the Department of Health for such an important project and significant development in this sector.”
The Simmons & Simmons team was led by partners Charles Mayo and Matthew Pitman, assisted by Victoria Hewitt and George Metcalfe. The team also included partners Koen Platteau (EC/Competition), Darren Oswick (Tax), Richard Binns (IP) and Julian Perlmutter (US Securities).