Dementia Discovery Fund closes $350M, recruits Celgene exec as CEO; Ex-Lazard banker Ian Woo joins C-Bridge and Everest

→ With a fresh $60 million investment from US AARP, the Dementia Discovery Fund has officially closed its $350 million fundraising round. The total surpassed the group’s initial target of $200 million. The DDF says it’s the first and largest fund dedicated to dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. The fund is managed by SV Health and was formed with collaboration from Biogen, Eli Lilly, GSK, J&J, Otsuka (Astex), Pfizer and Takeda, the UK Department of Health and Social Care and the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK. Since the group’s launch in 2015, its made 16 investments.

With its fresh infusion of cash, the DDF also announced a new CEO in Angus Grant, the former corporate vice president of business development at Celgene.

“Angus has a huge amount of experience in identifying, developing, funding, regulating and deal making with novel therapies internationally and we look forward to the significant guidance and expertise that he will bring,” said Kate Bingham, managing partner at SV Health Investors, in a statement.

C-Bridge Capital has recruited Ian Woo, a managing director of global healthcare group Lazard, to serve as the company’s managing director. Woo will also serve as president and CEO of Everest Medicines, one of C-Bridge’s portfolio companies. “Ian has a proven track record of managing cross-border transactions,” said Fu Wei, CEO of C-Bridge Capital, in a statement. “As part of our team, he will help lead the acceleration of Everest’s licensing and development efforts for biopharmaceutical assets from the U.S. and Europe for commercialization in China and neighboring Asian markets.”

Jardiance, the SGLT2 drug approved for Type 2 diabetes has now come through on two studies involving Type 1 patients. Eli Lilly $LLY and Boehringer say they’ll now explore their regulatory options, stopping short of saying they’ll file for an OK.

Vertex $VRTX has long had a hard time convincing single payers in Europe to pay up for their cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi. Now New York state officials are getting into the act, saying the cost of this drug just doesn’t measure up to the limited efficacy. 

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