EQT Life Sciences has held the final close of its inaugural LSP Dementia Fund (“the Fund”), raising approximately EUR 260 million in fee-generating assets under management, meeting the hard cap and surpassing the target fund size of EUR 100 million. The fund is dedicated to investing in companies that are developing breakthrough drug therapies and medical technologies across the spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases.
Dementia is the greatest health challenge of our time: there are 54 million patients with the disease worldwide, and without significant time and investment in battling the disease, this number is predicted to triple by 20501. Despite the graveness of the situation, investment in dementia research and development is substantially lower compared to other major healthcare challenges such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, and cardiovascular disease. The LSP Dementia Fund has been created to help bridge this gap by advancing breakthrough dementia innovation to bring new drugs to patients, while simultaneously seeking to generate strong financial returns for its investors.
The LSP Dementia Fund investment team is led by Philip Scheltens, MD, PhD, professor emeritus at Amsterdam University Medical Center and one of the world’s most renowned dementia researchers, having (co)authored over 1100 scientific publications. The other partners in the investment team are Felice Verduyn-van Weegen, MBA, Cillian King, PhD, and Arno de Wilde, MD, PhD, MBA. The team is supported by the expertise and network of EQT Life Sciences, which has over 30 years of investing experience and closed its flagship LSP 7 fund at over EUR 1 billion in fee-generating assets under management in 2022. It will also become an integral part of EQT’s Healthcare sector platform, further strengthening EQT’s global expertise in the sector and ability to support companies from venture-stage to mature, market leaders.
The Fund is supported by a broad range of investors including the Alzheimer’s Association, the world’s largest charity and advocacy organization in the field, insurance companies, the European Investment Fund, and several global pharmaceutical companies – including from Asia and the US – which underlines the industry’s interest in European life sciences venture opportunities. Other investors include endowments, foundations, and other private wealth investors.
The Fund intends to invest in 10 to 15 companies in total. Having made its first investment in NewAmsterdam Pharma (Nasdaq: NAMS), which focuses on cardiovascular and Alzheimer’s disease, in January 2021, the fund has since invested in four companies: Muna Therapeutics (Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease), AviadoBio (Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)), Nobi (smart care solutions in nursing homes) and QurAlis (FTD and ALS).
Prof. Philip Scheltens, Partner and Head of the LSP Dementia Fund commented: “The final close marks the end of a very successful fundraising journey in which we have experienced strong interest and commitment. This gives us the confidence to invest in groundbreaking science and entrepreneurship, which this field so urgently needs. I am very proud to be leading such an experienced team of neuroscientists and investors and being part of an organization with such a high standing in the field of life sciences.”
Dr. René Kuijten MD, PhD, MBA, Partner and Head of EQT Life Sciences, said: “EQT Life Sciences aims to improve patient’s lives by supporting the development of breakthrough therapies. We strongly believe that neurodegenerative diseases are the next big challenge after oncology and cardiovascular diseases. With this fund, EQT Life Sciences is now in a strong position to support companies at the cutting-edge of battling this disease.”
Michael Bauer, Partner and Co-Head of EQT’s Global Healthcare sector team, concluded: “EQT is already one of the world’s most active and leading healthcare investors and the close of this fund further strengthens this position. From the earliest stages all the way through to global market leaders, EQT has the experience, expertise, and firepower to support companies in every phase of their development.”
Notes to Editors
The LSP Dementia Fund is a Dutch fund managed by a Dutch AIFM.
Source: Prince, M. Prina, M & Guerchet, M. The Global Impact of Dementia: 2013 – 2050. Alzheimer’s disease international.