A global fund backed by $100 million in investments just launched in the U.K. and is designed to accelerate the discovery and development of novel treatments for dementia, including Alzheimer's. The U.K. Government’s Department of Health, Alzheimer’s Research UK, the U.K.’s leading dementia research charity, Biogen, GSK, J&J, Lilly, Pfizer and Takeda joined forces to support Dementia Discovery Fund.

In a statement, J&J said it has invested $10 million toward the fund, and that one of its executives was appointed to the fund's Scientific Advisory Board, Husseini K. Manji, MD, FRCPC, Global Therapeutic Head for Neuroscience at Janssen Research & Development. Each partner company in the fund will have representatives serving on the advisory board.

Venture capital firm SV Life Sciences (SVLS) was appointed as fund manager. The fund will focus on not only on exploring new ideas in dementia research but also on stimulating further global investment in research into the condition, which currently affects 850,000 people in the U.K. and 47 million people worldwide.

“Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most significant challenges the world faces, and we welcome the U.K. Government and WHO’s leadership in this area,” said Jan Lundberg, Ph.D., president of Lilly Research Labs. “The U.K. is a great place for science and discovery, and we believe this fund will provide the resources to help advance vital research. Our investment in this fund reflects Lilly’s commitment to innovation, and our history of collaboration.”

[This report was updated from an earlier version to include details announced today by Johnson & Johnson on the size of its investment and its representative on the fund's Scientific Advisory Board.]