• Syndesi Therapeutics to leverage UCB’s expertise in neurology drug discovery to develop potential therapeutics in cognitive disorders with a first-in-class mechanism
  • Series A financing of €17 M from a syndicate of Belgium and international investors

Louvain-la-Neuve, 5th February 2018  - The creation of Syndesi Therapeutics (‘Syndesi’) was announced today as the result of a partnership between UCB and a syndicate of Belgium and international investors. The investor syndicate is led by Novo Seeds and Fountain Healthcare together with Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. (JJDC), V-BIO Ventures, the Walloon Investment Fund (SRIW) and VIVES Louvain Technology Fund. Syndesi Therapeutics is based in Belgium and will leverage UCB’s neurology expertise in modulating the synaptic vesicle protein SV2A. Syndesi Therapeutics has exclusively licensed a first-in-class small molecule program from UCB and the series A investment totalling €17M will fund the clinical development of the lead compound up to early proof-of-concept in humans.

Jonathan Savidge, PhD CEO of Syndesi noted “Development of these small molecules that modulate the SV2A target in a distinct manner represents an intriguing new approach for the treatment of cognitive deficits since they specifically target synaptic dysfunction, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s Disease and other indications characterized by cognitive impairment. Syndesi benefits both from UCB’s research expertise and from an impressive syndicate of experienced investors and their respective networks.”

“Alzheimer’s Disease, but more broadly cognitive impairment across a range of neurological disorders, is an area of significant unmet need for patients.  Therefore the potential promise of this novel therapeutic approach, supported by imaging, brings excitement for clinical development,” explains Prof. A. Ivanoiu of UCLouvain, Clinique Saint-Luc.

“Since 2 years Vives Louvain Technology Fund has helped creating the spin-out by contributing its know-how in founding high tech start-ups. This investment illustrates our willingness to prioritise and accelerate scientific breakthroughs in domains as complex as Alzheimer’s disease by uniting actors from academia, industry and public service», adds Philippe Durieux, CEO Sopartec - Vives.


About Syndesi Therapeutics

Syndesi Therapeutics ( has been established at the Centre d’Entreprises et d’Innovation (CEI) in Louvain-la-Neuve, and will have a presence at the JLINX incubator facilities to access expertise at the Janssen campus in Beerse, Belgium. Syndesi has an exclusive, worldwide license from UCB to develop and commercialise a series of novel, pro-cognitive SV2A modulators. Syndesi will build on a rich legacy of work by UCB to further develop these novel SV2A modulators to investigate their potential to improve cognition in diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease, other dementias and cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia. Prior work on development of these novel modulators at UCB benefitted from funding from the Walloon region.


About VIVES-Louvain Technology Fund

The Louvain Technology Fund is a multi-sector technology fund which invests in the spin-offs of the Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain) and start-ups in Belgium and neighboring countries. VIVES II is funded by a dozen leading Belgian and European investors such as the European Investment Fund (EIF), SFPI-FPIM, BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity Belgium, BPI France (France), ING Belgium, SOFINA, AXA Belgium, BELFIUS, IRD (France), NivelInvest, Region Bruxelles Capital and by Sopartec. The objective of the fund is to invest in the development of start-ups, from validation of the technology to commercial maturity. The funds (VIVES I - €15 million and VIVES II - €43 million) are managed by Sopartec, UCLouvain’s technology transfer company. Key investee companies: Keemotion, Iteos Therapeutics, Promethera Biosciences, Novadip Biosciences, Smartnodes, Getsmily, Tessares, 3D-Side, Axinesis, G2C, etc.

More information:


Contacts presse



Philippe Durieux


Tel: + 32 10 39 00 21


Jonathan Savidege (CEO Syndesi)

Mobile: + 44 7561 101 630