Dart NeuroScience, a developer of memory-improving drugs, is closing its operations in San Diego, laying off about 265 employees. Dart informed staff on Dec. 7 that company founder and owner Ken Dart had decided to stop funding the company.

Dart NeuroScience’s mission was to become the leading specialized pharmaceutical company for memory disorders by focusing on the discovery and development of innovative drugs and new methods to improve memory function.

In a statement, Dart blamed the lack of research progress for the closure of the pharma business.

“Despite an investment in excess of $700 million dollars over the past decade and despite the stellar effort of a capable and dedicated team of highly qualified scientists, Dart NeuroScience has not generated adequate signs of any human memory improvement or motor rehabilitation,” said Dart CEO Mark VanDevelde.

“The investment required to continue even some of these programs would run into several billion dollars, with questionable odds of success. As it is clear the investment is not viable, the board made the pragmatic decision to wind up operations,” Mr. VanDevelde said.

Dart NeuroScience CEO Ken Johns has advised employees and every effort will be made to support and assist staff as they seek new opportunities, he added.

The company will close operations on Feb. 9, 2018.

While Dart is mainly known in the Cayman Islands as a real estate developer, the company operates in multiple industries and countries with Cayman as its global headquarters.

Outside of the Cayman Islands, Dart has an extensive global investment portfolio covering real estate, biotechnology, finance and land holdings.


  1. The reasons given for the closure are certainly discouraging but fortunately at odds with recent developments in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases with the announcement just this week of the “biggest breakthrough for 50 years” in stopping Huntington’s disease.

  2. What a sad article. Reality sets in despite so much effort by so many brilliant people over the past decade. Ken Dart certainly had his heart in the right place with this attempt to help the untold numbers of people around the world who suffer from some level of memory disorder. As the American population ages, this will become a greater issue in that country alone. With the reported expenditures over the years, the Dart wallet was in the right place too.

    Thank you to each and every person involved in this stellar activity.

    • Yes Rodney I believe that his wallet was in the right place until President Trump started messing with the USA Tax plan . I think that when President Trump is finished it’s going to be hard to use Tax shelters . Just my opinion .

  3. That is because the focus is still on biochemistry that ignores biophysics. Our bodies are electrical circuit boards. As long as electricity smoothly runs through it we are alive, healthy and sound minded. Where do the electrons come from to power bio-chemical reactions of human bodies ? The Sun. The mechanism? Simply put- eyes, skin, food and water. The gut collects the sun’s photons and electrons from seasonal food sources. The amount of electrons in food is directly tied to the microbiota present in the gut. You heard it many times before: “Brain gut connection”.
    And water becomes essentially liquid sunshine for any cell.
    There are no limits to the wisdom of nature. Focusing on the memory-improving drugs is a path to nowhere.

  4. Mr Dart, certainly in Cayman, is revered as if he were a Saint. While he might be a very nice man, he is a businessman intent on profit (which is one of the reasons he headquarters in tax free Cayman). This $500M investment wasn’t paying off so 256 employees pay the price.

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