Bulletin, Institute

CLSI and SENS Research Foundation Launch Rejuvenation Biology Collaboration

SENS CEO Michael Kope

On September 11, 2017, the California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI) and SENS Research Foundation (SRF) held the first “Rejuvenation Biotechnology Showcase” at the UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center with over 100 persons in attendance. The evening included a snapshot of technologies at SRF as well as presentations from four FAST graduate companies whose technologies hold promise for addressing age-related disease.

The origins of the Showcase stem back to 2009 when SRF was launched to promote a rejuvenation biotechnology industry, sponsoring projects to assess changes that accrue at the cellular and molecular level as we age, and to develop interventions to remove damage, restore function, and thereby prevent disease.  This is a “damage repair” strategy that applies the principles of regenerative medicine against aging, though SRF’s projects are broader than the stem cell and tissue engineering technologies that are typically associated with regenerative medicine. What began as support for a small number of basic research programs has expanded into backing for a variety of applied research programs.

In addition to opening remarks by Mike Kope, CEO of the SENS Research Foundation, and CLSI CEO & President, Lori Lindburg, the Showcase featured the following SENS researchers: Judy Campisi (Buck Institute), who presented on “Killing Dysfunctional Cells,” which looks at genetic techniques for eliminating unwanted cells and rejuvenating the immune system;  Matthew O’Connor’s (SRF) presentation on “Engineering New Mitochondrial Genes to Restore Mitochondrial Function,” a novel approach to therapy for mitochondrial disease; Haroldo Silva’s discussion of “ALTerran,” a company developing unique therapeutics targeting ALT cancers and evaluating ALT cancer patients; Matthew Scholz’s discussion of Oisin Biotechnologies’ development of a highly precise, DNA-targeted intervention to clear senescent cells to reduce the negative effects of aging; and David Speigel (Yale University), who presented on “Glucosepane Crosslinks and Routes to Cleavage,” the Spiegel lab’s strategy for removing glucosepane crosslinks in an effort to restore damaged tissues to a youthful state.

Further along the rejuvenation biology pathway, the four FAST company presentations included: HepaTx (Spring 2017) CEO, Erick Schuur’s discussion of cell therapies to replace liver transplant as a treatment for liver failure; SciBac (Fall 2016) CEO, Jeanette Mucha’s presentation on SciBac’s revolutionary live biotherapeutics that treat and prevent antibiotic resistant disease; SyntheX (Fall 2016) CEO Maria Soloveychik’s discussion of SyntheX’s disruption of cellular communication pathways to target proteins that are inaccessible via canonical screening technologies;  and Eidos (Spring 2016) CEO Isabella Graef’s presentation on the company’s development of a novel therapeutic that addresses the root cause of transthyretin (TTR) amyloidosis, a slowly progressive condition characterized by the buildup of abnormal deposits of amyloid proteins in the body’s organs and tissues.

SRF and CLSI plan to seize on the significant interest generated in this launch event to embark on additional collaborations designed to highlight innovation in the rejuvenation biotechnology field.

About SENS Research Foundation

SENS Research Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity that is transforming the way the world researches and treats age-related disease. The research we fund at universities around the world and at our own Research Center uses regenerative medicine to repair the damage underlying the diseases of aging. Our goal is to help build the industry that will cure these diseases.