BioAge appoints company’s first head of brain aging
BioAge Labs, a biotech developing therapeutics that target the molecular causes of aging to extend healthy human lifespan, has announced that BioAge chief business officer (CBO) Peng Leong, PhD, MBA, has been appointed as the its Head of Brain Aging.
Longevity.Technology: BioAge currently has three clinical-stage programs in its growing portfolio and uses its discovery platform, which combines quantitative analysis of proprietary longitudinal human samples with detailed health records tracking individuals over the lifespan, to map out the key molecular pathways that impact healthy human aging, thus revealing the causes of age-related disease. By targeting the mechanisms of aging with a large and mechanistically diverse portfolio of drugs, BioAge aims to unlock opportunities to treat or even prevent these diseases in entirely new ways, and the company has, to date, raised $127m from Andreessen Horowitz, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and others.
“I am thrilled to announce that Peng Leong has expanded his role at BioAge by becoming our first Head of Brain Aging,” said Kristen Fortney, PhD, CEO and co-founder of BioAge. “Peng played an essential role in our early success, building partnerships that enabled rapid growth of the Company’s clinical programs based on our proprietary discovery platform.
“With his experience, vision, and leadership, we are very excited about the prospects of applying our platform to brain aging, an area of enormous unmet patient need and vast market potential .”
READ MORE: Our interview with BioAge CEO Kristen Fortney – “It’s all about the data”
As CBO, Leong has led BioAge’s efforts to identify and execute strategic transactions that help the company convert prioritised drug targets into a portfolio of therapies for treating severe diseases of aging. In the new role as Head of Brain Aging, he will leverage his background and experience to pursue critical partnerships, identify and secure new in-licensing opportunities, and lead internal activities specific to brain aging.
“Brain aging drives disorders such as dementia, which today affects 6 million people in the United States alone, underscoring the importance of addressing this key aspect of the aging process,” said Leong.
“Our first brain aging program, a CNS-penetrant inhibitor of NLRP3 announced earlier this month, acts by blocking neuroinflammation, a key contributor to multiple age-related diseases. In addition, we are currently validating multiple brain aging targets in other pathways. Starting from this promising foundation, I am eager to help the Company discover therapeutics in this critical field .”
Leong has accumulated extensive strategic experience in the biopharmaceutical sector, including as Head of General Medicine Business Development at Merck KGaA and Director, Healthcare Investment Banking at Piper Jaffray. Prior to joining BioAge as CBO in March 2019, he served as CBO of Kazia Therapeutics. He holds a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Toronto and an MBA from the University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business.