Longeveron’s Dr Joshua Hare talks frailty, Alzheimer’s and cell therapy clinical trials.
Longeveron is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing cellular therapies for aging-related and life-threatening conditions. Double board-certified cardiologist Dr Joshua Hare co-founded Longeveron as a spin-out from the University of Miami in 2014 and serves as Chairman and Chief Science Officer.
Longevity.Technology: With work ongoing to advance clinical research in Alzheimer’s using a cell therapy approach and to develop a regenerative medicine approach for intervention and treatment of frailty, we sat down with Dr Hare to find out more about Longeveron and its lead investigational product Lomecel-B, which is derived from culture-expanded medicinal signalling cells (also called mesenchymal stromal cells, or MSCs).
Check out our fascinating interview with Joshua Hare, in which we find out more about why Longeveron’s upcoming Phase III is so pivotal, future commercialisation plans and simultaneously addressing multiple features of Alzheimer’s.
Dr Joshua Hare on…
Making a difference
As we’ve started to understand aging as a biological process, one of the key pillars of aging is a deficiency in adult stem cells in the body. So, it made sense for us to test the idea that if stem cell depletion is contributing to aging, can we replete those cells with an external infusion of the cells, and can that have a favourable impact on aging phenomena such as frailty or cognitive decline.
The issue of ‘off the shelf’ is an immunologic issue – if you’re taking a cell population, you want to make sure they is no immune rejection, or that you don’t have to use immunosuppressive therapy. MSCs are safe to administer as an allograft – that makes them off the shelf, so we can make them in large batches and cryo-preserve them. This gives the process tremendous scalability.
The effectiveness of cell therapy
Why would you use cell therapy to treat Alzheimer’s? It’s not necessarily to replace missing neurons, but to more to treat the inflammaging, or neuro-inflammation that accompanies the cognitive disorders. This is not addressed by other approaches that focus on removing amyloid or tau proteins from the brain. Cell therapy is very effective at restoring immunological milieu back to normal. We believe that that is one the key mechanisms of action by which cell therapy can address frailty and cognitive decline.