Longevity investment bulletin: Celmatix, BlueRock, TruDiagnostic and more

The latest longevity updates from our investment news desk. 

Celmatix unveils largest endometriosis study

Ovarian longevity company Celmatix announced findings from its long-term collaboration to decode the genetic basis of endometriosis, a condition that globally impacts 1 in 10 women. This is the largest study on endometriosis genetics conducted to date. Findings from the study demonstrate a shared genetic basis for endometriosis and other types of pain seemingly unrelated to endometriosis, including migraine, back pain and multi-site pain.

The study also reveals that ovarian endometriosis has a different genetic basis from other disease manifestations. The results open up new avenues for designing new medical treatments targeting subtypes of endometriosis, or even the repurposing of existing pain treatments for endometriosis.

“We are now more than two decades into the post-genomic era, and other fields of medicine like oncology have been leveraging recent advances in technology, artificial intelligence, and genomics to improve the lives of cancer patients,” said Dr Piraye Yurttas Beim, founder and CEO of Celmatix. “It’s time to start applying these same groundbreaking technologies to diagnosing, curing, and eventually preventing endometriosis.”

BlueRock teams up with Rune Labs

Cell therapy company BlueRock Therapeutics announced it will use Rune Labs’ clinical trial platform, featuring data collection and patient monitoring tools, to capture a holistic and precise picture of Parkinson’s disease activity and to better engage patients in the study.

This partnership paves the way for Rune Labs to streamline and enhance subsequent trials of BlueRock’s first-in-class stem cell-based therapy. BlueRock will be able to incorporate baseline and follow-up data collected via StriveStudy, including dyskinesias, into subsequent data analysis, thereby enabling a deeper understanding of therapeutic benefit.

“Up until now, clinical trials have relied on patients with Parkinson’s disease to self-report their symptoms. Now, thanks to new technologies like Rune Labs’ platform, we have new tools to measure and assess disease progression,” said Seth Ettenberg, President and CEO of BlueRock Therapeutics. “We look forward to exploring with Rune Labs how objective and continuous measurements of disease progression can help us develop more effective therapies to treat Parkinson’s disease.”

Cyclarity VP on targeting atherosclerosis

A new video interview with Cyclarity Therapeutics’ VP of Biology, Dr Daniel M Clemens, discusses the company’s lead candidate and how it works. Targeting diseases of aging, Cyclarity has developed a new platform aiming to make a significant dent in cardiovascular disease’s ranking as the world’s number one killer by reducing incidences of heart attack and stroke. The company is tackling atherosclerosis by using custom-engineered cyclodextrins to capture, and remove from cells, oxidised cholesterol derivatives.

“What we are doing is allowing the body’s cells – your own immune system, your macrophages – to reinvigorate the self-repair mechanism,” said Clemens. “Macrophages are quite extraordinary cells as they have the capability to do something called phagocytosis, that is to engulf – or eat – other cell types and other types of debris.”

Retro founder speaks out on longevity

Our exclusive interview with Joe Betts-LaCroix, founder and CEO of Retro Biosciences, shed light on the company’s programs in cellular reprogramming, autophagy and plasma-inspired therapeutics. He also explains why he invests in longevity and why he chose to go after three different aging mechanisms with Retro.

“Around 90% of clinical trials fail, and probably a similar number of startups often don’t work out – it’s a risky space,” he told us. “I could have picked a single mechanism and gone after it, but biology is hard and playing that out will take many years. I’ve come to the stage of my life where I want to do a bunch of things in parallel. And so, as long as I can partner with brilliant people who have the capability to execute that, and the resources to do it, then why not?”

Mitrix founder on mitochondrial dysfunction

Another video interview, this time with Tom Benson, the founder of Californian longevity biotech start-up Mitrix Bio, provided insights on mitochondria, mitochondrial dysfunction and the mitochondrial cycle. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in dozens of chronic diseases from Alzheimer’s to CVD and from frailty to immune senescence. Mitrix is targeting that dysfunction with its novel mitlets platform.

“Mitlets are mitochondria that are encased in an extracellular vesicle and used to transport fresh mitochondria back and forth in different tissues,” said Benson. “As well as a system for recycling mitochondria, we think mitlets are the body’s number one way of distributing fresh mitochondria to the tissues. If there are 100 billion platelets created per day in the average human body, and those platelets are released 5 mitochondria in vesicles at the end of their lifespan, that means the body is supplemented with 500 billion new mitochondria every day.”

Cambrian launches AMPK activation company

Longevity biotech Cambrian Bio announced the launch of its new pipeline company Amplifier Therapeutics, which will develop AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase) activators. AMPK is an energy sensor activated when energy levels in our cells are low, mobilizing the body to increase energy production. However, our body’s ability to activate AMPK decreases as we age.

The company has already acquired Swedish biopharma Betagenon AB, which has discovered novel AMPK activators that will be further developed by Amplifier.

“AMPK is one of the most sought-after drug targets in aging research,” said James Peyer, CEO of Cambrian Bio. “Amplifier and Cambrian are thrilled to work with the former Betagenon team and investors to develop a first-of-its-kind AMPK activator. ATX-304 has broad therapeutic potential and has demonstrated a favorable safety and tolerability profile in early clinical studies. A safe and effective AMPK activator could be a life-changing medicine for patients and have the potential to prevent major chronic diseases.”

TruDiagnostic partners on NAD+ diagnostic

Longevity diagnostics company TruDiagnostic partnered with Finnish firm NADMED on a new NAD+ blood diagnostic. The Q-NADMED Blood Kit is CE-marked for measuring NAD+ and NADH from a small blood sample for a range of clinical purposes. The Q-NADMED Blood Kit is the only method for the NAD measurement to have received a CE-marking.

“We appreciate TruDiagnostic’s agile, yet diligent approach to introducing a novel technology to their customers in the US market,” said Jari Närhi, CEO and co-founder of NADMED. “We foresee a fruitful cooperation to continuously develop business and service models to meet the needs for NAD testing of the varied customer base.”