Longevity investment bulletin: Celularity, Biophytis, Longeveron and more

The latest longevity updates from our investment news desk.

Celularity expects Saudi sales of up to $80m in 2023

Cell therapy company Celularity (Nasdaq: CELU) (Celularity) announced that it expects to receive purchase orders from its Saudi Arabian distributor in the range of $60 million to $80 million through the end of 2023. The figures were provided by Tamer Group, the exclusive distributor for Celularity’s branded biomaterial products in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“We deeply appreciate Tamer advising us about its anticipated 2023 purchase orders, which will further guide operations planning at our Florham Park, NJ, facility where we manufacture Celularity’s branded biomaterial products,” said Robert J Hariri, CEO of Celularity. “Celularity’s biomaterial inventory and rapidly scalable production capacity ideally positions us for product distribution launches in the Middle East and to move quickly on opportunities to expand sales in this and other markets.”

L-Nutra launches new product line

Nutrition technology company L-Nutra announced the launch of a new pipeline of nutrition products called ‘ProLon EveryDay’. The ProLon Everyday ingredients and foods are based on pre-clinical, clinical and epidemiological studies as well as on studies of the diets of populations with record longevity.

ProLon EveryDay is the result of 30 years of research to identify foods and ingredients from around the globe that are consistently associated with improved health, disease reduction and longevity extension; contain no toxins; and have minimal impact on the environment and carbon emission. The first product to market under the new line is the L-Spread which contains 74% almonds, a nut that is consistently correlated with healthy human longevity.

“We searched around the world for great tasting almonds produced in an area with record longevity and decided to source from the longevity area of South Italy known for its thriving centenarians,” said Dr Joseph Antoun, CEO of L-Nutra.

Biophytis raises €2.3m

Aging focused biotech Biophytis (NasdaqCM:BPTS) announced it has successfully completed a fundraising round of €2.3 million. The raise was achieved through capital increases with cancellation of the shareholders’ preferential subscription rights to the benefit of professional investors amounting to €1.9 million, and to the benefit of individual investors via the PrimaryBid platform amounting to €0.4 million.

“On behalf of Biophytis team, I would like to warmly thank all of the professional investors, historical Company’s investors, for their support, and retail investors through PrimaryBid who participated in this fundraising,” said Stanislas Veillet, CEO of Biophytis. “This transaction will allow us to file regulatory applications for Marketing Authorisation in Europe and the United States for Sarconeos (BIO101) in the treatment of severe forms of COVID-19.”

Longeveron reveals positive long-term data

Regenerative medicine company Longeveron (NASDAQ: LGVN) announced new long-term follow-up data from the company’s trial of Lomecel-B for patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). The data showed that 100% of the 10 patients who participated in the trial survived and remained heart transplant-free for up to 5 years of age after receiving Lomecel-B during their Stage 2 surgery.

In addition, about three years after the Stage 2 surgery, most of these patients undergo the third palliative surgery, which is the last of the standard sequence of surgeries that comprises the current standard of care for HLHS. The company expects to present these updated data at a scientific conference later in 2023.

“We are pleased to share additional long-term follow-up data demonstrating the continued survival of the ELPIS I trial participants,” said Joshua M Hare, co-founder of Longeveron. “Previously, we disclosed the participants had 100% survival rate for up to 3.5 years post-administration of Lomecel-B. These data represent an additional 2 years of follow-up data, reinforcing our enthusiasm for Lomecel-B in this indication, and providing support for the ongoing ELPIS II study. As we continue to monitor these patients from ELPIS I, we will provide additional updates. There are currently no FDA-approved treatments for HLHS, and we hope Lomecel-B can significantly improve the treatment landscape for patients with HLHS.”

Capsida to present gene therapy data

Gene therapy company Capsida Biotherapeutics announced it will present preliminary data on the company’s next-generation engineered adeno-associated virus (AAV) capsids in non-human primates. The initial data showed that the capsids resulted in widespread transduction including protein production across multiple brain regions including cortex, thalamus, and putamen, in up to 68% of neurons. Importantly, liver transduction was reduced five-fold compared to wild-type AAVs.

“These data demonstrate the potential of our gene therapy platform to deliver targeted non-invasive therapies to the central nervous system to potentially treat more common diseases beyond the ultra-rare indications to which wild-type AAVs have been largely relegated,” said Peter Anastasiou, CEO of Capsida. “This potential was demonstrated through broad neuronal transduction and protein expression with significantly less exposure to the liver.”

Mikra lands key purchase order for CELLF

Consumer longevity company Mikra Cellular Sciences has received its first purchase order from GNC Holdings for Mikra’s CELLF product. GNC is a leading global health and wellness brand that provides high-quality, science-based products and solutions to consumers.

CELLF is a cellular health nutraceutical gel, engineered with a natural biological delivery system to pass through gastric environments unchanged and deliver directly to cells. It is formulated with bioactive compounds clinically studied in more than 145 human studies to positively impact brain, heart, skin and muscular systems.

“Launching our newly formulated cellular health nutraceutical gel CELLF v1.2 with GNC, the global premier health and wellness brand, is a significant milestone for Mikra and Lifeist,” said Faraaz Jamal, CEO of Mikra. “We have been working closely with the team at GNC to make the U.S. roll out of CELLF v1.2 a success. They have been extremely helpful fine tuning our marketing strategies, packaging, and display designs, to create the greatest impact within their online and retail GNC stores.”

SomaLogic inks China partnership

Proteomics technology company SomaLogic announced a partnership with Biostar Technology Limited, which becomes the first authorized site in China to offer the 7,000-plex SomaScan Assay and provide SomaScan data to its customers. SomaLogic leverages proteomics technology to catalyze growth in drug research and development and biomarker identification.  

“China is an exciting market for proteomics with tremendous untapped growth potential for SomaLogic,” said Adam Taich, CEO of SomaLogic. “Researchers in China have long embraced the value of market leading technology and having Biostar Technology Limited as a trusted partner and authorized site for SomaLogic’s SomaScan Platform will now bring the power of our solution to this region.”

UNITY CEO speaks out on senescence

Anirvan Ghosh, the CEO of UNITY Biotechnology spoke to us about the company’s recent trial, what’s next for the company and what excites him about the senotherapeutic space.

UNITY Biotech is a company working on therapeutics to slow, halt or reverse diseases of aging. With an initial focus on age-related eye diseases and neurological conditions, UNITY recently announced positive results from the long-term follow-up of its Phase 2 BEHOLD study of UBX1325 in patients with diabetic macular edema (DME).

“In the next few years, I think we’ll see new ways of targeting senescent cells; among the approaches that I find particularly interesting is looking to see if one can reprogram senescent cells,” said Ghosh. “Senescent cells secrete damaging factors, causing havoc in the tissue, so those approaches that reprogram it so the senescent-related factors are not produced are very excited.”

SIRTLab appoints Barzilai as top advisor

Longevity biotech SIRTLab announced the appointment of Nir Barzilai, MD, as Chief Medical Advisor and a member of the Board of Directors. The company is focused on the high-level expression of sirtuin 6 (SIRT6), a key orchestrator of responses to lipids, glucose and inflammation, mainly based on the work of Professor Haim Cohen. SIRTLab has developed several effective methods to increase the level of SIRT6 in the human body, and anticipates that clinical trials will start within a year.

A passionate advocate for geroscience, Barzilai is a chair Professor of Medicine and Genetics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Barzilai’s research interests are in the biology and genetics of aging. His focus on the genetics of exceptional longevity has led to his team’s discovery of functional variants of Sirt-6 in centenarians, demonstrating that this gene is relevant for humans’ healthspan and lifespan.

“We are honored and excited about the joining of Dr Nir Barzilai to the steering team of SIRTLab and to the Board of Directors,” said SIRTLab Chairman and CEO Boaz Misholi. “Nir is among the leaders of the longevity field and biology of aging, with a long and successful record of professional achievements. His involvement with SIRTLab, demonstrates the unusual potential of SIRTLab approach to longevity, frailty, and other conditions related to old age.”

ImmunAGE raises $50k from VitaDAO

Immune system rejuvenation company ImmuneAGE Bio received funding of $50,000 from the VitaDAO community. The funding will help advance the company’s groundbreaking research on immune system rejuvenation and received solid backing from the VitaDAO community. ImmuneAge was founded by Sebastian Brunemeier, who is also the CEO, and Nicola Vannini, PhD, a Professor of Immune Metabolism.

ImmuneAGE’s unique screening platform is able to quickly iterate new candidates to select a final pre-clinical candidate. Its lead compound, IA101, is a non-toxic small molecule that targets hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in the bone marrow, aiming to rejuvenate them to extend healthspan and lifespan. The rejuvenation of HSCs from bone marrow is based on a geroscience screening platform enabled by a new ‘StemSupply’ method achieving over a thousand times greater expansion of HSCs.