Longevity investment bulletin: Cognito, David Sinclair, Celularity and more

The latest longevity updates from our investment news desk.

Cognito announces positive Alzheimer’s results

Medical device company Cognito Therapeutics announced neuroimaging results evaluating the effects of the company’s non-invasive neuromodulation medical device in participants with Alzheimer’s. The company, which recently announced a $73 million funding round, revealed that a significant reduction in whole brain volume loss was observed, which correlated with reduced lateral ventricle expansion. The active group also showed a significantly reduced loss in white matter volume, occipital lobe volume and cortical thickness.

“The results presented at AD/PD 2023 from our Phase 2 OVERTURE clinical trial show that daily at-home use of our medical device decreases brain atrophy in Alzheimer’s patients,” said Brent Vaughan, CEO of Cognito Therapeutics. “Our innovative approach, utilizing non-invasive neuromodulation and neuroimaging methods, has yielded impressive results, including a significant reduction in whole brain MRI volume loss and potentially improved clinical outcomes.”

David Sinclair and Serena Poon join forces

Longevity icon Dr David Sinclair has teamed up with lifestyle guru Serena Poon to co-found Fully Aligned Co. As world-renowned experts in health, wellness and longevity, the two founders aim to produce content, products and services designed to democratize access to knowledge and tools that enhance well-being and maximize lifespan.

“Together we aim to provide the knowledge and tools for millions of people to achieve sustainable health and reach their maximal longevity,” states the company web site.

Celularity receives FDA assessment for FUSE

Cellular and regenerative medicine company Celularity (Nasdaq: CELU) announced it had received notice that the FDA has completed its preliminary product classification and jurisdictional assessment of Celularity’s investigational FUSE Bone Void Filler. FUSE is being developed for use as a passive osteoconductive bone filler in the pelvis, extremities, and posterior-lateral spinal fusion settings as well as other skeletal defects that are not dependent on chemical action to mediate an effect.

Based on the OCP’s preliminary assessment, Celularity now intends to submit a 510(k) notification for FUSE in early 2024.

“Celularity’s unique technology platform is grounded in our use of the post-partum placenta as the source of cells and biomaterials for the development of therapeutics,” said Robert J Hariri, founder and CEO of Celularity. “This creates two independent but complimentary product opportunities in cellular and regenerative medicine. FUSE is an example of how Celularity develops innovative products from the placenta, leveraging our more than 15 biomaterial-related patent families and multiple issued patents. For Celularity, our suite of biomaterial products is a revenue engine that supports continuous new product research and development and enhances the value proposition for our investors.”

Histogen inks licensing deal with Johns Hopkins

Clinical stage therapeutics company Histogen announced it has signed an exclusive license agreement with Johns Hopkins University. The intellectual property under license covers the use of emricasan for the treatment of disease in humans resulting from viral or bacterial infections (including, but not limited to, MRSA, VRSA and SARS-CoV-2).

“We believe that emricasan has the potential to treat infections in a different way; by protecting the competence of the human body’s immune system thereby restoring the body’s natural process to combat invading organisms,” said Steven J Mento, President and CEO of Histogen. “The World Health Organization names antibiotic resistance as one of the biggest threats facing humanity. By focusing on optimizing the immune response, we believe that we have an opportunity to provide emricasan as a viable treatment option for physicians without the risk of generating antibiotic resistance.”

HCW publishes senescence paper

Clinical stage biopharma HCW Biologics (NASDAQ: HCWB) published a pivotal scientific paper in Aging Cell entitled, “Immunotherapeutic approach to reduce senescent cells and alleviate senescence-associated secretary phenotype in mice.” The company is focused on discovering and developing novel immunotherapies to lengthen healthspan by disrupting the link between inflammation and age-related diseases. It is currently evaluating one of its lead product candidates in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer and solid tumors.

In this publication, HCW demonstrates the same candidate may have broader therapeutic potential beyond cancer to other age-related diseases and conditions because of its ability to promote cell-mediated mechanisms to reduce senescent cells and alleviate the proinflammatory factors they secrete.

“We believe that HCW9218 has the potential to redefine the approach for treating aging conditions and age-related diseases,” said Dr Hing C Wong, the HCW founder and CEO. “Aged immune systems can often breakdown and stop operating the way they were intended, and this opens the door to problems that diminish healthspan and longevity.”

Pivotal backs Techstars’ longevity accelerator

This week, the Techstars’ Future of Longevity Class of 2023 demo day marked the culmination of the 13-week accelerator program that began in January. The longevity accelerator, now in its third year, is supported by Pivotal Ventures – a Melinda French Gates company. French Gates founded Pivotal in 2015, and in 2019 made a $1 billion commitment to “expanding women’s power and influence in the United States.”

One of the pillars of the organization’s focus is longevity, and Pivotal is not only helping to support early-stage companies but is also working to bring more investors into the fold.

“We are absolutely looking to bring more investors into this space and create that longevity ecosystem,” says Pivotal’s Jennifer Stybel. “We’ve seen investor interest in this space really grow over the past few years. We have vertically focused VCs like Magnify Ventures, Springbank Collective, Primetime Partners and Cake Ventures, to name a few, who are creating and raising funds with a focus on this market. And we’re also seeing more large generalist funds investing in the longevity space.”