The latest longevity updates from our investment news desk.
Kate Tx lands $51 million Series A
Gene therapy company Kate Therapeutics emerged from stealth mode with a $51 million Series A financing. Kate Tx is developing adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based capsids to target genetically defined and complex muscle and heart diseases that cannot currently be addressed due to a lack of specific and effective delivery to these tissues. The round was co-led by founding investor Westlake Village BioPartners and Versant Ventures, with participation from Osage University Partners and UF Innovate | Ventures.
In addition, the company has signed a worldwide licensing deal with Astellas Pharma. Proceeds from the financing and license agreement will support the advancement of KateTx’s initial internal portfolio of muscle and heart disease programs.
“We are excited to announce KateTx’s launch and what this means for patients suffering from muscle and heart diseases,” said Kevin Forrest, CEO of KateTx. “KateTx is applying novel capsid and cargo technology platforms to enable skeletal and cardiac muscle targeting and liver de-targeting. We believe our technologies can provide safer and more effective medicines for patients.”
Study shows promise of hybrid quantum generative AI for drug discovery
Generative AI-driven drug discovery company Insilico Medicine participated in new research exploring the use of hybrid quantum-classical generative adversarial networks (GANs) for small molecule discovery. The researchers found that, not only could the quantum enhanced GANs generate small molecules, but these molecules also had more desirable properties than those generated by purely classical GANs.
The teams leveraged artificial intelligence and quantum computing techniques to replace each element of GAN with a variational quantum circuit. Researchers found that the small molecules created through the use of a VQC frequently had better physicochemical properties and performance in the goal-directed benchmark than the classical counterpart.
“At Insilico Medicine, we’re always seeking new ways to transform drug design and development through artificial intelligence to help bring life-saving medications to patients,” said Alex Zhavoronkov, founder and CEO of Insilico. “The drug discovery pipeline is traditionally a long and costly process, but recent advances in machine learning and deep learning technologies have proven to help reduce time and costs for pharmaceutical research and development. By working with Zapata and Foxconn, we were able to uncover molecule designs with viable structures that were comparable to those from classical methods.”
Longevity investor course launches
A brand-new course for investors has launched, with the goal of helping them navigate the complex longevity industry. Investing in Longevity 101 provides a comprehensive understanding of new terminologies, scientific advancements, risks and potential opportunities.
This online course is tailored to cater to a diverse audience of venture capitalists, fund managers, angel investors, pharma executives and biotech professionals, medical doctors, entrepreneurs, medical students, and scientists.
“Whether individuals are interested in ‘longevity now’ or ‘longevity next,’ risks and rewards will always be present for investors,” said Phil Newman, Longevity.Technology CEO. “That’s precisely why Investing in Longevity 101 is so essential. The longevity economy is gaining momentum, and our aim is to provide investors and those seeking investment with a solid knowledge foundation to thrive.”
New cryopreservation company launches
A new player in cryopreservation, Oxford Cryotechnology, is aiming to advance the field to meet the health demands of aging populations. The potential of cryobiology in human longevity is huge. From enabling reliable stem cell storage systems to long-term organ banking for transplants, the implications for human health are significant. But much more research is required before whole organs (and ultimately humans) can successfully be cryopreserved, so improving preservation methods is a must.
To learn how Oxford Cryotechnology plans to address this challenge, we caught up with two of its founders – Professor João Pedro de Magalhães, Chair of Molecular Biogerontology at the University of Birmingham, and Dr Emil Kendziorra, CEO of cryonics company Tomorrow Bio.
“It’s a very small, niche field, even compared to longevity and aging, and that’s something I’ve always found quite remarkable,” de Magalhães told us. “There are so many applications of it – if we could cryopreserve human organs, for example, it would save thousands of lives every year.”
Jinfiniti founder speaks out on Semaglutide
The CSO of precision medicine company Jinfiniti has warned about the limited understanding of injecting Semaglutide, which consumers are taking in the hope of quick weight loss. Long-term effects of Semaglutide include potential risks of pancreas disease, rebound weight loss, and metabolic imbalances.
Dr Jin-Xiong She, a renowned diabetes researcher and genomics expert, is concerned. As an alternative to prescription Semaglutide, he suggests using NAD supplements to help achieve weight loss, safely.
“What perplexes me the most is the willingness of people to embrace popular, celebrity-endorsed trends that may jeopardize their long-term health,” he says. “I do not object categorically to their usage, by any means. My concern is for those who jump on the bandwagon for the wrong reasons… I don’t think anyone would call it a success if, by achieving their weight loss goals, they ruined their health in the process.”
Insilico CEO to present at major healthcare conference
Generative AI-driven drug discovery company Insilico Medicine announced that its founder and CEO Dr Alex Zhavoronkov will present at the Jefferies Global Healthcare Conference. The conference brings together hundreds of public and private healthcare companies and thousands of executives, as well as institutional investors, private equity investors, and VCs discussing trends and investment opportunities in healthcare in the US.
Insilico has partnered with several leading pharma companies and has raised over $400m in funding to date. Zhavoronkov will share updates on Insilico’s pipeline of novel therapeutics and showcase Pharma.AI, the company’s AI-driven fully robotic target discovery and validation platform. The platform has already produced three drugs that have reached clinical trials.
SomaLogic appoints interim CFO
Proteomics technology company SomaLogic (Nasdaq: SLGC) announced that Eliot M Lurier, CPA, is joining the company as interim CFO while the company conducts a search for a permanent CFO.
Lurier has over 35 years of experience in financial and leadership positions across the life science industry. He will report directly to the Interim CEO and immediately embed within the finance organization to ensure a seamless transition until a permanent CFO is identified.
“The Board and I are pleased to welcome Eliot, a seasoned finance executive with over 35 years of experience in the life sciences industry, as we execute our permanent CFO search,” said Adam Taich, interim CEO of SomaLogic. “We remain committed to accelerating our impact in the growing field of proteomics as we embark on our next phase of commercial growth while maintaining fiscal discipline.”