Longevity investment bulletin: Mitobridge, Fractyl, Insilico and more

The latest longevity updates from our investment news desk.  

AI-discovered drug gets Orphan Drug Designation

AI drug discovery company Insilico Medicine announced the FDA has granted Orphan Drug Designation to one of its AI-discovered compounds for the treatment of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). The small molecule inhibitor was discovered by Insilico’s generative AI platform, Pharma.AI, for the treatment of IPF, a chronic lung disease that causes progressive and irreversible decline in lung function and represents a significant unmet medical need worldwide.

“We are pleased to announce that Insilico has achieved numerous drug discovery milestones and provided new clinical hope using generative AI,” said Dr Alex Zhavoronkov, founder and CEO of Insilico. “We are progressing the global clinical development of the program at top speed to allow patients with fibrotic diseases to benefit from this novel therapeutic as soon as possible.”

Mitobridge collaboration hits milestones

A collaboration between mitochondrial-targeted therapeutics company Mitobridge and Generian Pharmaceuticals has reached the first research milestones for two programs in development. The two programs are focused on the stabilisation or degradation of two unrelated transcription factors. The milestone payments were generated based on the successful identification of hit compounds that impact the stability and activity of these two transcription factors.

“We are extremely pleased with the rapid and remarkable progress made with our partners at Astellas on these two programs,” said Dr Hank Safferstein, CEO of Generian. “These hit series represent first-in-class compounds that directly bind to transcription factors for degradation or stabilization. We look forward to continuing our productive collaboration and leveraging our combined expertise and knowledge to develop and advance small molecule therapeutics for difficult to drug targets.”

Fractyl rolls out diabetes treatment in Germany

Organ-editing metabolic therapeutics company Fractyl Health announced the commercial availability of its Revita DMR System in Germany. The company, which is focused on pioneering a new approach to the treatment of type 2 diabetes, also revealed that a live demonstration of a Revita procedure was successfully performed at a hospital in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Revita is an endoscopic procedural therapy that is based on emerging scientific evidence linking gut dysfunction to metabolic diseases and is designed to remodel the duodenal lining to provide a minimally invasive approach to tackling a root cause of type 2 diabetes. The Revita System has a CE Mark in Europe and recently established reimbursement in Germany.

“Current medical therapies for T2D focus on treating symptoms of the disease and – despite numerous options – nearly 50% of German patients remain inadequately controlled,” Prof Stephan Martin, Head Physician and Director of the West-German Centre of Diabetes and Health. “Revita addresses a root cause of their disease in the gut for the first time, thereby potentially enabling patients to improve their underlying disease rather than treating symptoms alone. In conjunction with an appropriate modification of diet and lifestyle, Revita may offer a crucial opportunity for a metabolic reset for patients and society.”

Huma partners on CVD programme

Digital health firm Huma Therapeutics announced a partnership with Camden Health Partners and UCLPartners to deliver programme aimed at identifying people at high risk of, or who have undiagnosed, cardiovascular disease and helping them to adopt new behaviours to help modify the condition. The programme will form a blueprint for potential national adoption in the UK.

“Imagine the impact we could make by reaching tens of thousands of people across London alone who may be at risk of cardiovascular disease, making them aware of cardiovascular health, helping educate them and encouraging them to connect with their clinicians,” said Dan Vahdat, CEO and Founder of Huma. “This is the very definition of proactive care and I am so excited that, together with our clinical partners, we have the opportunity to scale our evidence-based digital innovations to advance personalised health.”

Rubedo lands $1.45 million grant

Senolytics company Rubedo Life Sciences was awarded a $1.45 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to support research and development of a pharmacological regenerative treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) targeting senescent lung stem cells.

“We are delighted to partner with CIRM and appreciate their recognition of the importance of advancing research to identify stem cell-based therapeutics that selectivity target pathologic senescent cells that drive cellular aging,” said Dr Marco Quarta, CEO and co-founder of Rubedo. “Our team has shown promising results in preclinical studies and look forward to identifying and nominate a small molecule development candidate with the potential to address a significant unmet need in patients who suffer from IPF and could become a new treatment option to improve the quality of life for affected individuals.”

The longevity investment landscape

Phil Newman, Longevity.Technology’s CEO shared his presentation from The Rejuvenation Startup Summit in Berlin, providing an outlook for longevity investing, exploring longevity domains and categories and the clinical stages of longevity biotechs. The summit brings together startups, members of the longevity investor ecosystem, and researchers interested in founding or joining a startup – all aiming to create therapies to vastly extend the healthy human lifespan.

“Aging is plastic – we all know that,” Newman told the audience. “It is possible to move it around, and that’s an interesting concept that not all people understand, yet. Longevity has gone from a movement to an industry and it’s a really exciting opportunity.”

Where’s the longevity funding going?

One of the most striking findings of the recent Annual Longevity Investment Report was that 80% of longevity funding is concentrated into just five of the 25 domains that make up the field. This article explores the data, which shows that cellular reprogramming, discovery platforms, longevity drugs, rejuvenation and regeneration attracted some $4 billion of the total longevity investment in 2022.

Photograph: pch.vector/Freepik