Company begins human studies after RJx-01 significantly increases muscle mass, muscle strength and physical performance in sarcopenia mouse models.
Longevity biotech company Rejuvenate Biomed has published promising efficacy data in sarcopenia mouse models for RJx-01, a proprietary combination drug comprised of metformin and galantamine. The company says the data shows that RJx-01 significantly enhanced physical performance, muscle mass and force, neuromuscular junction stability and systemic inflammation in a mouse model of sarcopenia.
Both metformin and galantamine are approved drugs that have well-established safety profiles. Metformin is commonly used to treat Type 2 diabetes while galantamine is used to treat Alzheimer’s disease. With RJx-01, a combination of both compounds is being investigated in sarcopenia for the first time.
In collaboration with researchers at the Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine and Padova University in Italy, Rejuvante published data on two mouse models of sarcopenia in the journal JCI Insight, in a paper entitled “A combination of metformin and galantamine exhibits synergistic benefits in the treatment of sarcopenia.”
In addition to the results in mice with sarcopenia, Rejuvenate says that RJx-01 significantly improved physical performance and muscle strength in aging wildtype mice, along with significant enhancements to skeletal muscle ultrastructure, mitochondrial morphology, autophagy, lysosomal function, and satellite cell content.
Based on these published results, Rejuvenate has started the evaluation of RJx-01 in a 6-week placebo-controlled Phase 1b clinical trial in 42 elderly volunteers with disuse-induced muscle atrophy. Results of this clinical proof-of-mechanism trial are expected later this year.
“Sarcopenia is an age-related muscle disease which affects millions of people worldwide, adversely impacting their functional mobility and putting them at risk of events like falls,” said Dr Evi Mercken, Chief Scientific Officer of Rejuvenate Biomed. “The encouraging results of our recent work bring us a step closer to an effective pharmacological treatment for sarcopenia that would enhance quality of life, particularly among the elderly.”
Using proprietary drug discovery platforms, Rejuvenate Biomed explores synergies of well-known and safe small molecules that, when developed as unique combination drugs, have the potential to influence age-related molecular mechanisms, and potentially treat degenerative diseases. RJx-01 was identified by the company’s discovery platforms and is being developed for sarcopenia and other age-related diseases.
“This is an exciting day for Rejuvenate Biomed,” said Dr Ann Beliën, CEO of Rejuvenate Biomed. “These results demonstrate the real promise of our combination drug RJx-01 as a potential option for the treatment of sarcopenia and confirm the validity of our drug discovery platforms, CombinAge and CelegAge.”
Rejuvenate is using its discovery platforms to identify a pipeline of other drug combinations with the potential to combat age-related diseases.