Rubedo lands $40m to advance senescence-targeting therapeutics into clinical trials

Longevity biotech plans Phase 1 senotherapeutics trial this year as it seeks to keep people ‘biologically young.’

Senotherapeutics biopharma Rubedo Life Sciences today announced a $40 million Series A financing round to fund the company through its first clinical trial. The California-based biopharma specializes in the development of therapies targeting senescent cells – the aged, dysfunctional cells that accumulate our bodies as we get older, releasing harmful factors that trigger chronic inflammation, fibrosis and tissue degeneration.

On a mission to keep people “biologically young,” Rubedo’s approach selectively targets these pathologic cells to mitigate disease progression and improve health outcomes. The company’s Alembic drug discovery platform facilitates the identification of specific druggable targets, with a focus on senescent cells associated with various chronic disorders.

The funding will be used to propel Rubedo’s lead candidate, RLS-1496, through Phase 1 studies in chronic atopic dermatitis and chronic psoriasis this year.

“Unlike current non-steroidal topical treatments that only treat the symptoms of inflammation, we believe RLS-1496 has the potential to be the first disease-modifying therapy to provide sustained relief for patients suffering from chronic conditions like dermatitis and psoriasis by targeting the skin senescent cells that cause persistent chronic inflammation,” said Dr Marco Quarta, CEO of Rubedo when the company first announced the selection of its candidate.

In addition to advancing its program in dermatological conditions, the company is directing its efforts towards developing therapies for pulmonary diseases like idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), chronic liver diseases, neuro musculoskeletal diseases and oncology. According to Rubedo, the new financing will also fuel advancements in its respiratory program, with the company aiming to nominate a development candidate in IPF.

Rubedo’s co-founder and CEO, Marco Quarta.

The round was led by Khosla Ventures and Ahren Innovation Capital, with additional contributions from Hevolution, R42, Modi Ventures, Cerigo Investments, Shanda Group, Refactor Capital, LongeVC, Italian Angels for Growth (IAG) and others.

“As people live longer, improving quality of life is paramount,” said Khosla’s Alex Morgan. “Rubedo is targeting senescent, or aging, cells that drive age-related diseases. This first trial can bring us another step closer to achieving better healthspan.”

“We believe that Rubedo’s transformative approach to targeting senescent cells is an impressive step towards the development of chronic age-related therapies, which will advance biotech from treatment to prevention or disease reversal,” said Ahren Innovation’s Alice Newcombe Ellis.