StarkAge Therapeutics builds out key multi-omics capabilities, including surfaceome, and hopes to identify relevant targets for its immunotherapy approach.
StarkAge Therapeutics, a pioneering discovery-stage biotech focusing on cellular senescence-related diseases, announces the signature of a first collaboration with Lille University.
The collaboration involves two major research academic centres, the European Genomic Institute for Diabetes, led by Professor Philippe Froguel, with international expertise in transcriptomics, and Proteomics Inflammatory Response Mass Spectrometry, headed by Professor Michel Salzet, specialising in proteomics including surfaceome, the surface proteins of a cell or organism.
Longevity.Technology: StarkAge, which was founded in 2018 by Dr Thierry Mathieu, is based on the idea that eliminating disease-specific senescent cells using immunotherapy could deliver significant therapeutic benefits to patients. Its ambition is to delay or halt disease progression and improve the quality of life of patients with age-related diseases.
This is backed up with science – there is increasing evidence that confirms senescent cell accumulation as a hallmark in various aged-related diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis [1,2], neurodegenerative diseases , metabolic dysfunction [4,5] or hepatic steatosis . Potential targets have been identified [7,8], and the foundations for testing applications in humans set.
StarkAge Therapeutics’ plans to leverage its proprietary biomarker discovery platform, ExoCise, which enables the characterisation of senescent cell biomarkers from patient-derived extracellular vesicles and their specific validation for each disease. The biotech is currently focusing on Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) as its lead program, with other fibrotic diseases or metabolic diseases such as NAFLD / NASH currently under evaluation.
“I am thrilled with this initial approach with Lille University,” said Dr Benjamin Le Calvé, CSO of StarkAge Therapeutics. “These ‘omics3’ techniques are strategic for StarkAge Therapeutics and should increase our confidence that targets identified on the surface of diseased cells are specific to the condition studied, and druggable with immunotherapy.”
More collaborations with other academic centres as well as industrial partners across Europe are currently under evaluation, to enhance the quality and the validation of cell surface targets / signatures, including in humans. As always, the challenge remains to specifically target detrimental senescent cells while avoiding altering the functions of beneficial ones.
“We have made amazing progress in the past few weeks since Dr Le Calvé joined,” added Dr Pierre-Michel Bringer, CEO. “Benjamin has been instrumental in opening up various new channels and opportunities.”