Rejuvenate Bio is a gene therapy startup looking to reverse aging. In response to emailed questions, CEO and co-founder Daniel Oliver talked about how he and his co-founder started the company and their vision for treatment. age-related conditions.
Why did you start this company?
The idea was born in George Church’s laboratory at Harvard Medical School. Our co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer Noah Davidson was doing his postdoc at George’s lab where he got his dog Bear, his best friend. He immediately decided that he had to make him live a healthier and longer life because 10-12 years is not enough.
Noah realized that these treatments were applicable to both animal and human health. As science progressed, it was clear that the only way to adequately advance this technology and create new therapies to help both pets and human patients was to form a company to move it from bench to bed and into the real world. I joined by another startup to help commercialize Rejuvenate Bio’s current technology.
How did you meet your co-founder?
We’re college friends at Caltech. We met at a time in life when the most important thing on our mind was to make sure we completed our sets of applied math problems before Thursday so that we could go out with our friends! Since then we have been friends and fortunately we have embarked on complementary paths in which Noah followed the path of traditional science and I attended school of economics.
What need / problem are you trying to address in the health sector?
Aging costs our healthcare system in the United States $ 1.3 trillion annually. Aging is driven by dysregulation in gene expression. You have the same DNA on the day you are born as the day you die, but which genes are turned on or off change dramatically over time. These changes can be helpful. They guide one through development and leave people in early adulthood, but there is no evolutionary mechanism to keep these systems regulated in the long term. This is why we see very similar changes in gene regulation patterns in humans and subsequently see a similar prevalence of age-related conditions.
What does your technology do?
At Rejuvenate Bio, we are using combination gene therapy to reverse aging in people, increasing their quality of life and treating multiple age-related conditions. Rejuvenate Bio is creating gene therapies to address gene expression problems. Using gene therapy, Rejuvenate Bio can precisely deliver genetic material to patients to re-adjust certain genes whose expression levels change with age.
Rejuvenate Bio’s technology originated in the laboratory of co-founder George Church, Ph.D., as part of co-founder Noah’s postdoctoral research on the genetics of aging. Our initial pipeline products are based on three longevity genes with proven efficacy and unprecedented safety profiles validated by big pharma: FGF21, sTGFβR2 and αKlotho are the cornerstone of Rejuvenate Bio’s approach. They have previously been shown to increase health and lifespan in mice bred to overexpress them. By providing combinations of these three genes, we have treated multiple models of age-related disease, heart failure, kidney failure, diabetes and obesity in mice, and heart failure and obesity in large animals.
We have also created key tools for the delivery and control of epigenetic modification factors that promise to re-regulate the entire gene expression profile.
What is your main therapeutic?
RJB-01 is a liver-directed combination AAV gene therapy expressing the secreted factors FGF21 and TgfBr2. RJB-01 demonstrated the ability to increase heart function and reduce damage against three types of heart failure in animals. RJB-01 has also been shown to have positive metabolic effects in both mice and dogs. RJB-01 will initially enter cynical studies for arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) and familial partial lipodystrophy (FPL). When RJB-01 goes into clinical trials for humans, a canine version will be available for the treatment of mitral valve disease in dogs through a collaboration with Phibro Animal Health.
Do you have any clinical validation of your product?
We have conducted large preclinical studies in mice and dogs. We now have more than two years of safety data in dogs and numerous experiments demonstrating the effectiveness of the treatment in both cardiac and metabolic conditions.
What are your next goals?
We are moving towards initial clinical trials with RJB-01 and commercialization of the canine version of RJB-01.
Photo: Tylim, Getty Images