A New Indication for Gene Therapy: Aging

Dan Oliver, cofounder and chief executive officer, Rejuvenate Bio, discussed the company’s ultimate goal of reversing aging.

“We are concurrently taking our therapies as we get them to clinic in human health into actual commercialization in animal health... Not only do we get all the preclinical data from working through large animal models, but also long term, we will be getting [data from] thousands of dogs on our treatment, while it's commercial, that will support our case for human products.”

Rejuvenate Bio is tackling a new challenge—aging. The company is targeting 3 genes associated with longevity: FGF21, αKlotho, and TGFβ1. Rejuvenate originally focused on animal health, specifically in dogs, and they are developing gene therapies for age-related diseases in both dogs and humans. 

In preclinical studies, investigators from Rejuvenate found that a single dose of their gene therapies targeting the 3 genes were able to treat, and in some cases even reverse, a set of age-related diseases in mouse models. These included obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart failure, and renal failure. Past mice, Rejuvenate's unique intersection of animal and human health also allows the company to use clinical data in dogs as preclinical data for human studies.

GeneTherapyLive spoke with Dan Oliver, cofounder and chief executive officer, Rejuvenate Bio, to learn more about the company’s focus on age-related diseases and their lead programs. He also discussed RJB-01, the company’s lead program targeting FGF21 and TGFβ1, that is being investigated in both humans and dogs. 

Davidsohn N, Pezone M, Vernet A, et al. A single combination gene therapy treats multiple age-related diseases. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. Nov 2019, 116 (47) 23505-23511. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1910073116
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