Kizoo provides seed funding for Elastrin Therapeutics to develop groundbreaking new technology capable of reversing tissue and organ calcification
Clemson SC, USA / Berlin, Germany - Elastrin is a biotechnology startup leveraging a platform technology to develop therapeutics that render calcified tissue and organs supple again.
It is the latest addition to the growing portfolio of Kizoo Technology Capital; a rejuvenation biotech investor focused on reversing age-related damage on a cellular and molecular level.
Elastrin’s lead asset is a nanoparticle conjugated with a novel monoclonal antibody to treat heart valve and vascular calcification.
“Elastin fibers are critical for the homeostasis of tissues around the body, including the skin, vasculature, and pulmonary tissues. As elastin fibers become damaged over time, arterial walls weaken, and the body’s physiological response results in aortic wall stiffening, aneurysms, and hypertension,” said Prof. Naren Vyavahare, Chief Scientific Officer at Elastrin Therapeutics.
The Elastrin team has developed a platform that can restore vascular health by removing pathological calcification, specifically from sites where elastin has been degraded. This is achieved via targeting albumin nanoparticles loaded with therapeutic agents directly to the tissue site of interest with the company’s proprietary anti-elastin monoclonal antibody. “This targeted delivery promises to improve the efficacy of therapeutic payloads as well as reduce side effects due to otherwise systemic administration. In addition, the nanoparticles result in slower release characteristics that improve the biodistribution of pharmaceuticals at the targeted exposure site,” said Douglas Mulhall, co-founder of Elastrin Therapeutics.
“Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death globally, taking an estimated 18 million lives each year. On top of that, everyone above 30 years old is suffering from damage to the cardiovascular system, resulting in severe symptoms one day. Our technology can reverse damage to the arteries and heart and bring the body back to a state before the damage even occurred. This is a true game-changer in the industry and one of the puzzle pieces towards healthy aging. Nobody wants to live forever in an old and sick body, but we do want to live long in a healthy one,” said Matthias Breugelmans, CEO of Elastrin.
“We are proud to help Elastrin to open a new category in repairing significant damage of aging – tissue calcification and the damage to elastin fibers. This will allow for substantial rejuvenation of the cardiovascular system and restore organ function & skin elasticity to youthful levels,” says Frank Schueler, Managing Director of Kizoo Technology Capital.
“I am honored to be part of this highly ambitious endeavor to rejuvenate the circulatory system with a technology platform that has far-reaching potential,” said Patrick Burgermeister, Partner at Kizoo Technology Capital who will join the company’s Board of Directors.
In our fifth Online Meetup, we talked about "Vascular Rejuvenation using EDTA" - how EDTA chelation therapy can be used to prevent and/or reverse vascular disease.
Our invited speaker this time was Dr. Lamas who is chair of medicine and chief of cardiology at Mount Sinai Medical Center and was the lead investigator of the TACT trial (Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy). He initiated this multi-center double-blinded clinical trial, which took 10 years to be completed, to evaluate the efficacy and safety of EDTA chelation for the treatment of coronary and peripheral artery disease. The results of the trial surprised the medical world, including Lamas, and led to further large-scale trials on chelation therapy.
The Meetup included Q&As and closed with a short networking session, in which participants had the chance to further discuss in separate breakout rooms.
Please find the recording of the event here.
Forever Healthy Foundation and SENS Research Foundation have rescheduled Undoing Aging to 2022. We are looking forward to having Undoing Aging 2022 as a vibrant physical event in Berlin, which unfortunately is not possible in 2021 due to restrictions on events in Germany and the global Corona situation. We will issue ticket refunds to attendees who cannot attend the new date. It will take place May 26-28 at the Radialsystem Berlin.
The Undoing Aging Conference is focused on the cellular and molecular repair of age-related damage as the basis of therapies to bring aging under full medical control and will bring together scientists and startups from around the globe, all pioneers in their respective fields, who are leading the charge in maintaining and restoring full health in old age.
To accommodate the exciting growth of the emerging rejuvenation biotechnology industry, Undoing Aging 2022 will add a dedicated forum and exhibition space for rejuvenation biotech companies to present themselves to prospective investors and industry partners.
Additionally, the 2022 conference will add a special "Rejuvenation Now" session highlighting the first generation of human rejuvenation therapies that are either currently in clinical trials or are available today.
Undoing Aging 2022 is not only open to the scientific community, but also welcomes startups, investors, the general media, and all interested members of the broader rejuvenation movement. The conference will feature a student poster session showing the work of innovative undergraduate and graduate students in the field of damage repair.
Kizoo leads $5M seed round at Harvard spin-off CELLVIE in pursuit of a new treatment modality: Therapeutic Mitochondria Transfer (TMT)
Berlin/Zurich and Houston. Harvard spin-off Cellvie Inc. closes its $5M seed round led by Kizoo Technology Capital to advance its product pipeline, including a first application in rejuvenation.
Mitochondria are intimately tied to the origin of complex life, the energy of the young and the decline of the old. They are the powerhouses of the cell, generating most of the cellular energy and operate as critical intra-cellular communication nodes. Mitochondria dysfunction has been tied to a host of diseases, ranging from neurodegenerative ailments such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, over heart attacks and strokes, to age-related degeneration.
“But treating mitochondria has proven to be an arduous challenge” said Dr. James McCully, a founder of Cellvie and Associate Professor of Surgery at Boston’s Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School where he pioneered the therapeutic use of mitochondria. “That is why we turned to introducing healthy, viable mitochondria into cells where these organelles are impaired. To great effect. We can sustainably reinvigorate cells’ failing energy metabolism.”
The potential of Therapeutic Mitochondria Transfer was recently demonstrated in a clinical investigation at Boston Children’s Hospital. Pediatric patients on heart-lung-support after suffering a cardiogenic shock, received the treatment to revitalize their heart muscle. 80% of these children experienced myocardial recovery, which compares to an expected 29%, as reported in a publication forthcoming in The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.
“The implications of our findings are groundbreaking. We may have the chance to bring about a new treatment modality,” said Dr. Alexander Schueller, founder and CEO of Cellvie. “The investment will enable us to pursue the platform broadly, including a first application in aging, where the need for mitochondria-recovery is particularly dear.”
To date, Cellvie focused primarily on ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI), one of the world’s leading causes of death. IRI manifests itself whenever the blood flow to a part of the body is interrupted and subsequently reintroduced. Well-known medical conditions include heart attacks, strokes, and organ transplantation. cellvie is pursuing an indication in organ transplantation, first, for which the FDA awarded orphan drug designation in 2020. The capital injection will be employed for productization, to expand cellvie’s product pipeline and to prepare an IND submission for a clinical study in kidney transplantation.
“We were immediately attracted to the potential of Cellvie’s approach to emerge as a novel category of medicines” said Frank Schueler, Managing Director at Kizoo Technology Capital. “With mitochondria dysfunction a common denominator to disease and aging alike, cellvie’s ability to affect the cell energy metabolism may pave the road to address hitherto intractable human ailments”. Frank Schueler will join the company’s Board of Directors.
The Forever Healthy Foundation proudly announces the third publication by its "Maximizing Health" initiative:
Lipid Monitoring for Cardiovascular Risk - A practical guide on lipid biomarkers and the best monitoring protocol
The "Maximizing Health" initiative reviews the latest medical knowledge and creates actionable guides to empower informed decisions about health and well-being.
Numerous aspects of lipid metabolism have been implicated in the genesis of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Given the prevalence and mortality of CVD, it is essential to identify optimal biomarkers of lipid metabolism that may provide better risk prediction. Several lipid biomarkers have been proposed for monitoring, and several methods have been developed for measuring them. This Practical Guide aims to identify those markers, evaluate their relevance to CVD risk prediction, and determine the best lipid monitoring protocol available at the moment.
A list of potential lipid parameters was compiled from medical and laboratory resources. A literature search was then conducted on PubMed for each parameter. Additionally, we reviewed the major clinical practice guidelines on lipid monitoring.
Our search identified 21 lipid biomarkers ranging from those included in a standard lipid panel to those that are just entering clinical practice. For each biomarker, the main evidence for and against its use in CVD risk prediction was summarized. The available information on test types, standardization & error, reference values, factors affecting measurement, and frequency of testing for each parameter was analyzed.
The following chart illustrates our results by comparing lipid biomarkers in terms of their association with CVD and the total error of the analytical technique used to measure them.
According to our analysis, only two of the markers are both closely associated with cardiovascular risk and have an acceptable level of error: apolipoprotein B (ApoB) and total cholesterol (TC). There are several other markers that have stronger associations with CVD risk and may present valuable information, however, the test results are less reliable, due in most cases, to a lack of standardization or a low level of accuracy.
The full analysis including a detailed lipid monitoring protocol based on the findings of our research can be found here.
In our fourth Online Meetup, we talked about "Skin rejuvenation using the power of light" - how low-level light therapy (LLLT) can lead to a significantly improved appearance of the skin by restoring youthful cellular functions. Our invited speaker this time was Dr. R Glen Calderhead, "the Godfather of Low-level light therapy" (The Guardian).
Calderhead, who is currently based in South Korea as Executive Managing Director of the Lutronic Corporation, is a pioneer in the field of LLLT and an internationally recognized authority on all aspects of phototherapy, photo surgery, and energy-based medicine.
The Meetup included Q&As and closed with a short networking session, in which participants had the chance to further discuss in separate breakout rooms. The numerous questions of the participants as well as the great discussion about LLLT assured us, that we could help to raise awareness of what Calderhead called "The most underestimated therapy in the world."
Please find the recording of the event here
Happy to introduce our third supported research project of 2020: Dr. Andrei Gudkov's research on Cells with active retrobiome as a rejuvenation treatment at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
Nearly half of the mammalian genome is comprised of a “retrobiome” including millions of copies of including long and short interspersed virus-like repetitive elements (LINEs). Aging-related failure of silencing mechanisms can result in LINE activation and such LINE active cells –characterized by an expression of interferon (IFN) – may be a mayor contributor to systemic aging. However, the relationship between LINE activation and aging is still extremely poorly understood.
In our third Online Meetup, we discussed "Longevity Genes", how they are being identified, and what to do if you drew the short straw in the genetic lottery. Our invited speaker this time was Dr. Joris Deelen, a research group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne, Germany. Joris is an expert in identifying genetic variants that allow some people to live longer and healthier lives than others.
The Meetup included Q&As and closed with a short networking session, in which participants had the chance to further discuss in separate breakout rooms. The event grew once again which assured us, that we created a promising platform for people worldwide to learn and discuss exciting new developments in the field of rejuvenation.
Please find the recording of the event here
Several genome-wide association studies comparing genes of centenarians (people > 100 years) with genes of people reaching a "normal" lifespan found one gene that was associated with longevity: ApoE
This result is quite striking as it is immensely difficult to find common genetic variants in a population as heterogeneous as humans.
APOE is the gene responsible for coding Apolipoprotein E, a key player in our lipid metabolism. APOE comes in 3 significant variants: E2, E3 & E4. While the E2 variant of the gene was enriched in the centenarian population, E4 is associated with a shortened life expectancy. The E4 variant is also well known for its association with a significantly higher risk of Alzheimer's disease. There are several implications for ApoE4 carriers, particularly concerning saturated fat and heavy metal detox.
Around 20 - 25 % of the population in Europe/USA carries one or two copies of the E4 variant, meaning that a large number of people are actually carrying the "anti-longevity" gene, which is associated with a higher risk for several morbidities. While this sounds like overwhelming news, the saying “Genes load the gun, the environment pulls the trigger", also holds true for ApoE4.
In our newest publication, our team screened more than 800 scientific papers to create a practical guide focusing not only on the risks associated with the E4 variant but also proposing a risk management strategy for APOE4 carriers based on the latest scientific publications.
APOE4 - Risks and Risk Management
1E9 (Successor of Wired Germany) published an interview with our founder Michael Greve, separating science from fiction, discussing Michael's personal story, and his vision for Forever Healthy to enable people to vastly extend their healthy lifespan.
Read the whole interview here (German)
It all started with a quest for knowledge: In his times as internet-entrepreneur, Michael acquired some unhealthy habits and decided to drastically change his lifestyle. While there were some cowboy-style-marketed products available, he felt that the scientific evidence was lacking although the research in the field was actually flourishing. He decided to create the Forever Healthy Foundation to review the scientific knowledge in the field of rejuvenation, which is deeply buried in scientific journals, and make it accessible in a comprehensive way. Furthermore, he funds research and start-ups to accelerate access to healthy longevity for all of us.
"The entrepreneur in me is absolutely certain that this will be the greatest industry of all time."
We proudly announce the second publication by our "Maximizing Health" initiative:
APOE4 - Risks & Risk Management
APOE is the gene responsible for coding Apolipoprotein E, a key player in our lipid metabolism. APOE comes in 3 significant variants: E2, E3 & E4.
The E4 variant is well known for its association with a significantly higher risk of Alzheimer's disease. Numerous other conditions have been linked to it including different forms of dementia, cardiovascular disease, and decreased longevity. There are several important implications for carriers of one or two copies of the E4 variant, particularly concerning saturated fat and heavy metal detox.
To create this practical guide the team screened more than 800 scientific papers. We found that APOE4 was associated with significant negative effects in almost 20 categories including:
We also propose a risk management strategy for APOE4 carriers based on the latest scientific publications.
See the practical guide here
Forever Healthy Foundation and SENS Research Foundation have rescheduled Undoing Aging to May 13-15. We are looking forward to having Undoing Aging 2021 as a vibrant physical event in Berlin, which unfortunately is not possible in 2020 due to restrictions on events in Germany. We will issue ticket refunds to attendees who cannot attend the new date.
The Undoing Aging Conference in May will be focused on the cellular and molecular repair of age-related damage as the basis of therapies to bring aging under full medical control and will bring together scientists and startups from around the globe, all pioneers in their respective fields, who are leading the charge in maintaining and restoring full health in old age.
To accommodate the exciting growth of the emerging rejuvenation biotechnology industry, Undoing Aging 2021 will add a dedicated forum and exhibition space for rejuvenation biotech companies to present themselves to prospective investors and industry partners.
Additionally, the 2021 conference will add a special "Rejuvenation Now" session highlighting the first generation of human rejuvenation therapies that are either currently in clinical trials or are available today.
Undoing Aging 2021 is not only open to the scientific community, but also welcomes startups, investors, the general media, and all interested members of the broader rejuvenation movement. The conference will feature a student poster session showing the work of innovative undergraduate and graduate students in the field of damage repair.
In our second Online Meetup, we talked about the role of senescence in aging, and about fisetin as promising natural senolytic therapy. This was the first time, we invited an external speaker and were delighted that we attracted Prof. Dr. João Pedro de Magalhães, an expert in the field of senescence and aging.
We further developed the format of our Online Meetup by adding a short networking session, in which participants had the chance to further discuss in separate breakout rooms. The event grew profoundly since our first Meetup which assured us, that we created a promising platform for people worldwide to learn and discuss exciting new developments in the field of rejuvenation.
Please find the recording of the event here
To inspire more young scientists to join the quest to get aging under full medical control, we have created the Forever Healthy Fellowship Program. The fellowship covers support for a three-year project, to be carried out at the SENS Research Center in Mountain View, California. It includes the salary for the fellow, benefits, supplies, and space in a fully equipped research lab.
We are happy to announce, that the Forever Healthy Fellowship was awarded to Dr. Tesfahun Admasu.
When cells age, they lose their proliferative capacity and stop dividing in a phenomenon called senescence. Cellular senescence decreases the regenerative capacity of cells and tissues and is thought to be driving age-associated pathologies. Throughout the aging process, senescent cells accumulate and secrete a characteristic set of proteins, called a senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Senescent cells can trigger healthy cells in their surrounding to become senescent, which further aggregate the effect. While primary senescent cells are fairly well characterized at this point, not much is known about secondary senescent cells and how they arise in vivo.
The project of Dr. Tesfahun Admasu seeks to confirm the hypothesis that secondary senescent cells are different from primary senescent cells, and would, therefore, need a different senolytic to eradicate them. In addition, the project will study how SASP components mediate the spread of senescence. This work could provide us with the basis for a new, therapeutically viable hypothesis for stopping the spread and to rejuvenate the affected tissue.
The Forever Healthy Foundation announces the public launch of the Risk-Benefit Analysis of Dasatinib + Quercetin as a Senolytic Therapy, a structured review of the published evidence. It is the fifth publication of Forever Healthy's "Rejuvenation Now" initiative following the "Risk & Benefit Analysis of Vascular Rejuvenation using EDTA".
Forever Healthy's "Rejuvenation Now" initiative seeks to continuously identify potential rejuvenation therapies and systematically evaluates them on risks, benefits, and therapeutic protocols to create transparency regarding the current state of said therapies.
Dasatinib + Quercetin - a powerful rejuvenation therapy?
When a cell reaches the end of its life or becomes damaged beyond repair it normally either kills itself or signals the immune system to remove it. Unfortunately, every so often this mechanism fails. The cell stays around indefinitely and starts poisoning its environment. Over time, more and more of these harmful, death resistant, senescent cells accumulate. Senescent cells are thought to be one of the main drivers of aging and age-related diseases.
Senolytics are drugs that selectively remove senescent cells by disabling the mechanisms that allow them to survive. Dasatinib (D), a well-established medication used in the treatment of cancer and quercetin (Q), a flavonoid common in plants were among the first senolytics to be discovered. As they have been shown to affect different types of senescent cells, they are often employed in combination.
Studies in rodents have shown that clearing senescent cells can prevent, delay, or alleviate multiple age-related diseases and extend the healthy lifespan by up to 35%. Based on the promising results in animal testing, it is supposed that intermittent dosing of D+Q also leads to the elimination of senescent cells in humans with the accompanying health and rejuvenation benefits.
As the first clinical trials in humans have been completed and interest in the practical application of D+Q is increasing, Forever Healthy seeks to assess the risks, benefits, and therapeutic protocols of using D+Q as a senolytic therapy.
Methods & Results
For this risk and benefit analysis, the team at Forever Healthy screened more than 3300 scientific papers and included over 150 clinical and pre-clinical studies in its analysis.
Currently, there are only results from 3 trials in humans in which D+Q was evaluated as a senolytic therapy. The majority of human studies used D or Q in cancer therapy and provided information on side effects and safety.
The benefits shown in animals were significant and were observed in many organ systems. However, several of the benefits only occurred in diseased animals (i.e. diabetic mice), while the healthy control group did not benefit from the treatment.
The benefits reported in human studies are mainly focussed on senescent cell markers. So far, these markers are only hypothesized to translate to clinically meaningful effects. Few benefits had direct clinical relevance, and those were not really convincing. Additionally, 2 out of the 3 clinical studies were in patients with pre-existing disease so there is very limited information on the effect in healthy individuals.
The potential risks of D are extensive and well-known through its use in the treatment of cancer. While the clinical trials that used D+Q as a senolytic therapy reported only mild to moderate adverse events, it is of note that the low number of participants in these studies might not deliver a representative result.
Furthermore, the human studies all used different treatment protocols and there is no consensus on the measurement of efficacy in clinical practice.
Therefore, until there are more studies showing benefits in humans, a clearer picture of the senolytic-use specific risk profile, and a consensus on a treatment protocol, it seems prudent to avoid the use of D+Q as a senolytic therapy.
More details, including an in-depth analysis of all risks & benefits, can be found here.
The Forever Healthy Foundation announces the public release of its Practical Guide to natural antivirals and immune boosters for COVID-19 today.
Antivirals with a broad spectrum of action and immunomodulators that improve host resilience are crucial to overcoming novel viral infections. As of yet, there aren't any evidence-based or clinically proven treatments or vaccines available for COVID-19.
However, numerous compounds, including natural antivirals and natural immunomodulators, have been suggested for both prevention and treatment. Unfortunately, the scientific evidence behind these recommendations is most often not provided, making the decision whether to use a certain compound virtually impossible.
In light of the current COVID-19 outbreak, we review the scientific, empirical, and clinical evidence of proposed natural compounds that could potentially help prevent infection or reduce the severity of symptoms.
Method & Results
A search for recommendations of natural antivirals and immune-boosting compounds with possible relevance to COVID-19 was conducted using online resources of the leading integrative medical, naturopathic, and functional medicine associations.
Evidence for or against each compound was then collected and in cases where supporting or refuting evidence was not found, consultations with experts and of association-specific supporting literature were carried out.
Finally, substances were categorized and a list of recommendations of compounds that have shown beneficial immunomodulatory actions, clinical efficacy, safety, and potentially specific effects on SARS-CoV-2 was created.
The team identified 50 natural substances and mixtures recommended for preventing infection with SARS-CoV-2 or lessening the severity of symptoms of COVID-19. As there hasn't been enough time for the scientific community to conduct clinical trials on the effects of any of the compounds on SARS-CoV-2, we chose to recommend 8 substances with established safety that have shown strong antiviral or immunomodulatory effects in previously conducted clinical trials or clinical practice.
Please find the details including the final list of recommended compounds and doses here.
The Forever Healthy Foundation and SENS Research Foundation announced the 2020 Undoing Aging Conference program and speakers today. Undoing Aging will take place May 21 - 23, 2020 at the Radialsystem V in Berlin, Germany.
Undoing Aging 2020 is focused on cellular and molecular repair of age-related damage as the basis of therapies to bring aging under full medical control. The conference is not only open to the scientific community, but also welcomes startups, investors, the general media, and all interested members of the broader rejuvenation movement.
To accommodate the exciting growth of the emerging rejuvenation biotechnology industry, this year Undoing Aging will add a dedicated forum and exhibition space for rejuvenation biotech companies to present themselves to prospective investors and industry partners.
Additionally, the conference will feature a special "Rejuvenation Now" session highlighting the first generation of human rejuvenation therapies that are either currently in clinical trials or are available today.
Kizoo leads graduation of Glucosepane crosslink breaker research from top Yale lab into the biotech world