Biotech AgeX leverages Juvenescence support to develop diabetes, regeneration and cancer research.
California-based AgeX Therapeutics, Inc, a biotech developing therapeutics for human aging and regeneration, reported its financial and operating results for the fourth quarter and the full year ending 31 December 2020.
Longevity.Technology: Last year we discussed the cash challenges facing AgeX and the better news for its Q3 results. The announcement of the Q4 results comes when discussion is underway of a proposed merger between AgeX and LyGenesis, both of who share a parent company in Juvenescence, who is also the largest shareholder in each.
AgeX’s report kicks off with three important research highlights:
- AgeX entered into a sponsored research agreement with The Ohio State University using AgeX’s brown adipocyte tissue (BAT) proprietary cell therapy candidate AgeX-BAT1 in mice to determine whether transplantation of AgeX-BAT1 cells may improve diet-induced obesity, metabolic health and cardiac function. BAT, or brown fat, is associated in humans with obesity, type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease;
- AgeX and ImStem Biotechnology, a biopharmaceutical company developing embryonic stem cell (ESC) derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) entered into a non-exclusive, royalty-bearing sub-licence for the use of AgeX’s clinical-grade ESC line ESI-053 to derive ImStem’s investigational MSC product candidate IMS001 for development in COVID-19 as well as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) from other causes.
Emerging preclinical and clinical data support the potential of MSCs to be useful in COVID-19 and ARDS from other causes. ImStem’s MSC product candidate IMS001 is derived from AgeX’s stem cell line ESI-053, and in March 2020, IMS001 gained FDA IND clearance to begin a human study in multiple sclerosis. Under the agreement, AgeX will be entitled to receive revenues in the form of royalties on the sale of IMS001, if successfully developed by ImStem;
- AgeX announced in March the online publication of data relating to regeneration, aging and cancer in bioRxiv. Although not yet peer-reviewed, the paper, titled “Differential Expression of α, β, and γ Protocadherin Isoforms During Differentiation, Aging, and Cancer”, presents for the first time data relating to mechanisms cells may use in the process of regeneration. The paper discloses alterations in certain genes that may prevent regeneration from occurring in adult humans and also provides evidence that the family of genes may be involved in a wide array of human cancers.
“We believe these results have significant importance for researchers working not only in the field of aging research, but the field of cancer research as well,” said Michael D West, PhD, CEO of AgeX.
“As a result, we published this data as a non-peer reviewed preprint to accelerate the timeline during which other scientists can see and test the results in their own laboratories. We plan to implement the findings in our induced Tissue Regeneration (iTR) program, and as a result, have filed a series of relevant patent applications. We plan to publish the results at a later time in a peer-reviewed format .”
AgeX’s balance sheet headline data is that cash, and cash equivalents, and restricted cash totalled $0.6 million as of 31 December 2020, as compared with $2.5 million as of 31 December 2019. Since 1 January, AgeX had cash proceeds of approximately $3.2 million through loans from Juvenescence, sales of shares of AgeX common stock, and the disposition of its subsidiary LifeMap Sciences, Inc. through a cash-out merger .
Total revenues for the fourth quarter of 2020 were $0.5 million. Total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2020 were $1.9 million, as compared with $1.7 million in the same period in 2019. AgeX revenue was primarily generated by its subsidiary LifeMap Sciences, Inc. Revenues for the year ended December 31, 2020 also included approximately $0.3 million of allowable expenses under a research grant from the NIH as compared with $0.2 million in the same period in 2019 .
Image courtesy of national-cancer-institute / Unsplash and AgeX Therapeutics