Belgium biotech secures €3.2m Series A to advance the development of healthy aging products.
Rejuvenate Biomed, which is based in Antwerp, has announced it has completed a €3.2 million Series A round. The funding is being used to advance the development of Rejuvenate’s lead candidate RJx-01 in both acute and chronic sarcopenia (disuse-induced and age-related muscle failure).
Longevity.Technology: When we spoke to Rejuvenate’s CEO Dr Ann Beliën last year, addressing the challenges of aging was top of their agenda; with a USP of creating synergistic combination products that repurpose existing compounds but also bring an IP angle, with new runway Rejuvenate is going from strength to strength.
In tackling sarcopenia, a devastating and progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength that strictly correlates with physical disability, poor quality of life and death, and for which the key risk factor is age, the company is addressing the need for therapy for this debilitating condition that is an enormous burden on individuals, as well as support systems and healthcare.
The Series A financing included lead investor Vesalius Biocapital III and private non-disclosed investors, as well as existing investors. Additionally, Rejuvenate acknowledges the ongoing support of Flanders Innovation and Entrepreneurship (VLAIO) in non-dilutive funding.
Speaking exclusively to Longevity.Technology, Dr Ann Beliën, PhD, Founder and CEO of Rejuvenate, said: “Increasing people’s healthspan by translating the science behind cell vitality and resilience into human therapeutics is the ultimate goal. This milestone is a major step in this direction and we are thankful for that!”
Concurrent with the closing, the company has bolstered its scientific advisory board, which is now composed of Johan Auwerx, MD, PhD, Eric Verdin, MD, PhD, Marco Sandri, MD, PhD, Bart Braeckman, PhD, Björn Schumacher, PhD, and Andrea Maier, MD, PhD. Furthermore, a clinical advisory board has been established which is led by Jean-Yves Reginster, MD, PhD.
Rejuvenate’s lead candidate RJx-01 is a novel, safe, orally-administered, small molecule combination product being developed for sarcopenia, a debilitating condition defined by loss of muscle strength, quality and mass. The product was derived from an extensive in silico systems biology program, which mapped existing drugs with curated longevity pathways to create innovative, synergistic and highly effective combinations. RJx-01 has demonstrated strong preclinical evidence in multiple models and, with human safety data on hand for the individual compounds, the company plans to move the program into Phase Ib/IIb clinic trials later this year.
“Increasing people’s healthspan by translating the science behind cell vitality and resilience into human therapeutics is the ultimate goal. This milestone is a major step in this direction and we are thankful for that!”
Dr Beliën added: “We are very pleased to welcome our lead investor Vesalius Biocapital III as well as the other new investors and wish to thank our existing shareholders for their continued support. Our team is highly driven to deliver therapeutics with a meaningful impact on the treatment and prevention of multiple age-related diseases by tackling their root causes. Using safe products as building blocks to develop innovative combinations such as RJx-01 has created unique opportunities in this field. Our dream of extending people’s health span is becoming a reality.”
Vesalius Biocapital III is a specialist life sciences venture capital fund which targets later-stage European life science companies in drug development, medtech, diagnostics and digital health. Mr Stéphane Verdood, MBA, MSc, Managing Partner at Vesalius Biocapital III added: “Rejuvenate’s data show the potential for RJx-01 to drive our natural capacity to self-restore our cells. The company has a solid scientific and clinical basis coupled with a management team that is rapidly advancing RJx-01 for sarcopenia, and we are excited to be part of the next stage of the company’s growth.”