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Silicon Valley is waking up to Longevity and senolytics

Silicon Valley’s Rubedo Life Sciences closes $12m seed round for proprietary drug discovery platform that targets senolytics.

Following-on from BioAge’s funding announcement, another biotech start-up has secured financing to progress the development of drugs that target the body’s aging processes. It appears that Silicon Valley is waking up to Longevity and senolytics.

Led by Khosla Ventures, Rubedo Life Sciences announced yesterday that it has closed a healthy $12m seed round.

Longevity.Technology: Along with $90m for BioAge led by Andreessen Horowitz and entrepreneur Elad Gil, and $15m for Elevian, there are strong indications that Silicon Valley investors are taking notice of Longevity.

Rubedo’s round included participation from Longevity Fund, Refactor Capital, AGE1 and Shanda, as well as additional investors.

Conditions and diseases associated with aging, such as dementia, cardiovascular disease and frailty, place a huge burden on healthcare, as well as negatively impacting lifespan and healthspan. Combating aging systematically by targeting senescence makes great Longevity sense, but drug development isn’t a fast process, or one that guarantees a win. Hopefully, Rubedo can progress their INDs through the pipeline to success.

Rubedo’s pipeline. Image credit: Rubedo Life Sciences, inc

Founded in 2018 by Julian Klein, Marco Quarta and Mark Gallop, the Silicon Valley start-up is developing therapies that selectively target and clear senescent cells from aged or pathological tissues. Senescent cells are cells that “forget” to die at the end of their lifespan, but remain metabolically active even though they have stopped replicating and growing.

Senescence is currently irreversible and senescent cells release cytokines and other toxins into the bloodstream, driving chronic inflammation, which plays a key role in disease progression, in fibrotic diseases such as IPF and tumour progression in cancer.

Rubedo’s proprietary ALEMBIC™ drug discovery platform, has generated a novel pipeline of therapeutic small molecule candidates that selectively target senescent cells, pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrotic cell populations that result from a variety of cellular stress and damage.

 


 

“This significant influx of financing will allow us to advance development of our pipeline, as we move our lead products toward clinical development …”

 


 

The funding will be used to advance Rubedo’s lead candidates in respiratory diseases with a significant unmet medical need, such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In addition, Rubedo hope to advance preclinical candidates in oncology, followed by neurodegenerative conditions, skeletal muscle disorders and other age-related diseases. The company plans to advance several compounds into an investigational new drug (IND)-enabling studies in pulmonary diseases in 2021.

“We’re delighted to attract such a strong group of investors, led by Khosla Ventures. This significant influx of financing will allow us to advance development of our pipeline, as we move our lead products toward clinical development,” said Marco Quarta, CEO & Co-Founder of Rubedo Life Sciences.

“Rubedo has made remarkable progress and this seed investment will accelerate development of their clinical pipeline,” said Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures. “Rubedo brings a skilled team and unique approach to developing innovative new therapies for chronic age-related diseases, and we are excited to build on this momentum.”

“We are impressed by the science, exceptional team, and the rate of progress at Rubedo under Marco’s leadership,” said Laura Deming, Managing Partner, Longevity Fund. “Our mission is to invest in world-class entrepreneurs developing therapeutic breakthroughs for age-related diseases and we’re incredibly excited to see Rubedo’s potential breakthrough treatments targeting fundamental processes in aging.”

Hungry for biotech? Check out our exclusive interview with Dr Kristen Fortney, co-founder and CEO of BioAge.

Image credit: Julian Prizont-Cado / Shutterstock.com

Eleanor Garth
Deputy Editor Now a science and medicine journalist, Eleanor worked as a consultant for university spin-out companies and provided research support at Imperial College London and various London hospitals in a former life.
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