Findings are expected to inform portfolio company’s innovative approach to Regenerative Medicine
DOUGLAS, Isle of Man-Monday 31 January 2022 [ AETOS Wire ]
(BUSINESS WIRE) -- Morphoceuticals Inc., a portfolio company of Juvenescence Ltd., hailed the results of a long-term study published by its founders in Science Advances showing the successful regeneration of limbs in Xenopus laevis (African clawed frog). This is the first demonstration of functional limb regeneration in a species that does not show spontaneous regeneration of complex limbs in adulthood. Approximately 185,000 amputations, the surgical removal of a limb, are performed in the United States each year and it is expected that nearly 3.6 million people will be living with the loss of an arm or a leg by 2050. (Amputee Coalition)
Work conducted at the academic labs of Michael Levin, Vannevar Bush Professor of Biology at Tufts University and David Kaplan, Stern Family Professor of Engineering at Tufts, the co-founders of Morphoceuticals Inc., demonstrated the regrowth, marked tissue repatterning, and functional restoration of an X. laevis hindlimb following a brief, 24-hour exposure to a novel multidrug, pro-regenerative treatment delivered by a wearable bioreactor. Regenerated tissues composed of new skin, bone, vasculature, and nerves significantly exceeded the complexity and sensorimotor capacities of the study’s controls.
Levin stated that “Organisms such as X. laevis, whose limited regenerative capacities in adulthood mirror some of the key limitations of humans, are important models with which to test interventions and discover triggers that could restore both form and function”. Kaplan added “These data demonstrate our ability to successfully ’kickstart’ endogenous regenerative pathways in vertebrates; however, translation of these findings to mammals remains to be demonstrated as a next key step in this process.”
Greg Bailey, MD, the CEO of Juvenescence Ltd., the seed investor of Morphocueticals, noted, “Drs. Levin and Kaplan are pioneering new approaches to enable the regeneration of functioning limbs, tissues, and organs. These findings herald the first application of a new set of tools that will be further developed by Morphoceuticals and will allow us to explore new approaches to regenerative treatment in ways that are truly unique.” He added that, “The potential applications are aimed at one day helping patients overcome the burden of loss of organs and limbs in ways that traditional medicine cannot, and that was why Juvenescence invested and continues to be so supportive of Morphoceuticals’ scientific platform.”
Alex Pickett, Managing Director and Head of Business Development at Juvenescence and a Director of Morphoceuticals, Inc. remarked, “The long-term regenerative effects of a short exposure to a multi-drug cocktail suggest that Drs. Levin and Kaplan have been able to trigger a developmental subroutine that can be repurposed for regenerative medicine. Juvenescence is excited for Morphoceuticals to continue developing a better understanding of how bioelectric patterning contributes to development and regeneration.”
Murugan et al., Sci. Adv. 8, eabj2164 (2022) 28 January 2022
About Morphoceuticals Inc.
Based in Massachusetts, Morphoceuticals Inc. is a biotechnology company co-founded by Drs. Levin and Kaplan and funded by Juvenescence Ltd. Morphoceuticals is pioneering bioelectric approaches to access anatomical programming that is a core component of our biological operating system. Using proprietary combinations of ion channel and gap junction modulators, we are focused on inducing limb regeneration, improving amputation stump health, promoting organ regeneration, and the treatment of channelopathies. For more information see: www.Morphoceuticals.com
About Juvenescence Ltd.
Juvenescence Ltd. is a life sciences company developing therapies to modify aging and increase healthy human lifespan. It was founded by Jim Mellon, Dr. Greg Bailey and Dr. Declan Doogan. The Juvenescence team consists of highly experienced drug developers, entrepreneurs, marketers and investors with a significant history of success in the pharmaceutical and consumer health sectors. The company is committed to inspiring and equipping the world to not just reimagine what it means to get older but to help people reimagine their lifetime.
Juvenescence has a broad portfolio of products in development and is driving innovation amongst four divisions: JuvRx— Focused on traditional prescription medicines to modify aging and prevent diseases; JuvLife— Consumer products that manage aging and help increase health span; JuvDataScience— Rapidly improving the development of new drugs, artificial intelligence and machine learning to drive incredible efficiency and effectiveness in drug development; and JuvRegeneration— Positioned at the frontier of cell and tissue regeneration, to address the ravages of age and disease that require new cells and tissues to be regenerated. For more information: https://www.juvlabs.com
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Jacqueline Jeha, MPH