Using research pioneered by Dr. Patrick de Keizer, Cleara Biotech is developing a senolytic peptide called FOXO4-DRI, which does not harm healthy cells . The peptide’s mechanism of action is to interfere with the interactions between FOXO4 and p53.
p53 is a protein that is critical in tumor suppression, damage sensing, and senescence. The protein can also cause apoptosis (cellular suicide), and in senescent cells, FOXO4 communicates with p53 to prevent this. Interfering with this interaction, therefore, allows p53 to cause senescent cells to enter apoptosis.
The company is working on discovering indications and optimizations of this peptide, choosing the conditions that can be most readily treated through senolytics. One part of its research involves using the peptide to treat at least one chronic condition, such as COPD, osteoarthritis, or kidney disease. Another part involves using this senolytic to treat a rare, life-threatening disease for which other treatments may not be readily available.
The company also believes that this peptide may be effective against certain types of cancer, and it intends to develop a therapy against primary tumors that are resistant to other forms of treatment.
Cleara is also conducting further research into senolytics in order to develop more effective methods of clearing these harmful cells.
 Baar, M. P., Brandt, R. M., Putavet, D. A., Klein, J. D., Derks, K. W., Bourgeois, B. R., … & van der Pluijm, I. (2017). Targeted apoptosis of senescent cells restores tissue homeostasis in response to chemotoxicity and aging. Cell, 169(1), 132-147.