Yet another important investment in the field of regenerative medicine against aging demonstrates the increasing interest of investors in this industry; on August 2, BioTime, Inc. announced that Juvenescence Limited will buy 14.4 million of its subsidiary AgeX Therapeutics‘ shares for a total of $43.2 million—50% to be paid in cash and 50% with a redeemable note.
The Juvenescence team members have expressed their enthusiasm to work with BioTime and AgeX, which they rightfully defined as “trail blazers in regenerative medicine.” In the official press release, Juvenescence CEO Greg Bailey has declared that they “look forward to developing and bringing products to the patients as novel treatments to potentially offset some of the maladies of getting old.” BioTime has similarly declared to be “thrilled” to work with Juvenescence’s “seasoned team of experts.”
Hopefully, the deal will be a step forward in the fight against age-related diseases and will also provide benefits to involved shareholders—higher financial gains from the rejuvenation industry are likely to attract the interest of even more investors, thereby fueling a virtuous cycle to kickstart the industry, stimulate competition, and accelerate the development of effective and affordable treatments against aging.
AgeX Therapeutics, Inc. is one of the companies leading the charge against age-related diseases. A subsidiary of BioTime, Inc., AgeX Therapeutics is run by veterans of the regenerative medicine and rejuvenation fields, such as Dr. Michael D. West and Dr. Aubrey de Grey. Dr. West, a leading expert on human stem cell technologies, has served as CEO and Chief Scientific Officer of several therapeutics companies, and was founder, officer, and board member of Geron Corporation; he’s currently AgeX’s CEO. Dr. Aubrey de Grey, Vice President of AgeX’s New Technology Discovery, is better known as the original proponent of the repair approach to aging and the co-founder of SENS Research Foundation.
AgeX’s mission is to address several age-related pathologies through its proprietary technology platform related to telomerase-mediated cellular immortality and regenerative biology. Two therapies derived from AgeX’s technology, intended for the correction of aging-related metabolic imbalances and the restoration of vascular support in tissues affected by ischemia, are currently in the preclinical development phase.
BioTime is a clinical-stage biotech company with a broader focus on degenerative diseases. BioTime’s technologies rely on cell replacement and cell/drug delivery; the company has been running several clinical trials, including Phase I/IIa trials for the treatment of dry, age-related macular degeneration.
Juvenescence Limited focuses on developing therapeutics to extend healthy human lifespan. The company is run by experts in drug development and commercialization as well as seasoned investors such as Jim Mellon, also co-author of the book Juvenescence. The company’s approach to drug discovery relies heavily on machine and deep learning; besides owning two AI engines tailored for this purpose, NetraPharma and Juvenescence.AI, the company partly owns Insilico Medicine, the leading AI-based drug discovery and biomarker development company led by CEO Dr. Alex Zhavoronkov.
In a relatively short timespan, Juvenescence has helped create a promising pipeline of several interventions with the potential to ameliorate aging, and it has signed other, similar deals for millions of dollars, such as one with Ichor Therapeutics‘ Antoxerene, which was announced at the LEAF-hosted conference Ending Age-Related Diseases.