Juvena Therapeutics is a company that is developing protein-based interventions that are derived from stem cell secretions. One of the main benefits of some stem cell therapies isn’t caused by the stem cells proliferating and filling a niche; rather, it’s caused by the proteins and exosomes that these cells excrete into the bloodstream. These signaling proteins cause the cells around them to behave in more youthful ways.
Recent studies suggest that very few of these proteins are required to kick-start the process of tissue rejuvenation, and Juvena is working out which ones they are. The company intends to conduct animal and human trials of each of these proteins and then mass-produce them as therapies for regenerating tissues and organs.
The company’s first target is sarcopenia, which is the loss of muscle tissue with age that leads to frailty and seniors becoming unable to care for themselves. Juvena is also looking at using its approach as a way to help people heal from traumatic injuries, particularly older people, whose natural healing abilities are reduced.
Its drug discovery platform, JuvNET, is a preclinical development machine learning platform built to conduct high-throughput screening and identify the regenerative signaling proteins that can rejuvenate multiple types of tissues.
At Ending Age-Related Diseases 2020, Dr. Hanadie Yousef explained Juvena Therapeutics’ approach to the secretome and how her company intends to use stem cell secretions as a basis for future therapies.