Unity Biotechnology senolytic drug UBX1325

UNITY is a biotech company working on the removal of senescent cells, which accumulate with age, drive chronic inflammation, and spur various age-related diseases.

Founded by Drs. Jan van Deursen, Judith Campisi, Nathaniel David, and Daohong Zhou, the company has been developing senolytic therapies that can purge senescent cells from the body without harming healthy cells. The idea is that removing these problem cells could help us to maintain health and remain free of disease as we grow older.

UNITY drug candidate UBX1325 targets specific members of the Bcl-2 family of apoptosis regulatory proteins which some senescent cells use to evade destruction and remain alive.

UBX1325 is being evaluated for the potential treatment of age-related diseases of the eye, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic macular edema (DME), and proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

In July 2021 UNITY issued a press release announcing the 8-week preliminary results of a phase 1 study of UBX1325 in patients with DME and wet AMD. Although a safety study, the results showed that along with being safe, vision and structure also improved. In October 2021, the 12-week results showed sustained improvements in vision & structure. Further results released in November 2021 showed that after 24 weeks DME patients had gained almost 10 ETDRS letters in best corrected visual acuity.

A phase 2a study has launched in DME, with results expected in mid 2022, and further wet AMD patients are being enrolled in the phase 1 study to support a phase 2 study scheduled to start in the first half of 2022, with 16-week safety and efficacy data expected by the end of 2022.

Website: UNITY Biotechnology

Phase 2a study in DME

March 27, 2023 The ENVISION study, which looked at a new treatment (UBX1325) for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a vision problem, in patients who weren’t getting better with their current treatment. For 6 months, UBX1325 generally kept their vision stable, and most didn’t need any additional help. However, when compared to another treatment (aflibercept), UBX1325 didn’t show enough improvement to be considered as effective. Despite this, UBX1325 seems to help treat AMD, and more studies will be done to better understand its potential.