ALAMEDA, Calif. & DOUGLAS, Isle of Man--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
- Paper published in peer-reviewed journal Regenerative Medicine
- UniverCyteTM platform aims to utilize proprietary, novel, modified form of immunomodulatory molecule HLA-G to generate universal allogeneic cells to enable off-the-shelf therapeutics without the need for immunosuppressants
- Previously unpublished in vivo observation signals that UniverCyte-modified allogeneic cells may be potentially hypoimmunogenic in humanized mouse model
- Co-authors are Drs. Nafees Malik and Gregory Bailey of AgeX and Juvenescence, Dr. Annalisa Jenkins of AgeX, and Jim Mellon, Chairman of Juvenescence
AgeX Therapeutics, Inc. (“AgeX”; NYSE American: AGE), a biotechnology company developing therapeutics for human aging and regeneration, and Juvenescence, a life sciences company developing therapeutics and technologies to treat diseases of aging and to increase human longevity, announce the publication of a new paper in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Regenerative Medicine. The paper is on the engineering of allogeneic cells to be hypoimmunogenic (universal), so as not to produce an immune response. The strategies reviewed in the paper include deletion of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class Ia/II proteins, expression of HLA class Ib molecules, and manipulation of immune checkpoints.
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In addition, the paper presents a previously unpublished in vivo observation on allogeneic human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) modified with AgeX’s proprietary immunotolerance technology, UniverCyteTM. In humanized mice (those with a functional human immune system), UniverCyte-positive hPSCs formed larger and heavier tissue compared to controls. This observation provides support for the premise that UniverCyte-expressing tissue was potentially hypoimmunogenic and might have escaped recognition by a functional human immune system and continued to grow. Further work is required to substantiate this preliminary in vivo finding.
“Hypoimmunogenic allogeneic cells are the Holy Grail in regenerative medicine, and a number of accomplished researchers have made great strides toward engineering them over the last few years,” commented Dr. Nafees Malik, Chief Operating Officer at AgeX, Head of Cell & Gene Therapy at Juvenescence (a major investor in AgeX), and lead author on the paper. “This is a huge area of focus for us at AgeX, via our UniverCyte technology platform. In support of our own research and as a service to the overall field, we decided to put together this paper, analyzing all the leading strategies to engineer universal cells and encapsulating them in one paper.”
Dr. Malik’s co-authors on the paper are Gregory Bailey, MD, Chairman of the Board of Directors of AgeX and CEO of Juvenescence; Annalisa Jenkins, MBBS, FRCP, who serves on the Board of Directors of AgeX; and Jim Mellon, Chairman of Juvenescence.
Mr. Mellon added, “AgeX’s UniverCyte technology platform will not only be important to the company in developing in-house therapies, it may also be transformative for the wider cell therapy industry via collaborations and licensing deals. It is quite conceivable that in the near future, allogeneic cell therapies may potentially need to be universal to be clinically and commercially competitive.”
AgeX is developing its UniverCyte technology platform at its new 15,700-square-feet R&D facility, in the San Francisco Bay Area, which has current good manufacturing practices (cGMP)-capable manufacturing capacity.
“Universal cells would help us and others to fulfill the original vision of cell therapy,” said Dr. Bailey. “Thus, I am pleased that my colleagues at AgeX and Juvenescence have put together this paper, as it should be of considerable benefit to researchers, possibly enabling them to accelerate their progress.” He added, “AgeX’s UniverCyte technology uses a novel, modified form of the tolerogenic molecule HLA-G, which in nature plays a key role in preventing a mother from rejecting her semi-allogeneic baby.”
The paper is being published online ahead of print on Wednesday, October 30, 2019. It may be found here.
About AgeX Therapeutics
AgeX Therapeutics, Inc. (NYSE American: AGE) is focused on developing and commercializing innovative therapeutics for human aging. Its PureStem® and UniverCyte™ manufacturing and immunotolerance technologies are designed to work together to generate highly-defined, universal, allogeneic, off-the-shelf pluripotent stem cell-derived young cells of any type for application in a whole host of diseases with a high unmet medical need. AgeX has two preclinical cell therapy programs: AGEX-VASC1 (vascular progenitor cells) for tissue ischemia and AGEX-BAT1 (brown fat cells) for Type II diabetes. AgeX’s revolutionary longevity platform named induced Tissue Regeneration (iTR™) aims to unlock cellular immortality and regenerative capacity to reverse age-related changes within tissues. AGEX-iTR1547 is an iTR-based formulation in preclinical development. HyStem® is AgeX’s delivery technology to stably engraft PureStem cell therapies and slowly release iTR molecules in the body. AgeX is developing its core product pipeline for use in the clinic to extend human healthspan and is seeking opportunities to form licensing and partnership agreements around its broad IP estate and proprietary technology platforms for non-core clinical applications.
Juvenescence is a life sciences company developing therapies to increase healthy human longevity. It was founded by Jim Mellon, Dr. Greg Bailey and Dr. Declan Doogan. The Juvenescence team are highly experienced drug developers, entrepreneurs and investors with a significant history of success in the life sciences sector. Juvenescence will create, partner with or invest in new companies with longevity-related therapeutics, by in-licensing compounds from academia and industry, or forming joint ventures to develop therapeutics for longevity. Juvenescence believes that recent advances in science have greatly improved our understanding of the biology of aging and seeks to develop therapeutics with the possibility of slowing, halting or potentially reversing elements of aging.
Certain statements contained in this release are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements that are not historical fact including, but not limited to statements that contain words such as “will,” “believes,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “estimates” should also be considered forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements and as such should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect the business of AgeX Therapeutics, Inc. and its subsidiaries, particularly those mentioned in the cautionary statements found in more detail in AgeX’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commissions (copies of which may be obtained at www.sec.gov). Subsequent events and developments may cause these forward-looking statements to change. AgeX specifically disclaims any obligation or intention to update or revise these forward-looking statements as a result of changed events or circumstances that occur after the date of this release, except as required by applicable law.