Cleara Biotech B.V. ("Cleara"), a Netherlands-based biopharmaceutical company, announced today the creation of three public-private partnerships to discover and develop new therapeutics. Cleara has partnered with Dr. Peter de Keizer from the University Medical Center in Utrecht, Dr. Marco Demaria from the University Medical Center in Groningen, and Dr. Tobias Madl from the Medical University of Graz to engage in its discovery operations. Cleara's initial funding was led by founding investor Apollo Ventures, a life sciences venture capital firm and company builder working across Europe and North America.
Cleara is a preclinical R&D company engaged in the creation of therapeutics targeting the unique biology of senescent cells to treat age-related pathologies and therapy-resistant cancer. Senescent cells are rare cells that accumulate in our bodies as we age and contribute to the aging process. Removing these cells has been shown to reverse signs of aging including muscle and hair loss, cancer development, energy levels, and even increase healthy lifespan of mice.
Cellular senescence is a remarkably new field of study, and some of the world's top senescent cell researchers have come together in Cleara to translate their scientific work on mice into human therapeutics. "These partnerships of top-notch academic institutions with drug development efforts will allow us to accelerate clinical development of our lead programs and provides an opportunity to treat multiple diseases by eliminating a patient's senescent cells," said Dr. de Keizer.
"Senescent cells contribute to many different diseases of aging: muscle loss, kidney disease, heart disease, and even cancers," said Dr. Demaria. "That's why mice live longer and healthier when we eliminate their senescent cells, they stop dying of the diseases that they would otherwise suffer from." The laboratories of de Keizer, Madl and Demaria received worldwide attention with results showing senescent cells are a source for therapy resistance in cancer and the development of the prospectively designed FOXO4-based anti-senescence drugs, which can effectively target signs of aging in mice. "We are excited to team-up within Cleara as this is a natural evolution of our aim to benefit mankind from the successes from years of fundamental research running in our academic labs."
"Cleara scientists are the world leaders in advancing our understanding of the basic biology of senescent cells, and we have used that understanding to create the most potent and selective anti-senescence molecules yet discovered," said Dr. James Peyer, Managing Partner of Apollo Ventures. "We are incredibly excited to advance the work at Cleara and our great institutional collaborators. Senescent cell elimination represents one of the most promising targets today in our fight against the diseases of aging."