AgeX Therapeutics, Inc. is a biotechnology company formed in 2017 as a subsidiary of BioTime, Inc (NYSE MKT: BTX). Its mission is to apply technology related to cell immortality and pluripotency to human aging and age-related disease. The Company’s technology platform has three facets: Pluripotent stem cell-derived progenitor cell lines representing over 200 types of cells in the body (PureStem technology); HyStem matrices; and induced tissue regeneration (iTR) – the latter being an emerging technology directed at inducing the immortal regeneration of tissues in the body.
In August, they raised $10 million for Agex.
Through BioTime, AgeX has license to a large consolidated technology and patent estate including the technologies Dr. West invented at Geron and his subsequent companies. AgeX is leading off with cell-based regenerative therapeutics for significant unmet needs in age-related disease such as Type II diabetes (using its manufactured brown adipocyte product (AGEX-BAT1)), and ischemic disease (using its young vascular progenitor cell product (AGEX-VASC1)). In addition, it will also be advancing products based on an entirely new technology platform aimed at the central molecular processes of aging itself designated “induced Tissue Regeneration (iTR)” AgeX scientists believe that the combination of telomerase therapy and iTR may unlock the potential of immortal tissue regeneration in humans. Model organisms that display immortal tissue regeneration show no evidence of aging.
The combination of pluripotent stem cell and iTR technology may provide AgeX with a highly differentiated and valuable platform to address large markets associated with chronic degenerative age-related disease.
INDUCED TISSUE REGENERATION (ITR)
Some naturally-occurring animals such as the Mexican salamander can profoundly regenerate damaged tissues. Humans also have this potential, but only in the first weeks of development. Using advanced molecular and artificial intelligence technologies, we have identified pathways we believe may provide means of unlocking this profound biology in human medicine. The pathways suggest that they may also be integral to the biology of aging and cancer as well. Patents relating to this emerging technology called induced Tissue Regeneration (iTR), have been filed and animal studies are currently underway. iTR was the subject of a recent conference presentation from AgeX CEO Dr. Michael West.
AGE-RELATED METABOLIC DISORDERS (AGEX-BAT1)
By the year 2050, it is estimated that 1:3 Americans will have adult-onset (Type II) diabetes, with as many as 1:2 having pre-diabetes. We are addressing this large market opportunity with a product based on brown adipocytes, a type of cell only recently recognized in humans by medical researchers. It has been reported that these important cells are present in abundance in young people but dramatically lost during aging. It is believed that the loss of these cells that burn circulating fat and sugar to generate heat, can lead to central obesity and insulin insensitivity with age. AGEX-BAT1 is a product under development to restore young and healthy brown adipose tissue (BAT) to reverse age-related metabolic imbalance.
CARDIOVASCULAR REGENERATION (AGEX-VASC1)
Using our proprietary PureStem technology, we have successfully isolated over 200 diverse, purified, and industrially-scalable cellular components of the human body. One of these potential products with disproportionately large market potential are young progenitors to the human vascular system. The aging of the cardiovascular system is the number one cause of mortality in the U.S. and many countries around the world. We believe our off-the-shelf young vascular progenitors have a unique regenerative characteristic that give them the potential to provide a significant advance in the treatment of age-related cardiovascular disease, soon to be associated with over $1T in health care costs in the United States alone according to the American Heart Association.