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Aging Therapy Network Adds $100M to Venture Round

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(congerdesign, Pixabay)

19 Aug. 2019. An enterprise supporting a group of companies developing new drugs to address the aging process raised another $100 million in its second venture funding round. Juvenescence Ltd, a company starting-up, acquiring, or investing in 10 other businesses creating therapies for age-related diseases or technology platforms supporting new treatments, says it now gained $146 million since the funding round first opened.

Juvenescence, based on the Isle of Man in the U.K., is a two year-old company that works through its pipeline businesses to create new treatments for disorders resulting from the aging process. The goal, says Juvenescence, is to treat aging as a chronic disease and develop treatments for common pathways associated with disorders such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. The company says its affiliated businesses address underlying conditions contributing to the aging process, as well as diseases that occur most often when people age, such as neurodegenerative disorders, with 12 new treatments in development.

Juvenescence collaborates with academic labs and research institutes to identify and license technologies for further development. In August 2018, for example, Juvenescence formed the company Napa Therapeutics to create treatments based on research at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, in Novato, California. The new enterprise is building on the work of the Buck Institute’s president Eric Verdin on metabolism of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide or NAD compounds found across a wide range of human cells and associated with neurodegenerative disorders and cancers.

One of the first investments by Juvenescence in July 2017 was Insilico Medicine in Baltimore that applies artificial intelligence to drug discovery and research on the aging process. Insilico identifies leads for new treatments from analyzing voluminous genomic, protein, and text databases with artificial intelligence or A.I. algorithms. The company’s main A.I. technology uses deep learning, a form of machine learning that makes it possible to discern underlying patterns in relationships, and build those relationships into knowledge bases applied to a number of disciplines. Insilico offers as well a public online engine called aging.ai that analyzes demographic characteristics and 19 to 41 biomarkers from blood samples.

The new funding includes $10 million each from its three founders and main outside investors Grok Ventures and IPGL. The company opened its second venture round known as Series B in January 2019, raising $46 million.

Greg Bailey, a founder and CEO of Juvenescence, says in a company statement, “We have been able to add extraordinary people to the Juvenescence team who will bring our age modifying therapeutics to market. We have also augmented our team working on using machine learning for drug discovery and for drug development: culminating with closing on this $100 Million Series B financing which provides us with sufficient working capital to progress many of our programs to their initial inflection points”.

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