SIWA Therapeutics is one of a number of companies that have been around for some years, working away at the problem of senescent cells and their contribution to age-related disease at a slow pace. It is probably the case that some of these initiatives will raise new funding and be invigorated as a result of Oisin Biotechnologies and UNITY Biotechnology entering this area, as well as the recent research results showing life extension and other benefits in mice as a result of senescent cell clearance. The principals at SIWA, however, are in this release emphasizing cancer treatment rather than rejuvenation or slowing the pace of aging. This makes sense from a business perspective if you consider where most of the money is in medical research and development. Aging research has always been the poor cousin in comparison to the better established institutions. While effective treatments for aging will be massively more lucrative than effective treatments for cancer, as the target market is pretty much every individual over the age of 30, it requires investment to build those treatments. That is easier to obtain if cancer is involved.
SIWA Therapeutics today reports results of its recent in vivo preclinical study which showed that its monoclonal antibody for removing senescent cells, SIWA 318, significantly inhibited tumor metastasis. Importantly, there were no observable adverse effects from the treatment and no increase in tumor growth over the control group. "These results suggest that the removal of senescent cells may become a therapeutic approach against metastatic cancers. Based on data we and the rest of the scientific community have generated over the last several years, the evidence is clearly mounting that senescent cells are causally implicated in the manifestation and progression of many diseases including cancer metastasis."
The study was done in a BALBc 4T1 metastatic breast cancer mouse model. Mice were grouped to receive 5 ug/g, 10 ug/g, or saline injections two times daily for three weeks. A fourth group received no treatment. At 23 days, when the study ended, the 10ug/g group showed 30% fewer metastatic lung foci compared to the control. The new data are consistent with earlier results in which we showed that SIWA 318 significantly increased muscle mass in normally aged CD-1 mice as well as significantly reducing the level of p16INK4a expression, a validated biomarker of senescent cells. Based on the results SIWA has generated to date, the company is optimizing a humanized form of SIWA 318, and planning additional preclinical studies.