SIWA Therapeutics Obtains Funding to Continue with an Immunotherapy Approach to Clearance of Senescent Cells

SIWA Therapeutics is one of the older companies in the field of cellular senescence, among the small number of ventures that made an attempt to target senescent cells for destruction a decade ago and didn't really get all that far before funding ran out. Times have changed, however, and these groups have now been invigorated by progress in the science of cellular senescence and demonstrations of turning back aging and age-related disease in animal studies. One of these older ventures transformed into Unity Biotechnology, and Unity's success in raising a very large amount of venture funding has made it that much easier for everyone else with a credible approach to find backers. Between the established groups and newer ventures like Oisin Biotechnologies a wide range of potential approaches to senescent cell destruction are covered. It remains to be seen how well they all do on the later stages of the path to the clinic.

SIWA Therapeutics announced that it has successfully humanized its SIWA 318 monoclonal antibody, a significant milestone in the race to treat cancer and numerous other diseases by removing senescent cells, which become increasingly problematic as humans age. Senescent cells lose their ability to divide or replicate for a variety of reasons and also secrete chemicals which interfere with the normal functions of other cells as well as contribute to inflammation. When too many senescent cells accumulate, they can cause or exacerbate a variety of age-related and degenerative diseases.

In previous research in mice, SIWA 318 has targeted and successfully removed senescent cells, and it also increased muscle mass. Other testing showed that mice treated with SIWA 318 had fewer metastatic lung cancer occurrences as well as possible suppression of tumor growth. No adverse effects were observed from the antibody treatment in either study. The humanized form of SIWA 318 has demonstrated strong and significant binding to senescent cells in preclinical studies, critical to accurately targeting and removing them. SIWA Therapeutics just completed a new round of funding and is planning to submit an IND to the FDA, with the ultimate goal of conducting the first human clinical trials for senescent cell removal. Based on initial results, the primary focus likely will be pancreatic cancer metastasis.

"With SIWA 318 now available in humanized form, we have moved closer to determining if removing senescent cells could become a common therapeutic approach in the fight against metastatic cancers. Based on data that we and others in the scientific community have generated over the last few years, evidence is clearly mounting that many diseases, including cancer metastasis, will be treatable through senescent cell removal."



What is so tedious about this is that they are still targeting things like 'pancreatic cancer metastasis', for which even successful senescent cell removal will have limited impact (unless this antibody targets not only precancerous but also cancerous cells) - when we know the real strength of senescent cell clearance is in cancer prevention (as well as prevention of other diseases of aging).

Posted by: Mark at May 22nd, 2017 9:15 AM

Dusting off their research from a decade ago.
Trying something new is too much of a financial risk I guess.

It's a shame these people get money. But investors expect a return. Understandable but a shame nonetheless.

Posted by: Anonymoose at May 22nd, 2017 10:40 AM

@Anonymoose: If it works, it works. Age of discovery isn't much of an obstacle.

Posted by: Reason at May 22nd, 2017 12:31 PM

I'm sure it will work within their specifications.
But in general I'm not too enthusiastic when it comes to cancer drugs and mice.

Posted by: Anonymoose at May 22nd, 2017 3:25 PM

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