Calcification of tissues is one of the mechanisms by which stiffening occurs in the cardiovascular system, leading to a range of increasingly serious downstream consequences. The evidence of recent years suggests that chronic inflammation and the harmful signaling of senescent cells are a major cause of cells in blood vessel walls inappropriately taking on osteoblast-like behavior, depositing calcium into the extracellular matrix as though they are building bone. Among the many other consequences, this process damages the elastin molecules in areas in which it occurs, and the approach taken by biotech startup Elastrin Therapeutics is to use that damage as a target in order to deliver nanoparticles that will remove the calcification. It is an interesting approach.
Elastrin, a biotechnology start-up leveraging a platform technology to develop therapeutics that render calcified tissue and organs supple again, will receive seed funding from Kizoo Technology Capital. It is the latest addition to the growing portfolio of Kizoo, a rejuvenation biotech investor focused on reversing age-related damage on a cellular and molecular level. Elastrin's lead asset is a nanoparticle conjugated with a novel monoclonal antibody to treat heart valve and vascular calcification. The platform targets and restores degraded elastin by removing the harmful calcification that stiffens arteries, improving the efficacy of drugs and eliminating side-effects by combining particle design with elastin targeting.
"Elastin fibers are critical for the homeostasis of tissues around the body, including the skin, vasculature, and pulmonary tissues. As elastin fibers become damaged over time, arterial walls weaken, and the body's physiological response results in aortic wall stiffening, aneurysms, and hypertension." The Elastrin team has developed a platform that can restore vascular health by removing pathological calcification, specifically from sites where elastin has been degraded. This is achieved via targeting albumin nanoparticles loaded with therapeutic agents directly to the tissue site of interest with the company's anti-elastin monoclonal antibody.
"Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death globally, taking an estimated 18 million lives each year. On top of that, everyone above 30 years old is suffering from damage to the cardiovascular system, resulting in severe symptoms one day. Our technology can reverse damage to the arteries and heart and bring the body back to a state before the damage even occurred. This is a true game-changer in the industry and one of the puzzle pieces towards healthy aging. Nobody wants to live forever in an old and sick body, but we do want to live long in a healthy one."