Following on the heels of the formation of Altos Labs, NewLimit is another well capitalized project focusing on in vivo reprogramming as a path to rejuvenation therapies. Given the sizable funding involved, it seems that reprogramming will be quite extensively explored in the decade ahead. Most of the questions we have now will likely be answered: can the risk of cancer be managed; how will reprogramming be conducted safely and efficiently in tissues consisting of different cell types with different reactions to the Yamanaka factors; will rejuvenation be largely limited to mitochondrial function, or will other sizable changes emerge as a result of resetting epigenetic marks; and so forth. I don't think that there is any expectation that reprogramming will do well with metabolic waste, and localized excesses of metabolic waste are a major component of degenerative aging. But we shall see.
NewLimit will start by deeply interrogating epigenetic drivers of aging and developing products that can regenerate tissues to treat specific patient populations. We will start by using primary human cells and reference species to develop machine learning models on what chromatid features change with age, which of these changes may be causal to the aging process, and finally develop therapies that could slow, halt, or reverse this process.
You can take a skin cell from an old mouse and clonally turn it into a newborn mouse with an entire life ahead of it. Remarkably, to accomplish this magic, you only treat the cells with four types of proteins. In a system as complex as mammalian biology, with billions of DNA base pairs and tens of thousands of proteins, all it takes is dosing four proteins for a couple weeks to completely change what the cell "is". NewLimit plans to initially focus on this mechanism: epigenetic reprogramming. Put simply, we want to figure out a way to restore the regenerative potential we all had when we were younger, but somehow lost.
We've raised $105 million initially from the founders to help get the company off the ground, with additional funding available upon reasonable progress. We expect capital will not be the limiting factor for the next few years. We may raise external funding as well down the road.