YouthBio Therapeutics is Another New Partial Reprogramming Company

Partial reprogramming of cells to restore youthful epigenetic patterns, and thus gene expression, is becoming quite the popular field of development. Based on results in mice, it is thought that the in vivo application of the Yamanaka factors could be made safe enough to be the basis for practical whole-body rejuvenation therapies. While epigenetic reprogramming can't do much for DNA damage and some of the persistent molecular waste found in old tissues, among other issues, it has been shown to restore lost mitochondrial function. It may ameliorate a range of other issues as well, and could prove to be beneficial enough to justify the present sizable investment into research and development, largely centered on Altos Labs. Funding attracts attention, and many others are joining in, with YouthBio Therapeutics being the latest new biotech company to throw its hat into the ring.

YouthBio Therapeutics, a longevity biotechnology company, has announced today its emergence out of stealth mode. YouthBio focuses on developing gene therapies aimed at epigenetic rejuvenation, particularly with the help of partial reprogramming by Yamanaka factors. The company was founded in early 2021 by Yuri Deigin and Viet Ly who will serve as its CEO and CFO, respectively. Dr. João Pedro de Magalhães will serve as the company's CSO and Dr. Alejandro Ocampo will serve as lead research collaborator.

"I am very optimistic that in the next 10 years science will provide humanity with major breakthroughs that will enable us to add decades of healthy life to people. Partial reprogramming is something I was always excited about as having the potential to be one such therapy. I am thrilled to take its research and development to the next level with the help of amazing colleagues."

"Cellular reprogramming allows us to rejuvenate cells and reset their biological clocks. It is the most important technology available today for developing rejuvenation therapies, although it still needs to be fine-tuned for effective and safe applications. Exploiting cellular reprogramming to develop therapies for age-related diseases is extremely exciting and, if successful, may result in a paradigm shift in medicine."



If somebody doesn't fix cancer, all these companies may as well achieve rejuvenation but not decades of extra life.

Posted by: Barbara T. at April 22nd, 2022 5:30 AM

@Barbara. It's been shown to be the opposite. If you cure cancer, you get maybe an extra 3 or 4 years before something else kills you.

Here is a little catch up that I wrote up today for a youtube comment, because i had nothing better to do. In particular points 8-10.

1. Is there something inside us that describes how to build us? (Mendel)
2. yes there is and this is what it looks like (watson & crick)
3. So can we please get the dna code? (human genome project)
4. Now that we have the code, we can know how disease works, right? (many in the 90s and 00s and 10s)
5. Well having a dna sequence helps for certain few diseases that have just a few mutations, so lets try to fix those by manipulating what is going on (boost a receptor, block a receptor)
6. Hey this immune system is interesting too.
7. Hey we can edit DNA too. this will help with those few diseases that have just an error or two.
8. But the elephant in the room... the big killers (alz, cvd, cancer) have clouds of mutations and they seem to form randomly over a lifetime... How the heck can we fix that?
9. Well... if we stick to our current strategies, we'll examine what happens with each disease and try to reverse or block each step from happening.
10. But now more & more of us realize that if we can prevent the system from losing its order in the first place... that might be a much easier way to prevent or postpone the major killers.
* Epigenetic reprogramming
* senescent cell clearance
* stem cell therapies
* keep autophagy going
* Maybe someday organism wide editing to reverse genetic damage?
* eliminate dormant viruses?

Posted by: Matt at April 22nd, 2022 11:45 AM

@Matt: sure, if you cure cancer and do nothing else you will only add 3-4 years to life expectancy. But if you do all else without curing cancer you won't add much to life expectancy either. Neither epigenetic reprogramming nor any repair strategy (with the exception of telomere interdiction) will fix the random DNA mutations that cause cancer.
Teaching the immune system to go after cancer is one way to approach the problem, but given the modest results obtained in early clinical trials so far and the sheer length of time that it takes to go from preclinical studies to market, whatever the results YouthBio or any other reprogramming startup can achieve in a decade will be overshadowed but our inability to cure cancer.
I am not doubting that these companies will produce some sort of rejuvenation: I am saying that if you have a body with cells that look like those of a 30 year old but harbour the DNA damage of someone who is 70 year old, your life expectancy will increase by very little.

Posted by: Barbara T. at April 22nd, 2022 12:18 PM

@Barbara T
If we manage to slow-down the aging it slows the cancer occurrence too. So There will be some average lifespan increase. And for sure increase in the healthspan. I am in mid forties. For now i would be OK-ish if i can live a relatively healthy live till 80 and then drop dead a few years later. However, if we manage to postpone the morbidity it is very likely an in crease in the life span. Probably in the max lifespan too. Of course it could happen that the health-span grows, but the lifespan stays the same. That would "square" the morality curves.
We will know the answer in many decades from now, even if there's a therapy coming to the market next year. And there's nothing on the (immediate) horizon....

Posted by: Cuberat at April 22nd, 2022 3:19 PM
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