The accumulation of senescent cells is thought to be one of the root causes of aging, and a growing body of evidence points to their direct contribution to numerous age-related conditions. Removing senescent cells is a narrow form of rejuvenation, capable of turning back measures of aging and age-related disease. Last year researchers published data on an approach to selective destruction of senescent cells based on interfering in the interaction between FOXO4 and p53. This pushes senescent cells into the form of programmed cell death known as apoptosis, while doing next to nothing to normal cells. The method of interference involves creating a safe but broken version of the FOXO4 protein, FOXO4-DRI, and introducing it into the body. A sizable fraction of senescent cells relying on the presence of working FOXO4 are destroyed as a result. The principal researcher involved in this work has now started a company with the assistance of Apollo Ventures to further develop this line of work into a viable senolytic therapy.
Cleara Biotech has raised seed funding to advance a program that reversed aspects of aging in mice.