The European Research Institute for the Biology of Ageing (ERIBA), part of the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), launches a biotech start-up company Cleara Biotech B.V. (Cleara), together with its collaborators University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU) and Medical University of Graz. Cleara is a Netherlands-based biopharmaceutical company coordinating a public-private partnership to discover and develop new therapeutics targeting the unique biology of senescent cells to treat age related pathologies and therapy resistant cancer.
This work is being led within Cleara by Marco Demaria of ERIBA, who created the first genetic tools for identifying senescent cells and also discovered shared mechanisms and genes at the core of the senescence program. ‘Cellular senescence is a very exciting but also very new field, said Demaria. ‘That means that there are still many things to be discovered, so efforts to reveal the basic biology of these cells can quickly become translational.’
According to Demaria, research into the unique biology of senescent cells is innovation for health. Demaria: ‘Research done in the last few years by us and others have shown that cellular senescence is one basic mechanism of aging and a contributor to multiple age associated diseases. Thus, pharmacological elimination of senescent cells can represent a very potent and universal anti-aging strategy.’
The unique selling point of the tech start-up is cooperation, emphasizes Demaria: ‘Cleara’s partners are experts in developing novel therapeutic approaches against senescent cells, but also in discovering novel targets and strategies. We are particularly keen to follow up on studies that would unravel novel and unique targets.’
Cleara was founded and financed by Apollo Ventures, a life sciences venture capital firm and company builder working across Europe and North America. Dr. Craig Grove, business developer for ERIBA and the Center for Development and Innovation (CDI/UMCG) assisted Demaria on the path to value creation.
Craig: ‘There are many ways in which we can translate research to society, but the first step is value recognition. It is important to work alongside researchers in a proactive manner to both help in recognizing the potential impact of their research and subsequently identify the most suitable translation pathway. The creation of Cleara is an excellent example of how innovative research and business development can co-create value and increase the likelihood of answerring societal issues, such as in this case, an ageing population.’
For more information on launch of Cleara Biotech B.V., please go to the ERIBA website.
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