BioTime spinning out regenerative med firm AgeX

BioTime has received US$43 million (€37 million) from Juvenescence for a stake in AgeX and plans to spin the cell therapy subsidiary out in September.

In April 2017, Californian late-stage biotech BioTime formed the subsidiary AgeX therapeutics to focus on its human aging candidates derived from regenerative stem cells. Earlier this year, fellow aging-focused firm Juvenescence made a $5 million investment in the subsidiary, and this week has upped its stake by 14.4 million shares paying BioTime $21.6 million in cash and $21.6 million in a convertible/redeemable note.

The transaction values AgeX at over $100 million, and now BioTime intends to spin the subsidiary out into a public company, co-CEO Aditya Mohanty said on a financial call Thursday.

“Our goal in forming AgeX was to unlock the potential value of these assets for our existing shareholders while not taking resources away from our core clinical programs. [The Juvenescence deal] also helps us to further simplify our company, which is one of our key corporate objectives,” he said.

“We were able to reward our shareholders with the Juvenescence alliance, and we look forward to the distribution of AgeX shares later this year.”

The firm added it is in the process of working with the SEC to finalize AgeX’s registration statement and expects distribution of shares to occur by the end of September.

Regenerative Technologies

Focused on age-related degenerative disease, AgeX Therapeutics is developing two cell-based therapies derived from telomerase-positive pluripotent stem cells and two product candidates derived from the firm’s induced Tissue Regeneration (iTR) technology.

“We’ve transferred to AgeX a large estate of intellectual property, including patents and patent applications filed worldwide in the field of cellular immortality, or generative biology,” BioTime’s other co-CEO Michael West explained on the call.

“Our initial focus is on the development of young vascular cells to rebuild circulation in the context of age-related ischemic disease, a product we call AgeX VASC1,” he said.

“Our second lead product in development is AgeX BAT1. This product is intended to reverse age-related changes in metabolism. As we age, many suffer from obesity and Type 2 diabetes. These changes can have serious health consequences, impacting not only the quality of life, but life expectancy as well. The global market associated with diabetes and obesity has been projected to rise to over $160 billion annually in the next five years.”

Meanwhile, West described the iTR technology as the “most impactful technology under development,” aimed at mimicking natural tissue damage regeneration found in nature – for instance, he used the example of a Mexican salamander being able to regenerate its owb amputated leg.

“We anticipate that the field of regenerative biology, as applied to human medicine, will be transformative.”

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