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Flanders-based start-up finds the secret to eternal youth
Forget about the fountain of youth; Flanders has something better! In fact, Flanders-based start-up Rejuvenate Biomed is raising almost EUR 16 million to develop medicines that delay and inhibit both the aging process itself and age-related diseases.
A combination of two existing medicines
To develop its solution, Rejuvenate combined two existing medicines that have been on the market for over a decade and have no or minimal side effects. From these, the start-up has created a single pill that slows cell aging – and so, too, the onset of diseases related to old age. With the EUR 16 million, Rejuvenate will be testing their product on people to evaluate the effect on sarcopenia – a.k.a. loss of muscle mass and strength, a condition that affects half of people over the age of 75.
The tests for sarcopenia are an interim step, but a necessary one on the way to a general anti-aging therapy. “We are aiming to ultimately combat real diseases. With the current regulations, that’s the only way to get a product approved. Old age has not yet been catalogued as a disease, and changing the rules will take at least another ten years,” says Rejuvenate CEO Ann Beliën. “In the meantime, we are gathering the necessary research data on the impact on cells elsewhere in the body, so that we can later market our products as preventive medicines.”
“We are currently looking into the impact of our product on cells elsewhere in the body. This way, we can market it as preventive medicine down the line.”
Ann Beliën, CEO at Rejuvenate Biomed
An extra 15.7 million in funding
For Beliën and Rejuvenate, the goal is not to reverse aging and create eternal life, but to increase the number of healthy years of life. To realize this ambition, Rejuvenate has already received EUR 3.7 million in funding since its inception. Now, EUR 15.7 million are being added in several stages. The backers are the Luxembourgian investment fund Vesalius Biocapital and – above all – the Swiss Rejuveron Life Sciences. The latter is acquiring a majority stake in the company.
Learn all about the life sciences and health industry in Flanders.