Cleara Biotech Announces Three Collaborations to Develop New Therapeutics Targeting Senescent Cells and Cancer

UTRECHT, Netherlands--()--Cleara Biotech B.V. ("Cleara"), a Netherlands-based biopharmaceutical company, announced today the creation of three public-private partnerships to discover and develop new therapeutics. Cleara has partnered with Dr. Peter de Keizer from the University Medical Center in Utrecht, Dr. Marco Demaria from the University Medical Center in Groningen, and Dr. Tobias Madl from the Medical University of Graz to engage in its discovery operations. Cleara’s initial funding was led by founding investor Apollo Ventures, a life sciences venture capital firm and company builder working across Europe and North America.

Cleara is a preclinical R&D company engaged in the creation of therapeutics targeting the unique biology of senescent cells to treat age-related pathologies and therapy-resistant cancer. Senescent cells are rare cells that accumulate in our bodies as we age and contribute to the aging process. Removing these cells has been shown to reverse signs of aging including muscle and hair loss, cancer development, energy levels, and even increase healthy lifespan of mice.

Cellular senescence is a remarkably new field of study, and some of the world’s top senescent cell researchers have come together in Cleara to translate their scientific work on mice into human therapeutics. “These partnerships of top-notch academic institutions with drug development efforts will allow us to accelerate clinical development of our lead programs and provides an opportunity to treat multiple diseases by eliminating a patient’s senescent cells,” said Dr. de Keizer.

“Senescent cells contribute to many different diseases of aging: muscle loss, kidney disease, heart disease, and even cancers,” said Dr. Demaria. “That’s why mice live longer and healthier when we eliminate their senescent cells, they stop dying of the diseases that they would otherwise suffer from.” The laboratories of de Keizer, Madl and Demaria received worldwide attention with results showing senescent cells are a source for therapy resistance in cancer [1] and the development of the prospectively designed FOXO4-based anti-senescence drugs, which can effectively target signs of aging in mice [2]. “We are excited to team-up within Cleara as this is a natural evolution of our aim to benefit mankind from the successes from years of fundamental research running in our academic labs.”

"Cleara scientists are the world leaders in advancing our understanding of the basic biology of senescent cells, and we have used that understanding to create the most potent and selective anti-senescence molecules yet discovered," said Dr. James Peyer, Managing Partner of Apollo Ventures. "We are incredibly excited to advance the work at Cleara and our great institutional collaborators. Senescent cell elimination represents one of the most promising targets today in our fight against the diseases of aging."

[1] Demaria M, O’Leary MN, Chang J, et al. Cellular senescence promotes adverse effects of chemotherapy and cancer relapse. Cancer discovery. 2017;7(2):165-176. doi:10.1158/2159-8290.CD-16-0241. Available online:

[2] Baar MP, … Madl T, … de Keizer PLJ. Targeted Apoptosis of Senescent Cells Restores Tissue Homeostasis in Response to Chemotoxicity and Aging. Cell. 2017;169(1):132-147.e16. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2017.02.031. Available online:

About Cleara Biotech B.V.

Cleara Biotech B.V. is an R&D-stage biopharmaceutical company aiming to eliminate senescent cells to treat age-related pathologies, including senescence-like cancer cells that are a cause for therapy resistance in terminal cancer

For more information, please visit

About Apollo Ventures

Apollo Ventures is a life science Venture Capital firm and Life Science Company builder working across Europe and North America. Apollo is unique among investment firms due to its focus on a specific field of scientific research – the basic biology of aging.

For more information, please visit

About University Medical Center Utrecht

Utrecht University and its Medical Center house well over 6000 researchers and consistently delivers top-notch research in biology and medicine, evident from a solid ranking among the absolute top academic centers in Europe. The UMCU is one of the leading centers for Cancer research in the Netherlands, well-renowned for its capacity to translate fundamental breakthroughs in oncology research to experimental treatment of patients. The Center for Molecular Medicine houses experts and state-of-the-art facilities for a broad range of techniques, including genomics (next-generation DNA sequencing, metabolomics, proteomics), cell culturing (iPS cells, organoids), microscopy (live cell imaging, electron microscopy) and bioinformatics (high-performance computing).

About University Medical Center Groningen

The UMCG is one of the largest hospitals in the world and employs almost 13,000 people. The UMCG is the beating heart of the Healthy Ageing Campus which is part of Campus Groningen. A number of institutes and studies initiated by the UMCG are located here and are aimed at understanding and interfering with age-related disease. The European Research Institute for the Biology of Ageing (ERIBA) is part of this focus with the ultimate goal to discover basic mechanisms underlying the aging process.

About Medical University of Graz

With more than 2300 staff in the scientific and non-academic fields and more than 4,300 students, the University of Graz forms a center of innovative university teaching, research and medicine in the south of Austria. New findings on the causes of diseases, the development of preventive measures and the decoding of new therapeutic options characterize the successful Graz medical research. At the Gottfried Schatz Research Center, the Medical University of Graz recently joined forces to increase its research strength in cellular signal transduction, metabolism and aging.

This press release does not and shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to the registration or qualification under the securities law of any such state or jurisdiction.


Cleara Biotech B.V.
Harvey Gross

Release Summary

Cleara Biotech announces three collaborations to develop new therapeutics targeting senescent cells and cancer


Cleara Biotech B.V.
Harvey Gross