NEW YORK & HAMBURG, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Samsara Therapeutics, Inc. (“Samsara,”) a platform biotechnology startup engaged in the discovery and development of compounds that address the primary molecular causes of aging, announced today the closing of a seed financing round. The financing was led by Apollo Ventures, a life sciences venture capital firm and company builder working across Europe and North America. In connection with the investment, James Peyer, Ph.D., Managing Partner of Apollo Ventures, has joined Samsara's Board of Directors.
Additionally, on February 19th, 2019 Nature Communications published a peer-reviewed paper, “The flavonoid 4,4′-dimethoxychalcone promotes autophagy-dependent longevity across species” authored by Samsara’s scientific team. The paper demonstrates the capability of the Samsara platform to identify novel MoA geroprotective small molecules that extend healthy lifespan across species and which are protective in mammalian models of disease.
The particular molecule (4,4’-dimethoxychalcone) is a natural product derived from the Japanese longevity herb known as Ashitaba, consumed on the island of Okinawa, which hosts the greatest number of ultra-long-lived supercentenarians. Samsara Therapeutics is conducting medicinal chemistry optimization of this compound and other Samsara platform-identified compounds in collaboration with Evotec.
“This paper in Nature Communications moves us closer to our goal of conducting the largest-ever exploration of the chemical space around natural products that extend healthy lifespan,” commented Sebastian Aguiar, Samsara’s Founder and Chief Operating Officer. “Virtually all of the known geroprotectors have been natural products or derived thereof, and were identified via phenotypic screening. The time is ripe for this comprehensive approach due to methodological advances in phenotypic screening, target ID, and molecular mechanism of action analysis.”
Built around the world’s largest platform for drug discovery based on therapeutics known as ‘geroprotectors,’ defined by their ability to extend healthy lifespan across model organisms, Samsara is anchoring its research on the hallmarks of aging in collaboration with leading academic scientists in the fields of energy metabolism and proteostasis. The company plans to use the proceeds from the seed financing to advance its existing pipeline of therapeutic candidates, as well as continue the identification of new candidates through proprietary phenotypic screening of curated chemical libraries.
“Our academic Founding Scientists have previously discovered and characterized multiple of the best-known healthspan-extending molecules, and we have built upon their unique capabilities with the Samsara platform,” said Dr. Peyer. “Moreover, Samsara’s founding scientists have other papers forthcoming on a novel class of geroprotector, acting via a novel mechanism of action.”
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About Samsara Therapeutics
Samsara Therapeutics, Inc. is an R&D-stage biopharmaceutical platform company aiming to discover, develop and commercialize first-in-class therapeutics for the treatment of unmet medical needs and age-related diseases. Samsara's platform is the largest ever pipeline for the identification, chemical optimization, and in vivo validation of compounds that extend healthy lifespan. Samsara Therapeutics is a global virtual biotech company with operations in Oxford, Paris, Graz, Hamburg, and San Diego.
For more information, please visit www.samsaratherapeutics.com
About Apollo Ventures
Apollo Ventures is a life science venture capital firm and 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 biology of aging.
For more information, please visit www.apollo.vc