MIAMI, May 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Longeveron LLC, a biopharmaceutical company that develops stem cell therapies for aging-related conditions, announced that it has received a $750,000 grant from the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO). Longeveron will apply the funding towards its clinical trial examining the safety and efficacy of its allogeneic mesenchymal stem cell (MSCs) product to improve flu vaccine immune-response in elderly patients with frailty. This funded project will be conducted in collaboration with Sean Leng, M.D., Ph.D., and his research team at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (JHU SOM).
"Last year's flu season was one of the worst and deadliest in recent years, and seniors are typically the most vulnerable. Generally, people over 65 have the highest rate of hospitalization for flu. Last year, boomers were affected, too, with people aged 50 to 64 hospitalized at three times the rate of previous seasons, according to CDC data. Regenerative stem cell therapies hold great promise to bolster the immune systems of older people for greater resistance to flu," said Joshua Hare, M.D., Longeveron Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer.
"We are very excited about this great project to test Longeveron's cells clinical capabilities in improving inflammation and immunity," said Dr. Dan Gincel, Executive Director of the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund. "This is an important test of cell therapy technology and may have long term implications in vaccine strategies in older adults."
"Immune functional decline, or immunosenescence, is a hallmark feature of aging. Elder patients, particularly those who are frail, are at high risk for influenza and its complications. Data from our previous study indicate that aging frailty is associated with poor antibody response to, and clinical protection from, vaccination with standard dose trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine. While newer influenza vaccines have become available in recent years, MSCs represent a novel immunization strategy that addresses host factor to improve vaccine-induced immune protection against this common and deadly infection in aging frailty," said Dr. Leng, Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, Department of Medicine at JHU SOM.
Longeveron's MSC product (LMSC) is derived from the bone marrow of young, healthy adult donors, and is currently being tested in a variety of indications in clinical trials, including Aging Frailty. In 2017, the company published positive Phase I and Phase 2 Aging Frailty study results in the Journals of Gerontology. Frail patients showed marked improvement in physical performance, lung function, and inflammation, with no serious adverse effects attributed to the treatment. The company also recently completed enrollment in the first phase of its flu vaccine immune-response trial.
Longeveron will initiate recruitment for the next phase of its flu vaccine immune-response trial in August, prior to the start of flu season. The company is also recruiting for an expanded Phase 2b Aging Frailty study, as well as a Phase 1 stem cell Alzheimer's trial. For more information about the stem cell flu study and the other clinical trials Longeveron is sponsoring, visit ClinicalTrials.gov or Longeveron's website www.longeveron.com.
Longeveron (www.longeveron.com) is a regenerative medicine therapy company founded in 2014. Longeveron's goal is to provide the first of its kind biological solution for aging-related diseases, and is dedicated to developing safe cell-based therapeutics to revolutionize the aging process and improve quality of life. The company's research focus areas include Alzheimer's disease, Aging Frailty, and the Metabolic Syndrome, and gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the National Institutes of Health and the Alzheimer's Association. Longeveron is also conducting a Phase 1 trial with the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University to study Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, a rare indication that affects infants, and gratefully acknowledges the support and collaboration from the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund.
SOURCE Longeveron LLC