Rejuvenation Biotechnology 2014

The first of our annual Rejuvenation Biotechnology Conferences – RB2014 – was a rousing success. Over 350 leading academics, researchers, pharmaceutical industry leaders, regulators and venture capitalists gathered in Santa Clara California to build a Rejuvenation Biotechnology industry and community.

Here you can view selected presentations and panel discussions from the event. To review the conference program, click here.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Mike Kope - RB2014 Opening Remarks

SENS Research Foundation CEO Mike Kope introduces the Rejuvenation Biotechnology conference, discussing the worldwide burden of age-related disease and the urgent need for a paradigm shift in understanding and treating such conditions.

Keynote

New Epigenome Analysis and Engineering Technologies for Reversal of Aging - George Church

George Church's 1984 Harvard PhD included the first methods for direct genome sequencing, molecular multiplexing & barcoding, and his innovations have contributed to nearly all “next generation” genome sequencing methods and companies.

Panel

Molecular and Cellular Damage as the Cause of the Diseases of Aging - Panel Discussion

This panel discussed the idea that the diseases of aging stem from molecular and cellular damage that accrues with age. Topics of discussion included the types of damage that may be involved, examples of how this applies to one or more diseases, and thoughts on how basic research and industry could use this concept to drive therapeutic target identification and drug treatment/development.

Alzheimer's Disease Session 1

A Twist of Fate - Generating New Neocortical Neurons - Jean Hébert

Jean Hébert's group has primarily undertaken two lines of investigation: understanding how a simple sheet of neuroepithelial cells early in embryogenesis develops into the adult neocortex, and establishing ways of regenerating the principle neurons of the adult cerebral cortex.

Tau Immunotherapy and Imaging - Einar Sigurdsson

Einar M. Sigurdsson's current research focuses on pathogenesis, therapy and diagnosis for age-related protein conformational disorders, in particular Alzheimer’s disease.

First Phase 3 Clinical Trials Targeting the Tauopathy of Alzheimer’s Disease - Claude Wischik

Claude Wischik established a team which developed in vitro and in vivo systems to establish plausibility of developing Tau Aggregation Inhibitor (TAI) therapy for AD.

Cardiovascular Disease Session 1

Mechanical Forces, Vascular Inflammation and Atherosclerosis - Guillermo Garcia Cardena

Guillermo Garcia Cardena received his Ph.D. degree working on the molecular regulation of nitric oxide production in vascular endothelium. His postdoctoral research with Michael A. Gimbrone Jr. at Harvard Medical School was on studies of endothelial cell gene expression, hemodynamics, and atherogenesis.

Causes and Consequences of Age-Related Extracellular Matrix Remodelling - Michael Sherratt

Michael’s work suggests that elastic fibre associated proteins may be differentially susceptible to UV-radiation and oxidation in ageing tissues, and that the effects of ageing on tissue mechanical properties are localized in large arteries such as the aorta.

Panel

Toward A New Investment Paradigm - Panel Discussion

This panel discussed the challenges in bringing new and especially preventative therapies to treat the diseases of aging from the research lab to the market. The panel offered and discussed new investment paradigms that could drive drug and therapeutic development.

Alzheimer's Disease Session 2

Iron in Aging and Neurodegenerative Disease - Ashley Bush

Ashley Bush's lab discovered the interaction of beta-amyloid with transitional metals as a major factor in Alzheimer’s disease pathology, as well as the roles of APP and tau in neuronal iron homeostasis.

Approaches to Aging and Alzheimer’s: What are We Learning from Clinical Trials? - Rachelle Doody

Dr. Doody's current research interests include studies to understand and model the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease, studies of clinical heterogeneity, and research and development of new medications to treat Alzheimer’s Disease.

New Paradigms in Alzheimer’s Disease Drug Development - Eric Siemers

Dr . Siemers currently directs late stage clinical research efforts at Eli Lilly concerning investigational treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, and is more broadly involved with other neurological indications such as Parkinson’s disease.

Cardiovascular Disease Session 2

The Role of Bioprinting in Rejuvenation - Gabor Forgacs

Dr. Gabor Forgacs is a theoretical physicist turned bioengineer turned innovator and entrepreneur who pioneered the technology of bioprinting.

Raising Capricor: Building a Biotech Company from Bench to Bedside - Linda Marban

Dr. Marban combines her background in research with her business experience to lead Capricor and create a path to commercialization for its novel stem-cell cardiac therapies.

Tissue Engineering Solutions for Cardiovascular Tissue Pathologies - James Yoo

Dr. Yoo’s research efforts have been directed toward the clinical translation of tissue engineering technologies and cell-based therapies. Dr. Yoo’s background in cell biology and medicine has facilitated the transfer of several cell-based technologies from the bench-top to the bedside.

Panels

The Economic Impact of an Aging Population on the Healthcare System - Panel Discussion

This panel discussed the impending economic crisis the healthcare system will soon face caring for the ever-growing elderly population and possible solutions to this crisis, such as an outcomes-based healthcare model.

Advancing Regenerative Therapies in Alzheimer’s and Cardiovascular Disease - Panel Discussion

This panel brought together speakers from sessions throughout the day to consider the promise of a damage repair strategy to develop therapeutics for the diseases of aging. Discussion included a summary of the accomplishments of the Alzheimer’s community in suggesting an innovative drug development strategy as well as debate about how such a strategy could apply to cardiovascular therapies.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Keynote

Fight Aging with a Durable Business - Jim O'Neill

Jim O’Neill is partner and chief operating officer at Mithril, a growth fund for transformative and durable technology companies in fields such as cybersecurity; next generation finance; medical robotics; rail integration; enterprise cloud services; 3D seismic technology; and data integration, visualization, and analysis.

Panel

Toward A New Research Paradigm - Panel Discussion

This panel explored new ways to approach research to tackle the diseases of aging. In particular, consideration was given to the effects a damage repair paradigm would have on developing new strategies to identify and study therapeutic targets.

Cancer Session

Cancer and Aging: Rival Demons? - Judith Campisi

Judith Campisi established a broad program to understand various aspects of aging, with an emphasis on the interface between cancer and aging. Her laboratory made several pioneering discoveries in these areas.

Accelerating Knowledge Turns: The I-SPY Model and Drug Development - Laura Esserman

Dr. Esserman is nationally and internationally known as a leader in the field of breast cancer and has published over 200 articles.

Curing Cancer in the Elderly Through Novel Strategies - Claudia Gravekamp

Claudia Gravekamp's research focuses on developing novel immunotherapeutic approaches to cancer using attenuated Listeria monocytogenes as a platform to deliver anti-cancer agents selectively to the tumor microenvironment at young and old age.

Parkinson's Disease Session

Senescence and the Aging Brain - Julie Andersen

As a renowned expert on Parkinson’s disease, Dr. Andersen is pursuing a wide array of leads toward treatments for this complex neurodegenerative disorder.

Negotiating the Mine Field in the Quest for a Parkinson’s Disease Cell Therapy - Jeanne Loring

Jeanne Loring's research team focuses on largescale analysis of genomics and epigenetics of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) and their derivatives, in order to ensure the quality and safety of these cells for clinical use.

Developing Meaningful Therapeutic Strategies for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases - Dale Schenk

Dr. Schenk has pioneered the immunotherapeutic approaches for the treatment of amyloidosis, as exemplified for Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson’s disease and light chain (AL) Amyloidosis.

Panels

Risk Benefit Analysis in Therapies for the Diseases and Disabilities of Aging - Panel Discussion

There is a major need to maintain rigor and independence in the regulation of healthcare innovations, while improving regulatory transparency and opportunities for multi-stakeholder input to accommodate fundamental changes in the life-science ecosystem and global healthcare demands.

Advancing Regenerative Therapies In Cancer and Parkinson's Disease - Panel Discussion

This panel brought together speakers from throughout the day to summarize the impact of the I-SPY TRIAL 2 program on drug trial design for Alzheimer’s therapeutics and speculate on the applicability of trial designs similar to the one proposed for Alzheimer’s Disease to the development of therapeutics for other diseases of aging, such as Parkinson’s Disease and cancer.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Keynote

Creating a Culture of Innovation and Breakthroughs - Peter Diamandis

Dr. Peter H. Diamandis is an international pioneer in the fields of innovation, incentive competitions and commercial space, and the Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman of Human Longevity Inc. (HLI), a genomics and cell therapy-based diagnostic and therapeutic company focused on extending the healthy human lifespan.

Panel

Applying a Damage Repair Paradigm to Developing Therapies for the Diseases of Aging - Panel Discussion

Building upon the discussion of a damage repair paradigm from days 1 and 2, this panel weighed the benefits of application of a damage repair paradigm to drug development to combat the diseases of aging.

Musculoskeletal Disease Session

What is Sarcopenia? Definitions, Diagnosis and Developing Interventions - Christy Carter

Dr. Carter’s current research interests lie in preserving physical function and healthspan during aging; and in particular focuses on the use of a preclinical rodent model of aging to test a variety of late-life interventions designed to mitigate sarcopenia.

The Rejuvenation of Aged Skeletal Muscle by Systematic Factors - Young Jang

The Jang laboratory applies bioengineering approaches and stem cell-based therapies to study skeletal muscle dysfunction during aging and in age-associated muscle diseases. The laboratory develops and applies novel tools using a combination of animal and stem cell models.

Diabetes Session

Cellular Therapies and Regenerative Medicine Strategies for Treatment of Diabetes - Camillo Ricordi

Dr. Ricordi and collaborators developed the method for large scale production of human pancreatic islets, and he led the team that performed the first series of successful clinical islet allotransplants to reverse diabetes.

Molecular Elucidation and Engineering of Stem Cell Therapies for the Nervous System - David Schaffer

Dr. Schaffer applies engineering principles to enhance stem cell and gene therapy approaches for neuroregeneration, work that includes novel approaches for molecular engineering and evolution of new viral vectors as well as new technologies to investigate and control stem cell fate decisions.

Panels

Regulating a Damage Repair Approach to Cure the Diseases of Aging - Panel Discussion

Tthis session considered worldwide efforts to rapidly and proportionally develop international regulatory processes to accommodate increasingly heterogeneous and unfamiliar healthcare technologies and their swift translation from lab to bedside.

Advancing Regenerative Therapies in Musculoskeletal Disease and Diabetes - Panel Discussion

This panel brought together speakers from the morning sessions to consider the possibility of applying a drug trial design similar to the ones emerging from the Alzheimer’s Disease and cancer communities.

Building a Rejuvenation Biotechnology Industry - Panel Discussion

This panel synthesized the discussions from all of the conference sessions and panels. A cross-section of academics, pharmaceutical reps, policy makers, and other presenters revisited the merits of a damage repair paradigm to address the diseases of aging considered at this conference.