AgeX Therapeutics Issues Year-End Letter to Shareholders
AgeX Therapeutics, Inc. (“AgeX”; NYSE American: AGE), a biotechnology company focused on developing therapeutics for human aging and regeneration, issued a letter to shareholders from Michael D. West, PhD, founder and CEO, and Gregory Bailey, MD, Chairman, reflecting on progress made in AgeX’s first year as a public company, as well as current initiatives and future plans.
The letter follows.
Dear AgeX Stockholders,
In this, our first year as a public company, we have built a foundation for a revolutionary company in the fields of cell therapy and tissue regeneration. To date, conventional pharmaceutical approaches to the chronic degenerative conditions associated with aging have provided little benefit, often only offering relief from the symptoms of disease, rather than targeting underlying disease processes. Our belief is that this is about to change through harnessing the power of new cellular and molecular technologies. We aim to lead this coming revolution with our pioneering technologies which could generate and deliver new cells to patients through our cell therapy focus, and which may reverse the age of cells already in the body through our iTR platform. We believe that our new technologies will lead to true cell regeneration and replacement to potentially cure degenerative diseases by targeting aged or damaged cells, tissues and organs.
Over the last year, we have worked hard to achieve certain goals to set the fundamental basis to create shareholder value going forward:
- We moved into our new San Francisco Bay Area R&D facility, comprising 15,700-square-feet of office and laboratory space, where we have built-out and validated current Good Manufacturing
Practice (cGMP)-capable manufacturing suites, to allow for the manufacture of clinical-grade cellular therapeutic candidates for product development, clinical trials and partnering efforts.
- We commenced work to engineer our pluripotent stem cell lines with our immunotolerance UniverCyte technology to generate hypoimmunogenic/universal cells, which would evade a patient’s immune system and hence could potentially be given to all patients without co-administration of immunosuppressant drugs. We believe this gives us a strong competitive edge over other companies struggling with transplant rejection. In the coming year, we plan to create a UniverCyte-modified pluripotent stem cell cGMP master cell bank, from which we could potentially derive any human cell type for our in-house product development programs or to provide cells to third party pharma companies to pursue other products. We are gathering and analyzing experimental data in a manner to allow for scientific publications to aid validation of our platform and to support collaboration and licensing efforts.
- We added to our Board of Directors experts in financing, R&D, and cell therapy to ensure we have access to the best possible strategic and execution guidance:
- Gregory Bailey, M.D., our Chairman, is the CEO of Juvenescence Limited, our largest shareholder.
- Annalisa Jenkins, M.B.B.S., F.R.C.P., is an experienced pharmaceutical industry executive, who is the former Head of Global R&D and Executive VP of Global Development and Medical at Merck Serono, and former Senior VP and Head of Global Medical Affairs at Bristol Myers-Squibb.
- Michael May, Ph.D. is CEO of Canada’s Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM), a leading and highly successful public-private partnership, which he has grown from inception to over 100 experts, and which under his leadership has raised over $100M, with spin-off companies and academic partners supported by CCRM securing an additional $750M.
- We published two papers in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Regenerative Medicine to provide an update on our progress and to highlight our technologies to the industry. The first, “Toward a Unified Theory of Aging and Regeneration,” outlines the theory behind our iTR program. The second, “Engineering Strategies for Generating Hypoimmunogenic Cells with High Clinical and Commercial Value,” is a joint paper with Juvenescence, which reviews the most promising approaches to producing universal cells, and emphasizes the advantages of our UniverCyte technology. Interest in our papers has been high, with both ranking in the top 2% of almost 14 million research papers tracked by Altmetric.
- We established our own accounting and administration capabilities, and ended our shared facilities and services agreement with Lineage Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (formerly BioTime, Inc.).
- We filed numerous new patent applications and saw success in obtaining new patent issuances, adding to our portfolio of more than 400 patents and patent applications worldwide in cell-based therapeutics.
To optimize shareholder value, we have undertaken a strategic review of our business opportunities, and we have four key take-away messages for the coming year and beyond: