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UC-San Francisco spinout aims to commercialize method to reverse aging-related cognitive decline


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: June 5th, 2019

A spinout from the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) is advancing a protein that could help reverse the aging-related decline in cognitive performance.

According to Nathaniel David, president of the spinout UNITY Biotechnology, levels of the alpha-Klotho protein gradually decline as the aging process progresses.

“Yet, a small percentage of the population possesses naturally elevated alpha-Klotho levels that are associated with extended healthspan, enhanced cognition and less age-associated cognitive decline,” says David. “We are exploring the utility of the alpha-Klotho protein in collaboration with world-renowned researchers from UCSF, with a goal to identify a potential drug candidate to treat particular diseases of aging, including cognitive decline.”

UCSF recently licensed the alpha-Klotho protein to UNITY Biotechnology, with assistance from the technology management team at the UCSF Innovation Ventures office. Under the license agreement, UNITY gains worldwide, exclusive rights to the university’s intellectual property relating to the use of the protein and variants to reverse or prevent cognitive decline.

“Aging is the biggest risk factor for developing cognitive disorders,” says Dena Dubal, a researcher at UCSF and co-developer of the licensed technology. “If we can understand the underlying issue — how we age — and develop treatment options to enhance cognitive function, we have the potential to help our brains stay healthier and more resilient throughout our lifetime.”

Source: AP News

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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