‘The Methuselah Foundation has a record of seed funding early stage biotech and medical companies that are undertaking novel work that is (a) relevant to aging or tissue repair and (b) not already in progress to any meaningful degree elsewhere. Funding startups is one way to push forward the state of the art, providing support for research that is almost at or just past the point of initial technology demonstrations in the laboratory. The list of companies funded by the Methuselah Foundation includes the bioprinting company Organovo, an investment that has paid off handsomely in all senses of the phrase, and more recently Oisin Biotechnology, a new initiative focused on senescence cell clearance. The latest investment, announced a few days ago, is focused on getting to an answer on a novel approach to therapies for Alzheimer’s disease:
Leucadia Therapeutics LLC, a biotechnology company focused on treating and preventing Alzheimer’s disease, using patent-pending technology to correct the cause of the disease rather than its effects, and Methuselah Foundation, a public charity incentivizing innovation in regenerative medicine, today announced a joint partnership to develop a novel therapeutic strategy to treat Alzheimer’s disease. The company will use this investment to accelerate development of novel therapy with the goal of beginning clinical trials in 2018. Leucadia Therapeutics Chief Scientific Officer, Douglas Ethell, Ph.D., said, “This is an exciting event for LT as it frees us from fundraising and allows us to focus our efforts on getting into the clinic as soon as possible.” Under this agreement, the Methuselah Foundation has made an equity investment in Leucadia Therapeutics LLC. Over the next 3-5 years, Leucadia will develop and test a novel therapeutic device to treat the underlying cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
As you can see the release provides no scientific details, but that’s fine – information is available elsewhere. The scientist leading this effort, Douglas Ethell, has a background in dementia and stem cell research, and gave a talk on the underpinnings of his new approach at Rejuvenation Biotechnology 2015 entitled “CSF Hydrodynamics at the Cribform Plate: Has the Cause of Alzheimer’s Disease Been Under or Over Our Noses All Along?” Unfortunately the video and abstract for this presentation are not yet published online, but we can instead look at a 2014 paper in which Ethell outlines the evidence for his hypothesis that Alzheimer’s is caused by an age-dependent decline in drainage of cerebrospinal fluid through narrow passages in the head, a process that may normally assist in removal of unwanted metabolic waste – such as the amyloid associated with Alzheimer’s disease.‘