Frequency Therapeutics Presented Data at the International Society for Stem Cell Research Supporting Progenitor Cell Activation to Restore Healthy Function in Multiple Tissue Types
WOBURN, Mass., June 19, 2017 – Frequency Therapeutics, a company spearheading the movement to restore hearing by harnessing the regenerative potential of progenitor cells in the body, today announced a presentation delineating the company’s proprietary platform, Progenitor Cell Activation (PCA™), was presented at the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) 2017 Annual Meeting which took place in Boston, Massachusetts, on June 14-17. The presentation, “Small molecule activation of progenitor cells as a means of in situ tissue regeneration,” described a process that may provide a novel means of addressing cellular deficiencies or malfunctions in many diseases including hearing loss, dermatology, muscle and gastrointestinal (GI) diseases. The presentation was conducted on Friday, June 16 at 7:00pm ET by Chris Loose, Ph.D., Co-founder and CSO of Frequency Therapeutics.
Scientists have worked for decades pushing targeted cells to regenerate. The applicability of tissue regeneration is limited by the complexities of cell therapy, including cell delivery, gene expression and functionality. Unlike previous approaches which resulted in forced conversion of Lgr5+ cells into the desired cell type, Frequency’s PCA technology uses a precise and controlled application of small molecules to activate dormant progenitor cells within the body, causing them to divide and differentiate into their designated target cells. Frequency’s presentation highlighted the Company’s PCA Platform, initially targeting cochlear hair cell regeneration for noise-induced hearing loss, as a viable approach to develop a whole new category of disease-modifying therapeutics for a wide range of degenerative conditions.
“Progenitor Cell Activation is a system where the local delivery of small molecules to dormant Lgr5 progenitor cells could produce profound therapeutic opportunities across a vast number of disease areas that exhibit high, unmet medical needs,” said Dr. Loose. “We believe PCA technology could be used to modulate cells in situ to address a number of diseases with minimal safety risk. Our first indication in hearing loss has produced positive results in preclinical studies, and we look forward to presenting further information as we move our lead program ahead.”
“Our PCA platform presents a robust opportunity to address many debilitating issues, and expand to therapeutic areas where there are few or no options currently available,” added David Lucchino, President, Co-Founder and CEO of Frequency. “The body has an innate, but sometimes dormant ability to heal itself. Activating the body’s own resources could overcome biological barriers that still exist within the overall drug development space to address medical needs like hearing impairment, skin disorders, gastrointestinal diseases and muscle regeneration.”
A team led by Frequency’s scientific co-founders published research highlighting the PCA approach to regenerate inner ear sensory hair cells in early 2017. The paper titled, “Clonal Expansion of Lgr5-Positive Cells from Mammalian Cochlea and High-Purity Generation of Sensory Hair Cells,” was a February cover feature in the journal Cell Reports, and can be accessed in the current online edition.
ABOUT PROGENITOR CELL ACTIVATION (PCA™)
Frequency’s precise and controlled approach transiently causes Lgr5+ progenitor cells to divide and differentiate, much like what is seen in naturally regenerating tissues such as the skin and intestine. Frequency activates ‘stemness’ through mimicking signals provided by neighboring cells (the stem cell niche) with small molecules, and this proprietary approach is known as the Progenitor Cell Activation (PCA™) platform. Frequency believes that PCA has the potential to yield a whole new category of disease-modifying therapeutics for a wide range of degenerative conditions. To fuel its drug discovery programs, Frequency is leveraging a PCA screening platform using primary human cells. Frequency’s initial focus is on chronic noise induced hearing loss. Other potential applications include skin disorders, gastrointestinal diseases, and diabetes.
ABOUT FREQUENCY THERAPEUTICS
Frequency Therapeutics develops small molecule drugs that activate progenitor cells within the body to restore healthy tissue. Through the transitory activation of these progenitor cells, Frequency enables disease modification without the complexity of genetic engineering. Our lead program re-creates sensory cells in the inner ear to treat chronic noise induced hearing loss, which affects over 30 million people in the U.S. alone. www.frequencytx.com.
Stefanie Tuck or Kari Watson
MacDougall Biomedical Communications