Pioneering a new class of therapeutics designed to activate progenitor cells
Progenitor cells are similar to stem cells but are programmed to create specific cell types. These cells remain active and regenerate in some organs and tissues while becoming dormant in others.
Frequency was founded in 2014 based on research by Professors Robert S. Langer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Jeffrey Karp at Harvard Medical School. Their work focused on ways to activate the body’s regenerative potential, building on the insight that continuously activated progenitor cells in the gut regenerate the human intestinal lining every few days.
Studying this biological process, they identified small molecules that could trigger the growth of new functional tissues and cells. Recognizing that similar progenitor cells were present but inactive in other organs, such as the cochlea within the ear, Professors Langer and Karp discovered how to adapt these natural signals and molecules to temporarily activate progenitor cells and create a localized healing response.
Advantages to our approach
Today, Frequency is pioneering a new class of small-molecule therapeutics designed to activate progenitor cells already present within the body to create healthy functional tissues and organs.
Our small molecules are designed to induce a progenitor cell to activate and create a desired cell type in order to restore tissue structure and function.
We believe our PCA approach bypasses many challenges presented by cell and gene therapies and represents a new category of regenerative medicine, reducing complexity by using small molecule therapeutics to temporarily reactivate progenitor or precursor cells that are already located at the tissue target site within the body and are pre-programmed to make specific cell types.
Activation of progenitor cells in the right location
- Leverage the natural tissue architecture with progenitors located in the desired place.
- Avoids major challenges of delivering and integrating cells into the proper location within an organ
- Small molecules are particularly advantageous as we target the cochlea and the brain, which are challenging to access with biologics
Ease of manufacturing
- Eliminates need to remove and grow live cells ex vivo
- Produces treatments using standard, small-molecule manufacturing methods
Avoids permanent genetic changes
- No need to alter genes
- Small molecules designed to temporarily activate the native genes
- Avoid risk of acquiring immune reactivity to our therapeutics