SAN FRANCISCO, June 25, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- UNITY Biotechnology, Inc. (“UNITY”) (NASDAQ:UBX), a biotechnology company developing therapeutics to extend healthspan by slowing, halting or reversing diseases of aging, today announced the treatment of the first patient in the Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating UBX0101 in moderate to severe osteoarthritis of the knee.
“For many people, we believe that osteoarthritis is the main reason why it hurts to get old,” said Jamie Dananberg, M.D., chief medical officer at UNITY. “By designing a treatment to selectively eliminate senescent cells in the joints of patients diagnosed with painful osteoarthritis, our goal is to alter the otherwise disabling course of this disease.”
“This is an important milestone for UNITY,” said Keith Leonard, chief executive officer of UNITY. “This is the first time we have treated a patient with a drug to eliminate senescent cells. While this study is designed to establish safety, we are also looking for the earliest signals of reducing senescent cell burden in this disease of aging.”
About the UBX0101 Phase 1 Clinical Trial
The Phase 1 clinical trial of UBX0101 is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, single ascending dose study that will evaluate safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of a single intra-articular injection of UBX0101 in patients diagnosed with moderate to severe osteoarthritis of the knee. Patients will be randomly assigned to receive UBX0101 or placebo in 3:1 randomization by dose level cohort. Additional information about the trial can be found on www.clinicaltrials.gov.
About Cellular Senescence and Senolytic Medicines
Cellular senescence is a natural biological state in which a cell permanently halts division. Senescent cells accumulate with age and secrete as many as 100 different biologically active proteins, including pro-inflammatory factors, proteases, pro-fibrotic factors and growth factors that disturb the tissue microenvironment. This collection of secreted proteins is referred to as the Senescence Associated Secretory Phenotype, or SASP. In addition to its effects on tissue function, the SASP contains factors that induce senescence in neighboring cells, setting off a cascade of events that culminates in the formation of the functionally aged and/or diseased tissue that appears to underlie a variety of age-associated diseases. UNITY believes that the elimination of senescent cells will remove SASP factors—addressing a root cause of diseases of aging. Senolytic medicines, or treatments designed to selectively remove senescent cells, target the SASP at its source, and may have a more durable impact on disease than current therapies.
About UNITY Biotechnology, Inc.
UNITY Biotechnology, Inc. is developing therapeutics to extend healthspan by slowing, halting or reversing diseases of aging. UNITY's initial focus is on creating senolytic medicines to selectively eliminate senescent cells and thereby treat age-related diseases, such as osteoarthritis, eye diseases and pulmonary diseases. More information is available at www.unitybiotechnology.com or follow us on Twitter.