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[Funding News] Rejuvenate Bio Raises $4M Funding from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine

California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has awarded a $4M grant to Rejuvenate Bio to complete IND-enabling activities for the development of RJB-0402 for the treatment of desmoplakin gene variant arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (DSP ACM).

California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has awarded a $4M grant to Rejuvenate Bio to complete IND-enabling activities for the development of RJB-0402 for the treatment of desmoplakin gene variant arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (DSP ACM).

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RJB-0402 is a novel systemically administered investigational AAV8 gene therapy that drives liver specific expression of FGF21 protein, targeting multiple key pathological drivers of DSP ACM. Since the DSP gene is too large for gene replacement therapy, novel strategies are needed to treat DSP ACM. FGF21 has known salutary effects on cardiac dysfunction as well as ventricular arrhythmias, adipogenesis, inflammation, and fibrosis, all of which are DSP ACM hallmarks. Furthermore, clinical efficacy of RJB-0402 in DSP ACM may form the basis for the treatment in other forms of ACM.

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“DSP ACM is a rare, severe, life-threatening, and debilitating disease that typically manifests in young adults as a high risk of life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias, sudden cardiac death, and progression to heart failure,” said Dan Oliver, CEO & Co-Founder, Rejuvenate Bio. “There is currently no disease modifying therapy for patients with this disease, and our gene therapy RJB-0402 addresses a significant unmet medical need.”

Nonclinical proof-of-concept studies in the ACM mouse model showed that RJB-0402 significantly improved cardiac structure, function, and markedly reduced the arrhythmia burden, normalizing premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) to wild type levels. The clinical relevance of these efficacy signals provides a scientific rationale for further development as a therapeutic with the potential to meaningfully impact patients’ survival, symptoms, and quality of life.

“Our goal is to move the most promising research forward,” said Dr. Abla Creasey, Vice President of Therapeutics Development at the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). “A one-time gene therapy treatment for patients with this rare cardiac disease DSP ACM, would have significant impact for patients with this degenerative disorder. We look forward to supporting Rejuvenate Bio in bringing this regenerative therapy to patients with this degenerative disease.”

About Rejuvenate Bio

Founded in 2019, Rejuvenate Bio is targeting the core drivers of chronic age-related diseases by unlocking the power of gene expression and epigenetic reprogramming to reverse pre-existing heart disease, metabolic disease, and kidney failure in humans.

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