Klogene’s drug development platform is based on small molecule compounds that enhance the expression of the Klotho gene. Current funding supports pre-clinical work on Alzheimer’s disease. Additional indications will be targeted over time.
The Klotho gene was discovered by Dr. Makoto Kuro-o and he named it after the goddess Clotho, Zeus’ daughter, who spins the thread of life. Klotho is a large protein produced in the kidney and brain that acts as a circulating growth factor. Klotho-deficient mice show many signs of human aging including cognitive decline, synaptic loss, abnormal CNS myelin, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and die prematurely. Mice with increased levels of Klotho live 30% longer, are healthier and smarter.
Dr. Carmela Abraham’s (Klogene founder) team at Boston University School of Medicine was the first to show in 2003 that Klotho levels are lower in the aged brain. Klotho levels are also decreased in the cerebral spinal fluid of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. In contrast, increased levels of Klotho are associated with improved cognition in humans and mice. Dr. Abraham suggested in 2005 that enhancing Klotho expression has the potential to become a novel therapeutic for age related and other neurodegenerative diseases. See list of Dr. Carmela Abraham’s relevant publications in the last decade on the “Science” page of this website.
In addition to central nervous system (CNS) research on the benefits of Klotho which started at the Boston University School of Medicine, several other academic and industry labs have published papers on the potential of Klotho as a therapeutic in acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease (AKI/CKD), certain cancers, diabetes, muscle wasting, atherosclerosis, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, stroke, and many other diseases.
There are currently a number of issued patents and patent applications (industry and academia) on the use of Klotho protein or its fragments as a therapeutic, as well as Klotho gene therapy. A number of pharmaceutical/biotech companies are in pre-clinical development, targeting some of the indications mentioned.
In contrast to the above, Klogene’s approach is small molecule based. The list of potential target indications includes all of the above and more. The National Institute of Health / National Institute of Aging is currently funding Klogene’s pre-clinical work with a focus on Alzheimer’s disease.
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