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Starkage Therapeutics appoints Benjamin Le Calvé as CSO

– Dr. Le Calvé will lead the research activities of StarkAge Therapeutics and manage key collaborations with academic and industrial partners
– He joins from Celyad Oncology where he was Senior Scientist Early Development Group
– He brings expertise in senescence and a wealth of highly relevant international experience from academia and biopharmaceutical industry


Lille, France, Mai 10, 2022
– StarkAge Therapeutics (SATX), a pioneering discovery-stage biotechnology company focusing on cellular senescence-related diseases, announces the appointment of Dr. Benjamin Le Calvé as Chief Scientific Officer, reporting to Dr. Pierre-Michel Bringer, CEO. Dr. Le Calvé will sit on the Management Committee1 and will chair StarkAge Therapeutics Scientific Advisory Board2.

I am delighted to welcome Benjamin Le Calvé to StarkAge Therapeutics” said Dr. Pierre-Michel Bringer, “Benjamin’s personal academic background and professional experience, including in the field of senescence, will be instrumental in driving StarkAge Therapeutics to the next level of development.” In his tenure as Senior Scientist of the Early Development Group at Celyad Oncology, Benjamin lead the development of an shRNA platform for the allogeneic CAR-T products through the identification of new potential targets increasing the persistence and activity of cell therapy.

As CSO, Dr. Le Calvé will refine the current discovery strategy and implement it. He will supervise the Lille-based research team and all key discovery project and scientific operations. In addition he will oversee and supervise StarkAgeTx’s growing international IP portfolio. Collaborations with academic and industrial partners are an important part of the SATX strategy, and he will manage all existing partnerships and actively seek to establish new opportunities.

We have made significant progress in the past months, and I express my gratitude to Dr. Frédérik Oger for the phenomenal work he accomplished as acting CSO” added Dr. Thierry Mathieu, President and Founder of StarkAge Therapeutics.“He has been instrumental in crystalizing our Research Strategy and furthering important collaborations which will provide access to multi-omics3 capabilities. Frédérik will accompany us through our upcoming seed round and will continue to play a key role in our collaboration with EGID4.

Dr. Le Calvé holds a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences from the Free University of Brussels, Belgium and an MS in Engineering for Health and Drugs, option Biotechnology and Management from the University of Joseph Fourier in Grenoble, France. He has 27 scientific publications to his name in peer-reviewed journals. Benjamin lives in Bierges, Belgium with his wife and two children.

 

About senescence

Cellular senescence is a stress-induced, durable cell-cycle arrest of previously replication-competent cells. Senescent cells can be beneficial as well as detrimental regarding host physiology and disease. Indeed, while cellular senescence can facilitate physiological processes such as tissue repair and wound healing, the actions of their secreted pro-inflammatory cytokines can promote tissue dysfunctions, especially during aging. In this context, the rate at which senescent cells accumulate within tissues increases with aging leading to age-related disorders causing diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis5,6 (IPF) and many others7,8,9,10. Consequently, these detrimental senescent cells are considered a potential therapeutic target in age-related disorders. Nevertheless, the challenge remains to specifically target detrimental senescent cells while avoiding altering the functions of beneficial ones.

 

About StarkAge Therapeutics

StarkAge Therapeutics (SATX) is a pioneering privately held discovery-stage biotechnology company based in Lille, France. It was founded in 2018 by Dr. Thierry Mathieu based on the idea that eliminating disease-specific senescent cells using immunotherapy could deliver significant therapeutic benefits to patients.
Its ambition is to delay or halt disease progression and improve the quality of life of patients with age-related diseases.

Increasing evidence in literature confirms senescent cell accumulation as a hallmark in various aged-related diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis5,6, neurodegenerative diseases7, metabolic dysfunction8,9 or hepatic steatosis10. Recent scientific reviews11,12 identified potential targets and set the foundations for testing applications in humans.

StarkAge Therapeutics’ unique expertise originates from its proprietary biomarker discovery platform, ExoCiseTM, which enables the characterization of senescent cell biomarkers from patient-derived extracellular vesicles and their specific validation for each disease.

StarkAge Therapeutics has selected Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) as its lead program. Other fibrotic diseases or metabolic diseases such as NAFLD / NASH are under evaluation.

 

Contacts

StarkAge Therapeutics
Institut Pasteur Lille – 1 Rue du Professeur Calmette – 59800 Lille – Tel:  +33 3 74 02 03 03

Dr. Pierre-Michel Bringer, CEO
pierre-michel.bringer@StarkAgeTX.com

 

References

  1. Management Committee = Comité de Direction (CoDir)
  2. https://starkagetx.com/starkage-therapeutics-establishes-its-scientific-advisor-board-of-international-independent-experts-sab-meets-for-the-first-timecientific-advisory-board-and-holds-their-foundational-meeting/
  3. OMICs https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiomicshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omics
  4. EGID https://egid.fr/en/egid-european-genomic-institutes-for-diabetes/
  5. Hernandez-Gonzalez F et al., Cellular Senescence in Lung Fibrosis. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jun 29;22(13):7012.
  6. Kellogg DL et al., Cellular Senescence in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. Curr Mol Biol Rep. 2021 Aug 12:1-10
  7. Baker DJ et al., Cellular senescence in brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases: evidence and perspectives. J Clin Invest. 2018 Apr 2;128(4):1208-1216.
  8. Palmer AK et al.,Targeting senescent cells alleviates obesity-induced metabolic dysfunction. Aging Cell. 2019;18(3):e12950.
  9. Aguayo-Mazzucato C et al., Acceleration of beta Cell Aging Determines Diabetes and Senolysis Improves Disease Outcomes. Cell Metab. 2019.
  10. Ogrodnik M et al., Cellular senescence drives age-dependent hepatic steatosis. Nat Commun. 2017;8:15691.
  11. Di Micco, R., Krizhanovsky, V., Baker, D. et al. Cellular senescence in ageing: from mechanisms to therapeutic opportunities. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 22, 75–95 (2021).
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41580-020-00314-w
  12. Rossi, M.; Abdelmohsen, K. The Emergence of Senescent Surface Biomarkers as Senotherapeutic Targets. Cells 2021, 10, 1740.
    https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4409/10/7/1740