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Labiotech gathers feedback from European biotechs on Unity failure


Key points from article :

Unity Biotechnology is a high-flyer in geroscience, backed by big investors such as Jeff Bezos.

Its lead candidate senolytic failed to reduce pain in patients with the age-related condition osteoarthritis in a Phase II trial.

Unclear whether it cleared senescent cells from arthritic joints or it did, but failed anyway.

“When everybody is confident ... and the frontrunner fails, it’s going to raise a question mark” - Daniel Ives, Shift Biosciences.

“Negative data is always difficult to interpret, especially in ... a relatively young field" - Tim Cash, Senolytx.

“People kind of expected [Unity’s] first drug, which wasn’t the best one in vitro, to potentially fail in vivo” - Peter de Keizer, Cleara Biotech.

“What you want to do is fail quickly and inexpensively” - Gregory Bailey, Juvenescence.

"It will be very, very difficult for everyone to find a small therapeutically meaningful spot without side effects" - Christoph Antz,, Velabs Therapeutics.

General feeling that failures are bound to happen - but that their approaches can succeed

Mentioned in this article:

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Company Representative

CEO of Velabs Therapeutics.


Cleara is developing therapeutics to eliminate senescent cells.

Company Representative

Founder and CEO of Shift Bioscience Limited.

Company Representative

CEO at Juvenescence and chairman of Portage Biotech, Inc.


Developing therapies against different aging related diseases.


Pharmaceutical company that develops a novel class of medicines by targeting damaged cells.


Biotech company targeting the root causes of aging to extend healthy lifespan.

Company Representative

Chief Scientific Officer at Senolytic Therapeutics.


Biotechnology company devoted to research of restoring human health


Fast generation of functional therapeutic antibodies.