Yuva Biosciences, Inc. – a regenerative medicine company that is developing the next generation of therapeutics to target aging and related illnesses through ground-breaking mitochondrial science.
Yuva Biosciences is leveraging a proprietary platform technology to develop cosmeceuticals initially and then pharmaceuticals for market. The lead product candidate (Y100) has yielded excellent pre-clinical results. The company is preparing for a clinical study and continuing to advance research and development efforts for its pipeline of therapeutics.
Chairman Interview with Greg Schmergel:
What is the background of the Founding Scientist Dr. Keshav Singh and how did Yuva Biosciences get started?
Yuva Biosciences is based on exciting breakthroughs in mitochondrial science, showing the link between mitochondrial function and multiple effects of aging and pointing the way to how to prevent those effects, such as hair loss and skin wrinkles. These breakthroughs were made by Dr. Keshav Singh, Scientific Founder of Yuva Biosciences. Dr. Singh is one of the world’s top five mitochondrial scientists, with time spent at Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and now Harbert Professor of Genetics and Director of the Cancer Genetics Program at UAB. He founded the journal Mitochondrion and the Mitochondria Research and Medicine Society, and has authored over 100 publications and 3 books.
Reduction in mitochondrial function is a key contributor to multiple diseases and disorders and to the human aging process itself. How is Yuva Biosciences helping to restore the mitochondrial function and to reverse Aging through Mitochondrial Science?
Yuva Biosciences has developed a platform for rapidly screening both natural and pharmaceutical compounds to assess their impact on mitochondrial function, starting with pre-clinical studies in mice and progressing to cell-based assays and then human trials. This platform can be targeted at a variety of organs such as the brain, ovaries, hair, skin, and more. Natural compounds have already been identified which successfully prevent and reverse hair loss and skin wrinkles in pre-clinical studies.
Share with us about the latest trends that you see in this multi-billion-dollar hair loss prevention and anti-aging skincare market.
An all-natural product that can fight both hair loss and skin wrinkles would undoubtedly
be a major breakthrough in these multi-billion dollar markets. For hair loss, many of the treatments either have worrisome potential for side effects or are invasive or uncomfortable, often requiring visits to clinics—therefore a topical cream that can be safely and pleasantly applied at home would be extremely desirable. In the anti-aging skincare market, there are plenty of products with great marketing but not so many based on fundamental scientific breakthroughs.
What are the potential future areas of growth?
Mitochondrial function is essential for so many parts of the body. Therefore discovering compounds that can improve mitochondrial function has the potential to help in many different areas, not just hair and skin. Dr. Singh has already published on the topic of mitochondrial function and ovarian aging, and mitochondrial function’s connection to brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s is an active area of investigation in the community. These are just two examples—there are many potential diseases and disorders that can be remediated through improvement of mitochondrial function.
What is some of the key progress of Yuva Biosciences to date?
The company has set up a lab at The Innovation Depot in Birmingham, and works closely with two local CROs (one for research and one for clinical trials) and with Dr. Singh’s lab at UAB. The company has raised $1.4M in its seed round already. I’m the Chairman, and have experience starting and running multiple startups, and the Advisory Board includes four luminaries in the field, including the founder of a nutraceutical company that improves mitochondrial function which is now public, two of the top professors in the field of aging and mitochondrial science, and preeminent longevity expert Aubrey de Grey.
Greg Schmergel, Chairman of Yuva Biosciences, Inc. He is a serial entrepreneur who has started multiple companies, including Nantero, Inc., one of the world’s pioneers in nanotechnology. He serves on multiple Boards including as member of the Board of Trustees of the Lahey Hospital & Medical Center and of the Lahey Clinic Foundation and as a Venture Partner at Rubicon Venture Capital. Before co-founding and serving as CEO of Nantero, Greg was Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy for About, Inc., at the time the 5th largest Web property in the world. Previously, he was President and CEO of ExpertCentral.com, Inc. Greg founded ExpertCentral.com to provide consumers and small businesses with access to thousands of experts to use as an online resource for important questions on a wide variety of topics (later acquired by About, Inc.). Before that, he was a Case Team Leader for Bain & Company and held a senior position at TowerGroup, which he helped start (acquired by Reuters). Greg was a previous Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner in New England, in the emerging technology category, and was also inducted into Boston Business Journal’s 40-under-40 Hall of Fame in 2018.
Greg stays active in supporting the entrepreneurship and business community including being a judge in the Harvard Business School New Venture Competition and at the MassChallenge accelerator, a guest speaker at entrepreneurial classes and groups, a past judge in MIT business plan competitions, and a Board member on the Mass Technology Leadership Council. He holds an AB magna cum laude from Harvard University and an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.