development of telomerase
therapy to treat Alzheimer's
Our vision is not to help anyone "live with Alzheimer's", but to ensure that all of us can live without Alzheimer's. Our vision is to cure Alzheimer's, plain and simple. We intend to save the lives, the minds, and the presence of those who have Alzheimer's now and to prevent anyone from getting Alzheimer's in future.
This is Iris, the mother of our CEO and catalyst for the founding of Telocyte™. We would like to acknowledge the wonderful care and support for Iris provided by the staff and friends at The Foundation of Lady Katherine Leveson, Temple Balsall, in the UK.
Farewell Iris, you always led by example, facing adversity with good humour and a resolve to overcome. As a dedicated nurse, she helped many during her life, her simple request to us was that we should find a future beyond Alzheimer's for others.
Telocyte™ focuses on curing Alzheimer's disease. Telocyte™ plans to run human trials to reverse Alzheimer's pathology at the cellular level. Currently, there are no effective medical or pharmaceutical interventions for those suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
We think we now understand how Alzheimer's works. Our model is supported by animal studies and is consistent with current human clinical data. Our clinical studies will include standard cognitive testing, imaging, and biomarker evaluations typically utilized in clinical trials for Alzheimer's disease.
Our mission is to cure Alzheimer's, plain and simple.
The use of innovative advanced regenerative cell and gene therapies to reset the cell senescence that underlies and defines the "aging process". Cell senescence instigates a cascade of pathology that causes age- related disease, as our telomeres shorten and modulate the changing pattern of gene expression – the epigenetic signalling information – in aging cells. This is the fundamental problem of aging and age-related disease. To be effective, our national healthcare systems need to support the ability to maintain normal cell function as we age, both preventing age-related disease and lowering healthcare costs
Our first clinical target is Alzheimer's disease.
We are committed to a cure, not to finding a symptomatic treatment, nor to finding a way to merely delay Alzheimer's by a few weeks or months. We are committed to reversing the disease process and to giving patients a return of lost function. We are committed to finding out just how much we can offer our patients.
Our commitment is founded on experience, knowledge, and hope.
Hard work is not sufficient. The ability to cure a disease requires not merely hard work and resources. Clinical success requires that we first understand the fundamental disease process. We are committed to understanding in order to save lives.
We are committed to making lives better and to returning lives that were lost.
Board of Directors
Michael Fossel MD, PhD
The leader in proposing the use of telomerase to treat age-related human disease.
An experienced industry executive, Rayson provides leadership and business acumen for Telocyte.
An experienced technology executive, Hodges provides effective and inspiring leadership for all Telocyte programs and services.
Michael Fossel, MD, PhD
The leader in proposing the use of telomerase to treat age-related human disease, he has an MD and PhD in Neurobiology from Stanford University, was a clinical professor of medicine for almost three decades, and authored both The Telomerase Revolution (which the Wall Street Journal named as one of the best science books of 2015) and the Oxford University Press textbook, Cells, Aging, and Human Disease.
An experienced industry executive, Rayson provides leadership and business acumen for Telocyte. His background includes engineering management with Computer Vision Inc., as well as working with Rolls Royce Aerospace, Airbus, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover. He was the Associate Director of the Technology Innovation Center at Birmingham, UK but stepped down in 2011 when his mother was diagnosed with dementia.
Rajesh Shukla, PhD
Rajesh brings over 30 years of entrepreneurial biotechnology expertise with clinical and medical strategy, with over $300M in funding. Rajesh leads gene therapy clinical development leveraging discovery through registrational expertise in Neurology, Immunology, Infectious Diseases, Oncology, Surgical reconstruction, Asthma and Anaphylaxis clinical programs, with senior positions at Integra LifeSciences, Castle Creek Biosciences (VP, R&D), Motif Biosciences (VP), Acorda therapeutics (Sr Medical Director), Pfizer (Sr Director & R&D Head), Teva and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Michelle Hylan is an internationally experienced Clinical Research Executive with demonstrated success partnering with clients to optimize clinical program outcomes through alignment of business strategy, processes, and org composition, as well as bringing biotech start-ups from proof of concept to IPO. Michelle has focused on advancing unique science solutions to address unmet medical needs. She has broad experience in industry best practices on global program, clinical, and quality management. She specializes in strategic development and implementation, clinical trial design, CRO/vendor selection and management.
Georgi Gospodinov, PhD
An executive, advisor, and investor, offering thought leadership and innovative ideas, Georgi has led the engineering and analytics teams of multiple enterprises to deliver strategic product vision, tech resource hire and management, enterprise security, architecture, and integration. He has managed product delivery and driven innovation in data and technology, directly contributing to the design and implementation of product.
Radomir Julina, PhD
Prior to his current role as Managing General Partner at Pharma Capital Partners, Radomir was head of New Molecular Entity Planning at Roche and ran an Alzheimer’s drug clinical trial through Phase III. He has worked in pharmaceutical, biotech and private equity for the last 25+ years. He was Managing Director at Celtic Pharma Management, a spin-off from Hoffmann-La Roche. He holds a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Zurich and has a passion for drug development, building virtual organizations and investment finance.
Technical Advisory Board
Mario Masellis obtained his MSc in Pharmacology from the University of Toronto in 1997, completed his medical training at the University of Toronto in 2001 and obtained his board certification (FRCP Canada) in Neurology since 2006. He has completed a clinical research fellowship in Cognitive & Movement Disorders Neurology in 2008 and obtained a PhD in Clinical Neurosciences in 2012. His clinical expertise is in the diagnosis and management of both Alzheimer's and non-Alzheimer's dementias, including Lewy body disorders, frontotemporal dementia, progressive supranuclear palsy and corticobasal syndrome. His research focuses on how genomic factors impact neuroimaging and cognitive phenotypes, and response to drugs in neurodegenerative diseases. His work has been published in high impact journals including Brain, Neurology, Lancet Neurology, Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, and Alzheimer's & Dementia. He co-leads the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative and Theme 2 of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging. He serves as a member of the International Parkinson's and Movement Disorders Society Neuroimaging Study Group, and International Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) Consortium. He is the Canadian national principal investigator of the Genetic Frontotemporal Dementia Initiative (GENFI) and oversees the conduct of this project in Canada. He has received several awards for his work including the Maud Menten Institute of Genetics New Investigator Prize from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation, and Science. Dr. Masellis has published 185 peer-reviewed articles, with 6459 total citations, and an h-index of 41 (Scopus).
Lon Schneider is the Della Martin Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience and is professor of psychiatry, neurology, and gerontology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. He directs the USC California Alzheimer's Disease Center and co-leads the clinical core of the USC NIA Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. His work includes treatment development with novel metabolic and neuroregenerative compounds, novel outcomes, clinical trials methods, modelling and simulations, and in silico screening for medications for Alzheimer's disease. He is an associate editor or editorial board member of several publications; serves on The Lancet Commission for Dementia Prevention, Intervention, and Care; is a Fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology; and Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.
Steven Arnold is Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Translational Neurology Head and Managing Director of the Interdisciplinary Brain Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. After receiving his M.D. from Boston University, Dr. Arnold completed residency training in Psychiatry at the New York State Psychiatric Institute / Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York and residency training in Neurology at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. He also completed fellowship training in Cognitive Neuroscience and was a post-doctoral associate in Neuroanatomy in Iowa. Dr. Arnold is board certified in both neurology and psychiatry. After his training, Dr. Arnold joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania where he was Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology until his move to Massachusetts General Hospital in 2015. At the Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Arnold is the neurology lead for the Interdisciplinary Brain Center, a new collaboration of the Departments of Neurology. Psychiatry and the Martinos Center for Neuroimaging. Its mission is to facilitate the discovery, development, and implementation of promising therapeutics and associated diagnostics for individuals with complex brain disorders that affect cognition, behavior and emotion. Neurodegenerative diseases are major disease interests of the Interdisciplinary Brain Center. Dr. Arnold has conducted longstanding research on neurodegenerative disease pathology, molecular biomarkers and therapeutics for cognitive decline and psychiatric syndromes in late life and has led broad clinical and translational research programs. He has authored over 300 scientific articles, reviews and chapters. Current scientific interests include biomarkers in brain aging and dementias, metabolic factors driving dementia, and protective factors that account for cognitive resilience, all towards accelerating therapeutics discovery and development in early phase and proof-of-concept clinical trials for neurocognitive disorders. Dr. Arnold's clinical practice at Massachusetts General Hospital focuses on older adults with cognitive disorders, especially Alzheimer's disease and normal pressure hydrocephalus.
Russell Swerdlow is a physician-scientist who primarily studies brain energy metabolism and the role brain energy metabolism plays in neurodegenerative diseases. His main area of clinical expertise includes the neurodegenerative diseases that affect cognition, and especially Alzheimer's disease. His research focuses on why brain bioenergetic function declines with advancing age, why brain bioenergetic changes are accentuated in neurodegenerative disease states, and how to repair and reverse age-and-neurodegeneration-related bioenergetic dysfunction. He began this line of investigation as an undergraduate trainee, and as a medical student I continued his research training as part of my university's Research Honors Program. During his post-graduate neurology training he focused on studies of mitochondrial function and genetics in a basic science laboratory. Upon completing his residency he completed additional formal training in cognitive disorders, and a postdoctoral fellowship in a mitochondria-focused laboratory. With the support of a K08 Award he transitioned to an independent investigator, and since then he has continuously pursued his research program. To date his research has covered several research disciplines, including basic, translational, and clinical research and he has served as a PI on multiple types of NIH grants (K08, R03, R01, P30) as well as a CoI on multiple other grants. The sum of his experience to date puts him in a good position pursue a broad range of research projects relating to brain bioenergetics, brain aging, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Mimoun Azzouz, formerly Director of Neurobiology at Oxford BioMedica plc, is currently Chair of Translational Neuroscience at the University of Sheffield. Azzouz is also Deputy Head of Neurology Unit and Director of Research & Innovation at the Neuroscience Department. His track record of translational research productivity is characterized by publications in top ranking scientific journals, including Nature, Nature Medicine, Nature Neuroscience, and STM. Several inventions emerged from his research. One of his major achievements is his involvement in a gene therapy approach designed to achieve dopamine replacement in models of Parkinson's disease. This strategy has yielded significant translational impact having entered into phase I/II human clinical trials since 2008. He is currently driving 2 clinical development programs through regulatory tox, GMP clinical manufacturing and regulatory bodies. He recently won top level EU ad hominem prestigious ERC Advanced Investigator (2011) and ERC Proof-of-Concept (2017) Awards. These awards are acknowledging his pre-eminence in European biomedical research. He is/has been advisor for companies and academic institutions. He is currently a member of scientific Panels/Boards for various funding bodies such as the Medical Research Council (DPFS MRC, UK), the French Muscular Dystrophy Association (AFM), the Health Research Board (HRB) of Ireland and the Neuroscience Panel, Germany. He has been recently named as Board member of the British Society for Gene and Cell Therapy.
Joseph Araujo is the President and CEO of InterVivo Solutions, which is focused on optimizing translational services to facilitate the development and approval of novel CNS drugs. His scientific background includes graduate training in pharmacology at the University of Toronto, more than 35 refereed publications and several invited presentations, which focus on natural aged canine models of human disease. Joseph has co-founded, held executive level positions and consulted for Life Science companies including CanCog Technologies, Vivocore, Karyopharm Therapeutics, NPM Pharma, Ketogen, and Epione Animal Health.
Suzanne Hendrix has worked for the past 26 years as a biostatistician focusing on clinical trial research in many different indications. She has extensive experience designing clinical trials, writing statistical analysis plans, running analyses, writing statistical reports, interacting with the FDA and preparing manuscripts for publication. She is experienced at communicating statistical concepts in an understandable way, and has helped develop software for graphically understanding large complex datasets. For the past 14 years, she has specialized in statistical issues in Alzheimer's disease such as identifying appropriate outcomes, addressing measurement issues, demonstrating disease modification and optimizing clinical trial design and analysis. She has been on multiple advisory boards and expert panels addressing current issues in Alzheimer's disease, and has interacted with the division of Neurology products at the FDA and with the EMA through scientific advice regarding these issues. She is currently president and owner of Pentara, a company that provides data management and statistical consultation to the pharmaceutical industry, academic groups and non-profit groups, primarily supporting clinical trial design and optimization in Alzheimer's disease. She has researched methods for discerning disease modification of treatments, and has proposed novel approaches to this problem. She is an active researcher in the Alzheimer's disease field with over 100 publications and presentations.
Kurt Whittemore has pursued a career of biology and aging research. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry at Southern Utah University where he also started a team to compete in the iGEM (international Genetically Engineered Machine) competition. He then obtained his PhD in Biological Design from Arizona State University, where he worked on projects for cancer vaccines and peptide microarrays to diagnose diseases from patient sera. He also developed the technique to calculate the Shannon information entropy of the data obtained from applying antibodies from patients to random peptide microarrays. He found that cancer patients and chronic disease patients had higher entropy values than normal patients. He then joined the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas (CNIO) institution in Madrid Spain as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the Telomeres and Telomerase lab directed by Maria Blasco. He discovered that the telomere shortening rate of various species can be used to predict the lifespan of those species, and he also performed telomerase gene therapy in mice to study the effects on neurodegeneration. Kurt is currently employed at Harvard Medical School/Boston Children's Hospital studying the effects of gene therapy on inflammatory bowel disease.