Broad therapeutic potential with progenitor cell activation
Regenerative medicine is a branch of translational research that deals with the process of restoring or repairing tissue or cells to normal function. Over the years, traditional methods of regenerative medicine, such as cell therapy, transplantation, and cell engineering have produced exciting results but with significant technical complexity and cost. This has motivated scientists to explore more simple ways to promote the body’s own cells to initiate repair. Progenitor Cell Activation (PCA) is our proprietary platform that reactivates dormant progenitor cells to restore damaged or diseased tissue or cells.
Progenitor cells are specific forms of stem cells that can differentiate into defined types of cells depending on where in the body they are located and their state of tissue commitment. Most progenitor cells only divide spontaneously under special conditions or during certain stages in human development, such as during fetal development. Several progenitor cells in the body remain dormant within the body after development is complete. Reactivating intact progenitor cells presents a unique approach to revisit regenerative medicine in new and innovative ways.
Scientists have tried to repopulate lost cells using cell transplants and gene therapy, although targeting specificity and missing cues has caused a barrier. The founders of Frequency, alongside Robert Langer, Sc.D., and Jeff Karp, Ph.D., devoted the work in their labs to uncovering multiple pathways already existent in natural regeneration and applying their findings to the specific tissue to drive cellular regeneration and healing. It is within these progenitor cells that we found the signals to reactivate these cells later in the human life cycle.
Unlike converting native cells, Frequency’s PCA Regenerative Medicine platform is a precise and controlled approach “activates stemness,” causing progenitor cells to divide and differentiate, much like what is seen in naturally regenerating tissues such as the skin and intestine. PCA Regeneration has all the benefits of traditional regenerative medicine (cell/gene therapy) without the key shortcomings of manufacturing challenges and difficulty of delivery.
PCA Regeneration has the potential to address life threatening, rare diseases and common conditions with large unmet needs such as hearing loss and skin disorders. PCA Regeneration yields a whole new category of disease-modifying therapeutics for a vast array of degenerative conditions. Frequency’s initial focus is on chronic hearing loss.
- Hearing loss is first target application
- Develop additional therapeutics internally
- Out-license non-core areas
- Unlimited progenitor supply can be made in vitro
- Eliminates barriers to drug discovery
- Disease modifying therapy for a wide range of degenerative conditions
- Local drug delivery safely creates new cells in desired architecture
To fuel our drug discovery program, Frequency is leveraging its proprietary PCA screening platform that utilizes primary cells, including adult human progenitor cells from the GI tract. This approach allows us to generate an unlimited supply of tissue-specific progenitor cells in vitro. As each tissue is unique in its biological needs, this approach allows us to tailor possible treatments for specific tissue ailments throughout the body. Our strategy is to use this powerful platform to fill our proprietary development pipeline for multiple disease indications and conditions.