Swiss biotech start-up Epiterna, which was founded in 2022 by Kevin Perez and Alejandro Ocampo, has emerged from stealth and brought with it news of an investment by Prima Materia the firm founded by Daniel Ek (founder of Spotify) and Shakil Khan. The sum of the investment is thought to be €10 million.
Ocampo, the CEO of Epiterna penned a post on the company’s website explaining what the start-up is, and its future steps.
He explained that the team has developed 'a unique high-throughput platform to evaluate drugs and assess their effect on healthy lifespan'. If you haven't guessed already, yes this start-up wants to help pets and people to live longer and healthier lives.
Going on to say "We know that ageing is the major risk factor for multiple diseases affecting both us and our pets, including dementia, cancer, frailty, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. However, this deterioration with age is not linear, like a car wearing out. Rather, the ageing process is malleable. Experiments have now demonstrated that we can slow down ageing and extend healthy lifespan in animals in the laboratory."
Ocampo explains he brings fifteen years to the table, as a scientist studying ageing - studying how to slow down or reverse ageing at the cellular and molecular level.
Rounding things off, and perhaps giving us all hope that our furry friends will get to check out that little bit later in the future he stated, "We are building Epiterna to translate these discoveries into longer, healthier and happier lives – for companion dogs and cats, and for people'.
"We aim to start our first clinical trial for companion dogs in 2024 in Europe. Importantly, we don’t view pets as simply a stepping-stone to evaluate medicines that could eventually work for people. In fact, we intend to initiate clinical trials for people before launching our first products for companion animals."