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SENSICA founders (L to R): Professor Lorna Harries, Dr Ben Lee and Kirsty Semple

University of Exeter spin-out SENISCA secures £1.3M investment for pioneering anti-ageing technology

SENISCA, a University of Exeter biotech spin-out company has been successful in securing £1.3M for the development of its ground-breaking anti-ageing technology.

SENISCA has developed a technology to combat and reverse the aesthetic and disease-causing aspects of ageing, aimed at enabling people to live healthy lives for longer. The applications for the technology are numerous and diverse. SENISCA has a long term vision to deliver innovative, effective pharmaceutical interventions to treat age-related chronic diseases.

SENISCA’S launch investment round was oversubscribed by £350k against target of £950k, receiving substantial funds from a group of private investors including venture capital specialists: Emerging Longevity Ventures,  the R42 Group, Longevity Tech Fund and Trend Investment Group.

SENISCA’s innovation, which restores functional levels of RNA splicing factors (which are essential for cellular responses), takes old or ‘senescent’ cells and effectively resets the cellular ageing clock.

The new investment will enable the company  to further develop the potential medical applications towards clinical validation.  SENISCA will also develop anti-ageing cosmeceuticals, supported by a recent £240k grant award from Innovate UK.

SENISCA was founded in 2020 by an expert co-founder team, Professor Lorna Harries, Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Ben Lee, Chief Technical Officer and Kirsty Semple, Chief Executive Officer. SENISCA are a member of the SETsquared Scale-up programme, run by SETsquared the three times global number one business incubator.

Professor Lorna Harries, Chief Scientific Officer, said: “It’s so exciting to see the science we’ve developed in our labs reaching this crucial point towards commercialisation, and increasing the potential that we could help people to live healthier lives for longer. We’re incredibly grateful to our funders for their vision and support”

 Kirsty Semple, Chief Executive Officer, said: “This investment is the first step towards positioning SENISCA as a global leader in the development of medicines to target the causes, not just the effects of ageing (senotherapeutics).  Our long-standing RNA biology expertise and world class laboratory facilities place us amongst the front runners in the development of drugs that target mRNAs, the product of our genes, which is one of the fastest growing drug development sectors. We aim to be amongst the first teams to employ this emerging modality in the context of complex disease.  We are dedicated to proving that our innovative cell-rejuvenation technology, together with perseverance and passion, can come together to improve the lives of patients.

“Our long term aim is to ensure that our Exeter Research and Development base becomes widely recognised on the UK Biotech map for the development and delivery of precision medicine for age-related disease, bringing economic growth and recognition to the South West of England.“

Research Commercialisation Manager, Tori Hammond, commented: “It’s been really enjoyable and rewarding to give Lorna and SENISCA the support of the University of Exeter’s Innovation, Impact and Business technology transfer team. Since embarking on the Innovation to Commercialisation of University Research (ICURe) Programme in January 2020, the SENISCA team has taken advantage of all possible opportunities and this has resulted in an exciting and innovative research technology breaking out of the lab and into commercialisation. SENISCA’s success in securing this investment round is testament to the hard work of the founders, supported by a wide range of professional services staff at the University of Exeter.”

Date: 12 March 2021