By Rachael Green, Benzinga
While longer lifespans are great news, the growing number of seniors is bringing increased attention to the issue of aging frailty and its impact on the quality of life in those lengthening golden years. As people age, it can be common for systems in the body to start declining, including a decline in muscle mass and a slowing down of the immune system. The cumulative effect of this and other age-related decline is sometimes referred to as aging frailty, and for people with aging frailty, there appears to be increased vulnerability to death or severe disability as a result of minor events like a fall or a mild infection, as well as increased risk of not surviving common surgeries that become increasingly needed as people age.
Over the last few years, aging frailty has risen rapidly in Japan, from 11.5% of adults 65 and older in 2017 to over 17% today. Meanwhile, over 31% of Japanese seniors are pre-frail, meaning they meet one or more criteria for frailty and are at high risk of becoming frail in the next few years.
To address this emerging crisis, Longeveron (NASDAQ: LGVN) is currently conducting clinical trials to evaluate Lomecel-B, its off-the-shelf cell therapy candidate, as a potential treatment for aging frailty.
Might Lomecel-B Help Target Underlying Causes Of Aging Frailty?
Lomecel-B is made from medical signaling cells (MSCs) derived from the bone marrow of healthy adult donors. It is believed that MSCs travel to sites of damage or inflammation in the body and may promote cellular regeneration and repair.
In a previous Phase 2b trial on aging frailty, a single intravenous (IV) infusion of Lomecel-B was shown to have improved the walking distance during a six-minute walk test after nine months. Another clinical trial is ongoing in Japan, with the first patient having been dosed in April, 2023. The trial will enroll approximately 45 patients who will be randomly split into three groups. One group will serve as the placebo-control group, while the other two will each receive either a low or high dose of Lomecel-B in a single infusion.
If approved, Lomecel-B could become the first FDA-approved treatment in the United States for Aging-related Frailty on the market, filling an unmet need that appears likely to become more prevalent in the coming years.
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