Rejuvenation Biotechnology 2016

Our third Rejuvenation Biotechnology Conference, RB2016, was hosted at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging.

Although the event itself was invitation-only, our free live stream allowed viewers from 62 countries to enjoy a broad range of presentations on the emerging rejuvenation biotechnology industry and SRF's critical role in driving forward the clinical translation of truly effective medicine for age-related disease.

Don't worry if you missed it, though - the streamed videos remain available here!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Opening Remarks

Mike Kope, CEO, SENS Research Foundation

SRF CEO Mike Kope opened the 2016 Rejuvenation Biotechnology Conference with a considered assessment of the field’s progress over the last decade, going on to explain our three-part strategy to break through current funding and engagement barriers.


Mitochondrial-Derived Peptides and their Roles in Aging and Related Diseases

Pinchas Cohen, William and Sylvia Kugel Dean in Gerontology, USC Davis School of Gerontology; Executive Director, Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center

Dr. Cohen's keynote talk explored the new field of short mitochondrial-derived peptides, which have roles not just in regulating mitochondrial function but in a broad range of aging-related processes.

Session 1: Prolonging Lifespan Through Accurate Detection And New Approaches To Prevention

Rejuvenation Biotechnology: The Fourth Age of Gerontology

Aubrey de Grey, Chief Science Officer, SENS Research Foundation

SRF’s Chief Science Officer Dr. Aubrey de Grey’s presentation charts the history of scientific and medical efforts to control age-related disease and ill health, culminating in the emerging era of rejuvenation biotechnology.

Prolonging Life Span?

Judith Campisi, Professor, Buck Institute for Research on Aging

Professor Judith Campisi’s talk provided an update on our current understanding of senescent cell biology and its connection to the onset of a host of age-related diseases, before going on to discuss various methods being developed to eliminate such cells from the body.

Tissue-Engineering Ovarian Follicles

John Jackson, Associate Professor, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine

Professor Jackson drew attention to the dangerous consequences of contemporary hormonal treatments for female reproductive aging, and his lab’s work to develop engineered ovarian tissues that could restore a more natural hormonal balance.

Robust and Reproducible Interventions in Aging

Gordon Lithgow, Professor, Buck Institute for Research on Aging

Professor Gordon Lithgow’s presentation evaluated issues with the traditional pre-clinical pipeline in model animals, highlighting the surprising lack of reproducibility observed between nominally identical lifespan studies in C. elegans.

Session 1 Panel Discussion

Session 1’s panel discussed the presentations made by each speaker, before taking audience questions on the effects of senescent cells and the problems revealed by inconsistent results in C. elegans lifespan studies.



Mike Kope, CEO, SENS Research Foundation

SENS Research Foundation CEO Mike Kope briefly introduces our major new initiative, Project|21, created to move the first SENS therapies into human clinical trials by 2021.

Forever Healthy

Michael Greve, Founder & CEO, Forever Healthy Foundation; CEO, Kizoo Technology Ventures

German internet entrepreneur Michael Greve, the first donor to SENS Research Foundation's major new Project|21 initiative, discusses how his life and career led to a passionate interest in the long-term maintenance of human health.

Session 2: Identification And Optimization Of Synergies Between ‘Old’ And ‘New’ Biotech Funding Models

Funding Aging Research

Brian Kennedy, President and CEO, Buck Institute for Research on Aging

Buck Institute for Research on Aging president and CEO Brian Kennedy draws on his extensive experience of contemporary funding sources to identify serious flaws in the current system, before discussing novel approaches which could help to overcome those barriers.


Debra Miller, President & CEO, CureDuchenne

CureDuchenne founder Debra Miller discusses her organisation’s focus on “venture philanthropy”, and the success of that model in driving forward multiple candidate therapies for muscular dystrophy.

Funding Models and Sources

Brock Reeve, Executive Director, Harvard Stem Cell Institute

Harvard Stem Cell Institute Executive Director Brock Reeve explains his organisation’s approach to bridging the funding gap between academic and translational research, within the context of recent trends across the biomedical sector.

Session 2 Panel Discussion

Session 2’s panel considered the social and political challenges that continue to block significant increases in public funding for rejuvenation biotechnology.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Session 3: Science Is Changing. The Tools And Technologies Required To Deliver Science Must Respond

Increasing Interaction Between Product, Process and Regulation

David Brindley, Director of Alliances, SENS Research Foundation

SRF Director of Alliances, David Brindley, considers the unique regulatory challenges associated with regenerative medical therapies and the potential of new expedited approval pathways to overcome those obstacles.

Technologies & Innovation Supporting Therapeutic Development

Eric Roos, Strategic Alliances Leader, Cell Therapy, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Dr. Roos, Strategic Alliances Leader for Cell Therapy at Thermo Fisher Scientific, reviewed the critical role of tool and technology development companies in supporting the translation of regenerative medical therapies.

Genomics-based quality control for stem cell therapy: Parkinson's Disease

Jeanne Loring, Professor, Scripps Research Institute

Professor Jeanne Loring of the Scripps Research Institute discusses the importance of rigorous characterisation in cell therapies, with particular focus on her lab’s progress towards a reliable cure for Parkinson’s disease.

Session 3 Panel Discussion

Session 3’s panel particularly considered the level of detail required in regulatory submissions, and the impact of new data collection workflows.

Session 4: As Paths To Clinic Are Expedited, The Distinction Between Development And Manufacturing Is Becoming Increasingly Blurred

T-cell immunotherapy: Catching Up to the User Requirements

Sean Kevlahan, CEO and Co-Founder, Quad Therapeutics

Quad Technologies CEO and co-founder Sean Kevlahan reported on his company’s significant progress in developing novel tools to improve process yields within the field of CAR-T cell immunotherapies.

Considerations in Gene and Cell Therapy Manufacturing

James Brown, Vice President, Corporate Development, Aldevron

Aldevron’s vice president James Brown offered a summary of existing gene therapy products before reviewing in great detail the challenges associated with their manufacture and translation.

Challenges in Manufacturing of Advanced Therapies and Immunotherapeutics

Alan Moore, Vice President and Commercial Chief for Biologics and Advanced Therapies, WuXi App Tec

Alan Moore, vice president at WuXi App Tec, introduced the company’s integrated services for high-throughput production of complex cell therapies – with particular emphasis on the special challenges of autologous treatments.

Session 4 Panel Discussion

Session 4’s panel discussed how the challenges in regulating, manufacturing and distributing new therapies might be seen as a positive sign, indicative of rapid growth in the industry.


Alliance Program

David Brindley, Director of Alliances, SENS Research Foundation

SRF Director of Alliances David Brindley returned to the stage to introduce our new Alliance Program, launched in January 2016 to nurture partnerships that will streamline the translation of SENS research to the clinic.

Session 5: Regulating New Platforms In Fundamentally New Ways

Accelerated Approval Pathways

Kenneth Harris, Chief Advisor, Curasense Advisors

Kenneth Harris of Curasense Advisors devoted his talk to a nuanced assessment of the opportunities and pitfalls posed by a new generation of expedited regulatory pathways.

Regulating New Platforms in Fundamentally New Ways?

Melissa Walker, President and Chief Technology Officer, Graematter

Graematter president and CTO Melissa Walker discussed the positive and negative impacts of expedited approval pathways, as well as the urgent need to standardise and connect regulatory information currently held in numerous isolated databases.

The View from an Academic who serves on Regulatory Committees

Evan Snyder, Director, Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine/Core Facility, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

Dr. Snyder’s presentation discussed the critical importance of understanding the biological roles of different stem cell populations when designing therapies, and considered the potential of “Big Data” methods to identify the early pre-clinical stages of age-related disease.

Session 6: The End User Is The Patient... And The Clinician

How to Advance Rejuvenation Therapies?

Bernard Munos, Senior Fellow, FasterCures; Founder, InnoThink

Clinical research is being transformed by new low-cost biosensors that empower patients to collect data on their own health independently of any academic or clinical program. Dr. Munos’ presentation assessed the implications of this revolution for medical research.

Viacyte, a Leading Company in the Emerging Field of Cell Replacement Therapy

Mark Zimmerman, Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, Viacyte

Viacyte’s vice president for strategy and business development, Mark Zimmerman, presented a detailed report on the two new cell therapy platforms they have developed for the treatment of diabetes.

Cell based therapies for Cancer: From bench to bedside

Khalid Shah, Director, Stem Cell Therapeutics and Imaging Program, Massachusetts General Hospital; Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School

Harvard Medical School professor Khalid Shah discussed the crucial importance of accurate animal models in oncology, and introduced a promising new therapeutic approach for primary brain cancers developed as a direct result of his group’s work on more clinically realistic models.

Session 6 Panel Discussion

Session 6’s panel addressed a range of audience questions on working with regulators and industrial partners, as well as the social impact of new biotechnologies.

Closing Remarks

Mike Kope, CEO, SENS Research Foundation

Closing the conference, SRF CEO Mike Kope reiterated the absurdity of the current “last-minute” approach to treating age-related diseases – and the crucial need for the field to refocus on truly preventative therapies – before expressing our gratitude to all of the speakers and participants for their inspiring contributions to that goal.

Live Stream Recordings

2016 Rejuvenation Biotechnology Conference - August 16th

The first day of Rejuvenation Biotechnology 2016 included our keynote presentation by USC Davis Dean of Gerontology Dr. Pinchas Cohen, an update on SENS Research Foundation's new Project|21 initiative, and sessions on "Prolonging Lifespan Through Accurate Detection And New Approaches To Prevention" and "Identification And Optimization Of Synergies Between ‘Old’ And ‘New’ Biotech Funding Models".

2016 Rejuvenation Biotechnology Conference - August 17th Morning Session

The morning of the second day of Rejuvenation Biotechnology 2016 included sessions entitled "Science Is Changing. The Tools And Technologies Required To Deliver Science Must Respond" and "As Paths To Clinic Are Expedited, The Distinction Between Development And Manufacturing Is Becoming Increasingly Blurred".

2016 Rejuvenation Biotechnology Conference - August 17th Afternoon Session

The afternoon of the second day of Rejuvenation Biotechnology 2016 included a review of SRF's collaboration-building efforts by our new Director of Alliances, David Brindley, as well as sessions entitled "Regulating New Platforms In Fundamentally New Ways" and "The End User Is The Patient... And The Clinician".