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Clemson University researchers  receive seed funding to advance research on restoring vascular health

Elastrin Therapeutics Inc. and Kizoo have partnered to develop therapeutics that render calcified tissue and organs supple again.

A rejuvenation biotech investor  founded in Berlin, Germany, Kizoo focuses on reversing age-related damage on a cellular and molecular level. Elastrin and Kizoo have joined forces to further develop a platform that can restore vascular health by removing pathological calcification, specifically from sites where elastin has been degraded. Led by Clemson University Hunter Endowed Chair Naren Vyavahare, an expert in elastin degradation and stabilization, the Elastrin team will work to create a new way to repair significant tissue damage  caused by aging. 

“Elastin fibers are critical for homeostasis of tissues around the body, including the skin and vasculature, and pulmonary tissues. As elastin fibers become damaged over time, arterial walls weaken, and the body’s physiological response results in aortic wall stiffening, aneurysms, and hypertension,” said Naren Vyavahare, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer at Elastrin.  

 Elastrin is a biotechnology startup that develops technologies designed to restore hardened and damaged arteries and tissue by targeting the elastic fiber that makes them work. Their mission focuses on improving quality of life by restoring damaged tissue to healthy resilience. Through the partnership with Kizoo, Elastrin aims to target albumin nanoparticles loaded with therapeutic agents directly to the tissue site by utilizing Elastrin’s proprietary anti-elastin monoclonal antibody created by Vyavahare and cocreated by Clemson University biological sciences professor and Elastrin team member, Charles Rice.

“This targeted delivery promises to improve the efficacy of therapeutic payloads as well as reduce side effects due to otherwise systemic administration. In addition, the nanoparticles result in slower release characteristics that improve the biodistribution of pharmaceuticals at the targeted exposure site,” said Douglas Mulhall, Elastrin co-founder.

Located at Clemson University, Elastrin was born out of Vyavahare’s research on understanding the reason behind calcification and stiffening of heart valves and their replacements. What he discovered led to several inventions that are still being used at Elastrin today.

“Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death globally, taking an estimated 18 million lives each year. On top of that, everyone above 30 years old is suffering from damage to the cardiovascular system, which will result in severe symptoms one day. Our technology can reverse damage to the arteries and heart and bring the body back to the state before the damage even occurred. This is a true game-changer in the industry and one of the puzzle pieces towards healthy aging. Nobody wants to live forever in an old and sick body, but we do want to live long in a healthy one,” said Matthias Breugelmans, CEO of Elastrin.

“We are proud to help Elastrin to open a new category in repairing significant damage from aging – tissue calcification and damage to elastin fibers. This will allow substantial rejuvenation of the cardiovascular system and restore organ function and skin elasticity to youthful levels,” said Frank Schueler, Managing Director of Kizoo Technology Capital.

About Elastrin Therapeutics Inc.

Elastrin Therapeutics is a South Carolina biotechnology company that develops novel therapies to reverse cardiovascular disease. Its underlying technology was developed during the last 20 years at Clemson University by Naren Vyavahare in collaboration with Charles Rice, who developed the antibody. The team built a proprietary platform that targets and restores degraded elastin by removing the harmful calcification that stiffens arteries. The platform significantly improves the efficacy of drugs and eliminates side effects by combining particle design with elastin targeting.

About KIZOO

KIZOO provides mentoring and seed and early-stage financing with a focus on rejuvenation biotechnology. Having been entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and mentors in both high-growth technology and biotechnology companies ourselves for many years with multiple exits and massive value created for the founders, Kizoo now brings this experience to the emerging field of rejuvenation biotechnology. We see it as a young industry that will eventually outgrow today's largest technology markets.

As part of the Forever Healthy Group, Kizoo directly supports creation of startups turning research on the root causes of aging into therapies and services for human application. Investments include Cellvie, Underdog, Revel Pharmaceuticals, Elevian, LIfT BioSiences, MAIA Biotechnology, Turn.bio, and others.

Forever Healthy's other initiatives include evaluating new rejuvenation therapies, applying evidence-based curation of the world's cutting-edge medical knowledge, funding research projects on the root causes of aging, and hosting the annual Undoing Aging Conference.

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