Anirvan Ghosh, Unity Biotechnology CEO

In blow to an­ti-ag­ing field, Uni­ty Biotech­nol­o­gy fails first ma­jor study, cuts lead pro­gram

In the last decade, Uni­ty Biotech­nol­o­gy $UBX raised over $200 mil­lion from in­vestors who saw both the com­mer­cial and per­son­al ben­e­fits in life-ex­tend­ing tech­nol­o­gy: Jeff Be­zos, Pe­ter Thiel and Arch Ven­ture Part­ners’ Bob Nelsen. The com­pa­ny promised to be one of the first to ef­fec­tive­ly test the the­o­ry that clear­ing out old “senes­cent” cells could re­duce symp­toms as­so­ci­at­ed with ag­ing.

But to­day, in the first ma­jor test for Uni­ty’s tech­nol­o­gy, the com­pa­ny whiffed — and by a sig­nif­i­cant mar­gin. In a 183-per­son Phase II study test­ing whether their lead drug UBX0101 could al­le­vi­ate pain in peo­ple with os­teoarthri­tis of the knee, pa­tients on the treat­ment arms showed vir­tu­al­ly no dif­fer­ence to pa­tients on the place­bo arm.

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