The brain is plastic, and can seamlessly change neural substrates without interrupting functions, and studies have shown that transplanted neurons can integrate into existing adult brain circuits, making it necessary to develop replacement technology for repairing loss of functional brain tissue. The company's product concept involves engineering human brain tissue through reassembling precursor cell types to achieve normal function. The Hébert lab has demonstrated the feasibility of using the adult mouse neocortex to rebuild layered vascularized neocortical tissue in situ, and the engineered tissue can be used to model brain diseases, perform drug screening, and treat localized, or diffuse tissue loss caused by trauma, stroke, aging or neurodegeneration. Afflicted areas are cleared of tissue or scar tissue prior to tissue rebuilding, and for diffuse loss of tissue integrity, tissue areas are sequentially rebuilt over time to allow memory and function to relocate.
Aims, Hypothesis & Results
The company aims to develop technology that can engineer functional brain tissue to replace the tissue impaired by age-related damage. They also aim to commercialize this tissue and the methodology for pre-clinical and clinical applications. The initial focus is on repairing damage to the neocortex, followed by other brain areas.
The company hypothesizes that it is possible to engineer functional brain tissue that can replace the tissue that is impaired by age-related damage. They also believe that this technology can be commercialized and applied to treat age-related brain diseases and aging itself.
BE Therapeutics is in the early stages of development, however, they have demonstrated proof of concept in preclinical studies, and their initial focus on repairing damage to the neocortex shows promise for the potential application of this technology to treat age-related brain diseases and aging itself.
Be Therapeutics is embarking on a multi-year project to develop human tissue prototypes for therapeutic applications.
The first phase involves identifying and characterizing the necessary cell types and ECM components, followed by the development of scalable cell production and ECM synthesis methods.
The next phase will focus on assembling an initial basic prototype graft and conducting in vivo efficacy studies to evaluate its functionality and durability. If successful, clinical trials will be initiated to assess the safety and efficacy of the human tissue prototype in human patients.
Developing Human Tissue Prototypes for Therapeutic Applications
Required Funding: $3.6 Mill by year 4
VitaDAO Board Evaluation Writeup
The project is categorized as high-risk/high-reward, with high risk being well recognized. The project has many strengths, such as robust experimental data, breakthrough opportunities to address a variety of diseases, a strong scientific approach, a strong founding team, and a reasonable timeline. However, the project also has several risks, including challenges with procuring and using fetal tissue, being a high-risk and long-term project that requires continued funding, and differing responses between mouse and primate models. Feedback from reviewers suggests that careful consideration is needed for some aspects of the project, such as the use of lenti- or retroviruses, regulatory interactions, immunosuppression regimen, surgical procedures and devices for application, and cGMP-compliant manufacturing.