Funded project
Rubedo.Life - Prodrug Discovery Platform

Rubedo.Life - Prodrug Discovery Platform

Respiratory Disease
Rubedo is building a platform for longevity medicines using “smart drugs” (prodrugs) that have the capacity to selectively be activated in target cells predicted to be pathogenic and the cause of age-related diseases.
$ 350,000
100% Voted Yes
Rubedo Website
Marco Quarta
Co-founder and CEO
Mark Gallop
Alex Laslavic

Series A, Pre-clinical - lead optimisation

Drug discovery platform


Patent Status
Patents acquired



Rubedo has started developing therapeutics for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and lung cancer. IPF is an orphan disease, with a potentially accelerated clearance by the FDA. They work with published and proprietary databases that they have generated in-house.

Rubedo’s proprietary ALEMBIC™ drug discovery platform is based on a synergy between sophisticated computational and chemistry strategies.

This hybrid platform enables the discovery and development of novel first-in-class engineered small molecules, such as prodrugs, designed to selectively target certain types of “bad” cells, like senescent cells, which play a key role in the progression of chronic disorders.

Aims, Hypothesis & Results

The team has identified a portfolio of small molecules that target signature metabolism features of rare (presumably pathogenic) cells, and are currently working to test and optimize these compounds in preclinical models.


Rubedo.Life is raising a Series A and is bringing in a chief business officer to aid the team in negotiating licensing deals for assets within its IPF, oncology pipeline and in other undisclosed indication programs.
Additionally, they are testing and optimizing small molecules that target signature metabolism features of rare (presumably pathogenic) cells in preclinical models.

Pre-Clinical Studies: Lead Optimisation for 4 drugs in the pipeline
Duration: 22 months

VitaDAO Board Evaluation Writeup

This platform has a high potential for impact since it can be applied to a wide variety of cellular phenomena ranging from eliminating pathogenic cells, regenerating stem cells, removing ECM debris, repairing mitochondria, etc. Focusing on prodrugs is a valuable approach since it allows for the delivery of drugs to be highly cell-specific and avoid off-target effects.

Their successful proof-of-concept for targeting cellular senescence is a great example of this and shows strong in vivo results with virtually no off-target effects. However, it has yet to be seen if they will be as successful in targeting other cellular phenomena as they are with cellular senescence. Also, it is still unclear how these prodrugs will be delivered in vivo and what their plan is to address this, but I don’t see this as a major hindrance to the company’s success at this stage. Overall, Rubedo’s workflow is logical and feasible - from target discovery in silico, moving to in vitro testing, and finally in vivo - and the ALEMBIC platform is very promising for the longevity field, and possibly other fields as well

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