Frequency Therapeutics named its board of directors last week, the company’s 1st public move since it was founded in 2015.
Marc Cohen of COBRO Ventures was named chairman. Founder and former CEO of Sepracor, Inc., joined the board as well as Marc Kozin, senior advisor and former president of L.E.K. Consulting. Robert Langer, who co-founded Frequency and spearheaded the discovery of the company’s technology, joined the board alongside fellow Frequency co-founder, president & CEO David Lucchino.
The Cambridge, Mass.-based company was founded based on the work done by Langer and Jeff Karp. Frequency is developing small molecule drugs that activate progenitor cells, which are similar to stem cells in that they can mature into particular cell types. The company is tackling chronic hearing loss by locally delivering small molecule drugs that activate progenitor cells within the body to restore healthy tissue.
“Every human is born with 15,000 hair cells in their cochlea that move in response to sound, and they die off from noise exposure, or drugs, or old age,” co-founder & chief scientific officer Chris Loose explained to Drug Delivery Business News. “What was realized is in many other animals, like birds and reptiles, they can lose those hair cells and they grow right back. Mammals and humans don’t have that ability, but the fundamental machinery is still there. The big discovery was when Langer and Karp figured out how those cells are so active in the intestinal space, they were able to move up to the ear and say, ‘What if I can turn these cells back on, just turn on the machines in the ear, to re-form healthy hair cells and restore hearing.'”
“Frequency is poised to become a leader in the treatment of chronic hearing loss, a potential $20 billion market with no existing effective therapeutic solutions,” chairman Cohen said in prepared remarks. “The technologies licensed from MIT and Partners provide a broad platform for Frequency to uncover and activate the regenerative potential of progenitor cells for unprecedented healing benefits in the treatment of hearing loss, eye and skin disorders, gastrointestinal diseases and diabetes.”
Lucchino told us that triggering the body to restore itself could prove to be a breakthrough technology for the field. “We think we’re leading the revolution for regenerative medicine 2.0,” he said.
“As we look back, we think maybe this is the way that regenerative medicine should have been done in the 1st place,” Loose added.