As we age, the normally tightly regulated processes that guide our body's development and maintenance break down and can become dysfunctional. Though some of the mechanisms responsible for aging have been fairly well studied, a comprehensive model of how these various age-related pathologies manifest over time has yet to be clearly described. We hope that by tackling the various processes involved in aging, we can provide a comprehensive method of mitigating and even treating age-related diseases and frailty.
Metabolic disorders are a significant health burden in the United States. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that include hypertension, hyperglycemia, and abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels. This results in a significantly increased risk of diabetes, heart attack, stroke and cancer. Metabolic disorders cause or contribute to more deaths in the developed world than all other causes. By understanding the underlying mechanisms behind this group of disorders, we seek to develop novel methods of preventing and treating these diseases.
The power and versatility of gene therapy approaches to treating disease are so vast that there are few serious diseases for which gene therapy treatments are not currently being researched. Gene editing has shown promise in treating hereditary diseases such as Huntington’s disease and ALS, as well as various cancers. Furthermore, several engineered T-cell based cancer therapies have recently been granted FDA approval.
At Lumena, we seek to utilize gene therapy approaches in a variety of disease contexts. By leveraging our combined experience in virology, immunology and genetics, we seek to develop novel approaches using gene therapy to prevent and cure disease.
The immune system is the central defense mechanism of the human body. Comprised of a broad set of cell types and tissues, the immune system is critical in fighting off infections and eliminating abnormal cells from the body. Immune dysfunction is implicated in various acute and chronic diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer. By studying how immune dysfunction contributes to disease, we hope to find ways to mitigate these conditions. Additionally, approaches utilizing engineered immune cells, such as Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cells, provide an exciting and novel method of programming the immune system to attack specific pathogens or cancer cells.