Chrysea – science-based intervention for a healthy life expectancy

dr Pedro de Noronha Pissarra on Lifetime Intervention: “If they don’t knock – well, then build the door.”

In the last decade, information technologies have merged with life sciences to offer the ability to program life’s fundamental building blocks: DNA. But what application does that have? Enter Chrysea, a clinical-stage company applying principles of synthetic biology to the development of new and rare naturally occurring products that cannot be produced by chemical synthesis in a viable way.

Longevity.Technology: Chrysea is conducting a controlled, randomized study in generally healthy elderly men; Using state-of-the-art scientific tools, the company aims to define key metabolic pathways and associated biological effects of its products – including time – for observed effects and the duration of those effects.

Importantly, Chrysea’s research also supports the identification of relevant biomarkers that can be developed for consumer use.

By utilizing metabolomics tools typically used in sophisticated pharmaceutical studies, along with enhanced autophagy and specific product assays, Chrysea is building a platform that delivers accurate nutritional interventions for a healthy lifespan, based on credible scientific evidence.

We sat down with Chrysea’s CEO, Pedro de Noronha Pissarra, PhD, to learn more about the company, its incorporation and intellectual property.

Chrysea has just raised a significant amount of money in a deal with Juvenescence and Banco Português de Fomento, as well as private investors, and is using the funding to develop its first product in the healthy life expectancy field, by moving into both clinical research and aspiration following a “launch-ready” package with the FDA for its first product by Q3 2023.

“All of the investments collected will go toward efforts to reach this important turning point,” explains de Noronha Pissarra. “At the same time, great importance is attached to building the complete supply chain for such a disruptive industry. It ranges from design and automation of genome design, through small-scale production and process development, scale-up, regulatory work, translational biology, clinical research to establishing our commercialization model with the goal of monetizing our first product. It’s a very multidisciplinary effort.”

Chrysea’s recent developments and achievements indicate that its approach will be validated by the middle of next year and its first product will be in the ‘ready to launch’ stage. Then it is necessary to repeat the development process with its important product portfolio.

Chrysea focuses on specialist, smart and patient capital from corporate funds, high net worths (HNWs) and family offices and not classic VC investments; de Noronha Pissarra explains that this is because the classic VC model has a different business vision and philosophy than Chrysea.

“Of course that’s absolutely fine,” he adds. “Except for more specialized funds, I don’t think analysts and scouts in most traditional life sciences venture capital funds would have the breadth or structure to assess the opportunities in such a new, highly multidisciplinary area as it is emerging.” understood and where business models are not yet clearly defined.” Additionally, he explains, Chrysea is likely not providing VCs with the revenue multiples they expect in the timeframes they need or want.

“Traditional venture capital is not a long-term business,” says de Noronha Pissarra. “We are here for the long term and on a value-added basis. We are creating a unique and disruptive game in an industry that is growing and maturing by the day. This doesn’t happen overnight and it takes patient capital, as well as high-level people, experienced leaders, in-depth know-how, access to the best in the various fields.”

He explains that it also takes complete control of a relatively new supply chain to get Chrysea where it wants to be, to keep its product libraries operating efficiently — and also to build the supply chain and capabilities to successfully bring them to market successfully. “Having been in the biotech industry for the last 25 years has made me understand that not all companies are suited to the classic venture capital model – especially in Europe,” he says.

Chrysea will eventually exit, but doing so requires creating a sustainable, fully integrated and capital-efficient business.

“It’s going to take time, but it’s also a great opportunity as we believe we can do it quickly and money-efficiently,” says de Noronha Pissarra, adding that Chrysea is sailing in a “very tight ship,” being very aggressive and assertive , with clear goals and knowing exactly what needs to be done to get where you want to go.

“Reaching the sustainability and returns we believe is feasible and growing from there – it’s just a matter of time,” he says.

dr en Noronha Pissarra thinks that alternative sources of capital, aside from traditional venture capital funds, seem to be more aware of the areas in which Chrysea operates – and seem more interested in committing funds to its vision.

“It just feels like biotechnology 20-25 years ago, which was just a promise of an emerging industry with very small players and many shortcomings in terms of supply chain know-how, machinery and specialized services,” explains de Noronha Pissarra. “Now look at where we are in biotech – it will be the same in this space. Next, you’ll likely see a bunch of M&A deals. For example, look at the recent Gingko-Zymergen deal. Where there are difficulties, there are opportunities. If they don’t knock – well, you build the door.”

Given de Noronha Pissarra’s feeling that VCs are betting against their portfolios as the healthcare industry shifts to more preemptive thinking, does he think the thesis is accelerating?

“I assume that traditional healthcare venture capital funds need exits to keep their businesses afloat, and they need to do it in a relatively short time frame at the highest multiple possible,” he says.

“Their ‘customers’ to whom they sell are in most cases large pharma or large biopharma companies. Until recently, most biopharma or pharmaceutical companies were disease focused. With recent developments in cell and gene therapy, mRNA and genome editing, among others, I feel like the pharma/biotech industry is starting to fragment for the first time in history.”

De Noronha Pissarra describes it as a unique reality in which one can effectively treat or even cure certain diseases through these disruptive technologies and he is convinced that the treatment of the sick has now reached an interesting and mature level in terms of effectiveness, this will only get better and better.

“Nevertheless, I’m still curious to understand who will pay the price for such great innovations, for now, as these therapies still don’t come cheap,” he adds. “But it’s amazing what has been achieved – for example, Covid19 management is a real and undeniable example of the success of these disruptive approaches, and there are many others in various complex fields such as oncology, metabolic diseases, etc.”

dr en Noronha Pissarra points out that healthy people go through the natural aging process, but there are also certain behaviors common to modern society that are associated with an increased risk of a variety of chronic diseases – particularly when combined with obesity and ill health people age. Maintaining a healthy lifespan is inevitably linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases, many of which are age-related, such as: B. cognitive decline, cardiovascular disease, weakened immune system and bone and muscle wasting, to name a few.

“Prevention overall is a new field and one that is clearly on the agenda of every government and one that is being considered by citizens and the general population,” de Noronha Pissarra explains, explaining that a shift in focus is needed from “disease” to “function “.

“It’s worrying to affect the healthy people before they become chronically ill and need to move on to the high-end of disease management,” he says. “Instead of diagnosing diseases at a specific point in time, health trajectories across an individual’s lifespan are finally being studied to delay the onset of certain age-related diseases – so essentially there is a growing interest in caring for the healthy population. Interventions to cope with the aging process are increasingly being developed. They try, as much as possible, to do their best to avoid the unnecessary deterioration and trepidation associated with the aging process and the onset of chronic disease.”

dr de Noronha Pissarra says that after speaking to numerous large companies involved in biopharma, pharmaceutical, nutrition, consumer products, specialties and ingredients, he sees the beginning of rapid moves toward prevention that translate to the other side of the “disease equation.” “ converge.

“The question I have, given the stage of such an emerging approach and industry, is whether we will see more venture capital funds (other than some already established players) shift or diversify their portfolios, moving from disease to function and with their existing portfolio justification compete?” de Noronha Pissarra says. “One thing is certain. The principle of prevention is accelerating, and investing in disease areas is also becoming more expensive – changing a principle is a slow process, it takes time and resources, but I personally see this thesis accelerating.”

Stay tuned for the second part of this interview as Pedro de Noronha Pissarra focuses on Chrysea’s intellectual property and the benefits of scaling.

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