Forward thinking to
reverse cell ageing

Developing a new generation of senotherapeutic interventions to treat age-related disease.

Photo of Astrocyte cells. Senescent primary astrocyte cells.
Image credit: Dr Eva Latorre, Harries Lab.

About Us

SENISCA is an award-winning biotech from the University of Exeter, focused on modulating RNA biology to treat age-related disease.

SENISCA targets the process of cellular ageing (senescence) via the development of RNA senotherapeutics which specifically target the causative molecular mechanisms that drive senescence.

Age-related disease is caused by the failure in basic cell health mechanisms, collectively known as the hallmarks of ageing. 15+ years of world-leading research by SENISCA's founders led to the identification of a novel hallmark of ageing, dysregulated RNA splicing, a fundamental contributor to cellular senescence and ageing. We are leveraging this proprietary knowledge to develop senotherapeutics that specifically reverse senescence for the treatment of age-related disease.

Photo of fibroblast cells 48 hour timelapse of rejuvenating senescent primary human dermal fibroblast cells.
Image credit: Dr Eva Latorre, Harries Lab.

Scientific Approach

A major cause of age-related diseases is the accumulation of senescent cells in ageing tissues and organs. In vivo, the removal of senescent cells has been shown to promote tissue ‘rejuvenation’ and improve organ function. At SENISCA, we have discovered a novel, officially-recognised, and druggable means to reprogram senescent cells through modulation of dysregulated RNA splicing.

When genes are switched on, messenger RNA (mRNA) is produced, which contains the precise instructions or blueprint which is translated into the proteins required by cells. Depending on the needs of the cell, most genes can produce more than one type of mRNA message (called isoforms), in a process termed ‘alternative splicing.’ The balance of mRNA isoforms generated from each gene is critical and determines the way cells adapt and respond to their environment. This ability to ‘fine tune’ gene outputs is vital for long-term health. The choice of which isoforms are produced is made by a set of regulatory proteins collectively termed splicing factors.

SENISCA’s founders have discovered that levels of splicing factors change during ageing, reducing the cells’ ability to conduct this ‘fine tuning’ of gene expression. This is a fundamental reason why cells become senescent. Compromised molecular resilience is a major cause of the ill health and frailty that accompanies ageing. SENISCA’s foundational data demonstrate that restoration of splicing factors to the levels seen in younger cells can effectively turn back the ageing clock in senescent cells, bringing about an attenuation of their deleterious functions.

At SENISCA, we are developing oligonucleotide-based therapeutic approaches to reset splicing factor levels and reprogram senescent cells. Our unique understanding of the molecular basis of rejuvenation enables us to develop new treatments, targeting the causes and not simply the consequences of age-related disease.

Photo of Fibroblast cells background First overlay image of Fibroblast cells Second overlay image of Fibroblast cells Proliferating primary human fibroblast cells.
Image credit: Dr Nicola Jeffery, Harries Lab.

The Team

Executive

Research Team

Board Advisory

News & Events

Press Releases

£3.7 million financing

SENISCA raises £3.7 million in latest seed funding round.

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David Chiswell, Chairman of the Board

SENISCA strengthens Board with the appointment of Dr. David Chiswell, Ph.D, OBE as Chairman

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Sarah Cole, Chief Executive Officer

SENISCA appoints Dr. Sarah Cole as Chief Executive Officer.

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Nature Spinoff prize

SENISCA shortlisted for 2022/2023 Nature Spinoff prize.

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Senisca new appointments

Senisca announce the expansion of its leadership team with the appointment of Dr. Sarah Cole as Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Tim Schmidt as Chief Development Officer and Dr. Adam Clauss as VP Dermatology.

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Senisca Innovate UK Grant

SENISCA awarded Innovate UK grant to develop oligonucleotide therapeutics for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

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University of Exeter Research and Innovation

Exeter healthy ageing treatments company raises £2 million in latest seed funding round.

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University of Exeter Research and Innovation

University of Exeter spin-out SENISCA secures £1.3 million investment for pioneering anti-ageing technology.

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News & Events

SENISCA will be speaking at the following conferences:

  • South West Investment Summit: 20th March 2024 (Exeter). Kirsty Semple (COO) will be presenting.
  • BIO-Europe Spring: 18th - 20th March 2024 (Barcelona). Sarah Cole (CEO) will be presenting on the 18th.
  • RNA Leaders Europe Congress: 13th - 14th March 2024 (Basel). Lorna Harries (CSO) will be presenting.
  • Dermatology Summit Entrepreneurial Company Showcase: 7th January 2024 (San Francisco). Adam Clauss (VP of Dermatology) will be presenting.
  • Inv€$tival Showcase: 13th November 2023 (London) Sarah Cole is presenting.
  • RNA Therapeutics and Delivery Congress: 14th – 15th September 2023 (Berlin).
  • British Society for Research on Ageing: 6th – 8th September 2023 (London).
  • Proteomass Splicing Meeting 2023: 17th – 21st July 2023 (Lisbon). Lorna Harries (CSO) will be receiving a lifetime achievement award.
  • OBN - Bioseed: 26th June 2023 (Reading).
  • Next Gen Inhalation Delivery Summit 2023: 20th – 22nd June 2023 (Boston).
  • GCV Symposium: 20th June (London).
  • 15th Age Related Disease Therapeutics Summit 2023: 31st May – 2nd June 2023 (San Fran).

SENISCA will be attending the following conferences:

  • BioCentury and BIA Evening Event: 14th November 2023 (London). Sarah Cole is attending.
  • Jefferies Healthcare Conference: 14th – 16th November 2023 (London) Kirsty Semple is attending.
  • International Cell Senescence Association Meeting: 24th – 27th October 2023 (Minneapolis).
  • Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society: 22nd – 25th October 2023 (Barcelona).
  • Revvity HCS Symposium: 28th – 29th June 2023 (London).

Media Articles

Lorna Harries' Guardian Interview - Nov 2023.

British biotech races US’s ‘buff billionaires’ for secret of eternal youth.

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The Pharma Letter - May 2023.

SENISCA adds trio to leadership team.

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Nature - May 2023.

RNA splicing targets age-related diseases.

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Longevity Technology – June 2022.

SENISCA raises £2m in latest seed funding round.

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Longevity Technology – April 2022.

SENISCA targeted interventions that boast exquisite specificity.

Interview: Professor Lorna Harries Find Out More

Sifted – October 2022.

Do you think ageing can be reversed/ Here are 12 longevity startups to watch.

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Sifted – December 2021.

13 Longevity startups to watch, according to top investors.

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Forbes – April 2021.

Women in Longevity.

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Nature Biotechnology - November 2020

Send in the senolytics.

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INTERVIEW: Longevity Technology - July 2020.

SENISCA seeks funding for senescence reversal.

Professor Lorna Harries Find Out More

INVITED REVIEW Frontiers in Genetics 2019.

RNA Biology Provides New Therapeutic Targets for Human Disease.

Professor Lorna Harries Find Out More

Nature Outlook - October 2019.

It’s time for scientists to shout about RNA therapies.

Professor Lorna Harries Find Out More
Photo of Fibroblast cells Senescent primary human fibroblast cells.
Image credit: Emad Manni, Harries Lab.

Vacancies

We are looking for talented, innovative, passionate and visionary staff to join our growing team and help us realise the incredible potential of SENISCA's senotherapeutic technology. Please send CV's and initial enquiries to hr@senisca.com addressed to Jennie Jepperson (SENISCA's Executive Assistant) We look forward greatly to hearing from you.

Publications

  1. Manni E, Jeffery N, Chambers D, Slade L, Etheridge T, Harries LW. "An evaluation of the role of miR-361-5p in senescence and systemic ageing." Exp Gerontol. 2023 Apr;174:112127. Epub 2023 Feb 18. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2023.112127
  2. Harries LW. FEBS J. "Dysregulated RNA processing and metabolism: a new hallmark of ageing and provocation for cellular senescence". 2023 Mar;290(5):1221-1234. Epub 2022 Apr 29.doi: 10.1111/febs.16462
  3. Frankum R, Jameson TSO, Knight BA, Stephens FB, Wall BT, Donlon TA, Torigoe T, Willcox BJ, Willcox DC, Allsopp RC, Harries LW. "Extreme longevity variants at the FOXO3 locus may moderate FOXO3 isoform levels". Geroscience. 2022 Apr;44(2):1129-1140. Epub 2021 Aug 26. doi: 10.1007/s11357-021-00431-0
  4. Lee BP, Harries LW. "Senotherapeutic Drugs: A New Avenue for Skincare?". Plast Reconstr Surg. 2021 Dec 1;148(6S):21S-26S. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000008782
  5. Bramwell LR, Harries LW. "Targeting Alternative Splicing for Reversal of Cellular Senescence in the Context of Aesthetic Aging". Plast Reconstr Surg. 2021 Jan 1;147(1S-2):25S-32S. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000007618
  6. Frankum R, Jameson TSO, Knight BA, Stephens FB, Wall BT, Donlon TA, Torigoe T, Willcox BJ, Willcox DC, Allsopp RC, Harries LW. "Extreme longevity variants at the FOXO3 locus may moderate FOXO3 isoform levels." Geroscience. (2021). doi: 10.1007/s11357-021-00431-0. Online ahead of print.PMID: 34436732
  7. Bramwell LR, Harries LW. Targeting Alternative Splicing for Reversal of Cellular Senescence in the Context of Aesthetic Aging. Plast Reconstr Surg. 147(1S-2):25S-32S. (2021) doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000007618.PMID: 33347071
  8. Lee BP, Smith M, Buffenstein R & Harries LW. “Negligible senescence in naked mole rats may be a consequence of well-maintained splicing regulation.” GeroScience. 42(2), 633-651 (2020). doi:10.1007/s11357-019-00150-7
  9. Lye JJ*, Latorre E*, Lee BP, Bandinelli S, Holley JE, Gutowski NJ, Ferrucci L & Harries LW. “Astrocyte senescence may drive alterations in GFAPA, CDKN2A p14ARF and TAU3 transcript expression and contribute to cognitive decline.” GeroScience. 41(5), 561-573 (2019). doi: 10.1007/s11357-019-00100-3
  10. Latorre E, Ostler EL, Faragher RGA & Harries LW. “FOXO1 and ETV6 genes may represent novel regulators of splicing factor expression in cellular senescence.” FASEB J. 33(1), 1086-1097 (2019). doi: 10.1096/fj.201801154R
  11. Lee BP, Mulvey L, Barr G, Garratt J, Goodman E, Selman C & Harries LW. “Dietary restriction in ILSXISS mice is associated with widespread changes in splicing regulatory factor expression levels.” Exp Gerontol. 128, 110736 (2019). doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2019.110736
  12. Lee BP, Pilling LC, Bandinelli S, Ferrucci L, Melzer D & Harries LW. “The transcript expression levels of HNRNPM, HNRNPA0 and AKAP17A splicing factors may be predictively associated with ageing phenotypes in human peripheral blood.” Biogerontology. 20(5), 649-663 (2019). doi: 10.1007/s10522-019-09819-0
  13. Latorre E, Birar VC, Sheerin AN, Jeynes JCC, Hooper A, Dawe HR, Melzer D, Cox LS, Faragher RGA, Ostler EL & Harries LW. “Small molecule modulation of splicing factor expression is associated with rescue from cellular senescence.” BMC Cell Biol. 18(1), 31 (2017). doi: 10.1186/s12860-017-0147-7
  14. Latorre E, Torregrossa R, Wood ME, Whiteman M & Harries LW. “Mitochondria-targeted hydrogen sulfide attenuates endothelial senescence by selective induction of splicing factors HNRNPD and SRSF2.” Aging (Albany NY). 10(7), 1666-1681 (2018). doi: 10.18632/aging.101500
  15. Latorre E, Pilling LC, Lee BP, Bandinelli S, Melzer D, Ferrucci L & Harries LW. “The VEGFA156b isoform is dysregulated in senescent endothelial cells and may be associated with prevalent and incident coronary heart disease.” Clin Sci (Lond). 132(3), 313-325 (2018). doi: 10.1042/CS20171556
  16. Lee BP, Pilling LC, Emond F, Flurkey K, Harrison DE, Yuan R, Peters LL, Kuchel GA, Ferrucci L, Melzer D & Harries LW. “Changes in the expression of splicing factor transcripts and variations in alternative splicing are associated with lifespan in mice and humans.” Aging Cell. 15(5), 903-13 (2016). doi: 10.1111/acel.12499
  17. Holly AC, Melzer D, Pilling LC, Fellows AC, Tanaka T, Ferrucci L & Harries LW. “Changes in splicing factor expression are associated with advancing age in man.” Mech Ageing Dev. 134(9), 356-66 (2013). doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2013.05.006
  18. Harries LW, Hernandez D, Henley W, Wood A, Holly AC, Bradley-Smith RM, Yaghootkar H, Dutta A, Murray A, Frayling TM, Guralnik JM, Bandinelli S, Singleton A, Ferrucci L & Melzer D. “Human aging is characterized by focused changes in gene expression and deregulation of alternative splicing.” Aging Cell. 10(5), 868-78 (2011). doi: 10.1111/j.1474-9726.2011.00726.x

Contact

Senisca Ltd
RILD Building
Barrack Road
Exeter
EX2 5DW
T:+44 (0) 7515 454 146 Email Us
Photo of Endothelial cells Senescent primary human endothelial cells.
Image credit: Emad Manni, Harries Lab.