LUCA Science Announces Joint Research with the University of Oxford, Nuffield Department of Women’s & Reproductive Health, on the Development of Novel Therapeutics to Improve Bioenergetics for Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR)

TOKYO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–LUCA Science (Tokyo, Japan), a biotechnology company pioneering a novel class of mitochondrial therapeutics, announced today that it will collaborate with the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Women’s & Reproductive Health, in joint research utilising LUCA Science’s proprietary drug delivery platform technology for the treatment of IUGR.

This collaboration was instigated by Dr Yosuke Matsumiya, the UK project director for LUCA Science, who will be coordinating the research with the University of Oxford.

About the Joint Research

The placenta is a unique organ across which nutrients are transferred from mother to baby. Abnormal placental function causes significant problems in pregnancy, including IUGR.

IUGR affects over 10 million babies worldwide/year with 200,000 deaths related to IUGR and survivors (often delivered prematurely) face not only the sequelae of preterm birth but also increased long-term risks of disease (metabolic & cardiac). The largest global causes of IUGR are malnutrition and/or failure of the placenta to effectively transfer nutrition to the baby.

Currently the only treatment for IUGR is delivery irrespective of gestation. Increasing placental cellular bioenergetics and maintaining its function is a logical alternative solution. This collaboration was formed in order to realise this solution and seeks to address this by specifically delivering therapeutics to the placenta, combining unique technology developed at LUCA Science in Japan with extensive placental research experience at the University of Oxford.

Comment from Dr. Manu Vatish*1 at the University of Oxford.

“We are very excited to be working with LUCA Science to address one of the major obstacles in obstetric care. LUCA Science’s cutting-edge technology provides a unique solution to this intractable clinical problem. Use of their novel solution to deliver mitochondria to placental tissues would increase local energy supply to a starving fetus and be a major step in developing treatments for a condition affecting vast numbers of babies worldwide.”

About LUCA Science

LUCA Science is a preclinical stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering a new class of mitochondrial therapy to restore cellular bioenergetics in dysfunctional or damaged tissues and organs. Mitochondria are the power plants in our cells that produce energy for our bodies. LUCA Science has developed a novel method to isolate proprietary functional mitochondria which can then be stored and delivered as a biopharmaceutical agent. The advanced delivery system can be applied not just for mitochondria but also other compounds that can improve bioenergetics in specific cells or tissues.

LUCA Science recently completed $9.8 million Series A financing in September.

*1: Senior Clinical Fellow at the Nuffield Department of Women’s and Reproductive Health.

LUCA Science Inc.



LUCA Science Inc.



3-8-3, Nihonbashi Honcho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 103-0023, Japan



Rick C. Tsai DMD, MD



December 25th 2018








Research and development of mitochondrial biopharmaceuticals


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