SENS and Aubrey de Grey have been leading advocates for antiaging and they have systemically helped to fund antiaging research. Aubrey summarized the seven types of aging damage and SENS and the Methuselah Foundation have been funding projects and companies to target fixing aging damage that was not being addressed by the biotechnology industry.
Aubrey has had 60 Minutes interviews and a TED talk in 2005. If Robust Mouse Rejuvenation is successfully developed within three years then it would be about 7 years later than an optimistic forecast in 2005. However, the 2005 forecast was a 50-50 probability that assumed research progress that was not constrained by insufficient funding. Antiaging research was not properly funded. We are improving the rate of progress on antiaging because startups and research in the field are attracting more money.
The SENS Research Foundation (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence Research Foundation) is a non-profit organization and regenerative medical research foundation co-founded by Michael Kope, Aubrey de Grey, Jeff Hall, Sarah Marr and Kevin Perrott, which is based in Mountain View, California, United States. Its activities include research programs and public relations work for the application of regenerative medicine to aging. Before the Foundation was launched in March 2009, the SENS research program was mainly pursued by the Methuselah Foundation, co-founded by Aubrey de Grey and David Gobel.
Seven Types of Aging Damage
The SRF pursues research strands which correspond to seven categories of cellular damage which accumulate with age: accumulated side effects of metabolism which are eventually fatal.
Seven types of aging damage and SENS research areas:
Cell loss and cell atrophy — Stem cells and tissue engineering
Nuclear [epi]mutations — WILT, short for “Whole-body Interdiction of Lengthening of Telomeres”
Mitochondrial mutations — Allotopic expression of 13 proteins (Backup storage of mitochondrial DNA, in case of damage a copy can be found on the cell’s nucleus, needed to replicate proteins used for cellular energy production)
Death-resistant cells — Targeted removal of senescent cells
Extracellular crosslinks — AGE-breaking molecules and tissue engineering (Advanced Glycation End products, refers to the binding of glucose, or sugar, to protein, which as a result becomes stiffer and more likely to be damaged and subjected to premature aging)
Extracellular aggregates — Stimulating of the immune system to clear out the aggregates
Intracellular aggregates — Equipping the lysosome with enzymes capable of degrading the aggregates
On September 16, 2006, Peter Thiel, co-founder and former CEO of the online payments system PayPal, gave $3.5 million to the Methuselah Foundation to fund antiaging research.
In 2011, Aubrey de Grey inherited $16.5 million on the death of his mother. Aubrey assigned $13 million to fund SENS research, which by 2013 had the effect of roughly doubling the SRF yearly budget to $4 million.
In 2017 the foundation’s income was $7.9 million. $2.1 million per year goes to antiaging research.
Mouse Longevity Prize since 2003
The Methuselah Mouse Prize (Mprize) was created to increase scientific and public interest in longevity research by awarding two cash prizes: “one to the research team that broke the world record for the oldest-ever mouse; and one to the team that developed the most successful late-onset rejuvenation strategy.” The Mprize was announced publicly in 2003 by David Gobel and Aubrey de Grey at the American Aging Association. The prize for longevity was first won by a research team led by Andrzej Bartke of Southern Illinois University.
The Methuselah Foundation slogan is Making 90 the new 50 by 2030.
Robust Mouse Rejuvenation
Aubrey believes we have a 50-50 chance of reaching robust human rejuvation within 15 years of successful robust mouse rejuvenation. Robust mouse rejuvenation is taking mice that would normally live three years. You do nothing to the mice until they are two and then apply antiaging therapies so that at least half the mice reach 5 years of age. Instead of one year of living one year longer the mice live three years.
There is a 76-page Methuselah Foundation study of the physical and biological tests to determine what success would mean for someone who is 90 years old to be as healthy as someone who is 50.
The study looks at 37 medical tests or assessments.
SENS Spinout Companies
Ichor Therapeutics was spunout from SENS. Ichor is working on solving macular degeneration. Ichor has also created a portfolio of startup antiaging companies.
Antoxerene, a portfolio company of Ichor Therapeutics, is a small molecule drug discovery company that focuses on molecular pathways of aging. Using patent-pending RP-tag technology, the company manufactures full-size bioactive protein targets on scale for use in small molecule high throughput screening applications. Antoxerene is the frst and only company with small molecule hits on the p53/FOXO4 pathway, which has been implicated in cellular senescence. Antoxerene is developing these hits for eventual clinical use and is also pursuing strategic partnerships with drug discovery teams across the globe to further deploy its platform technology.
Lysoclear, a portfolio company of Ichor Therapeutics, is an ophthalmology company developing an enzyme therapy for age-related macular degeneration and Stargardt’s disease. In 2017, the company completed pivotal proof-of-concept studies with its first generation enzyme lead and conducted extensive mechanistic work to clarify the role of retinal lipofuscin in the onset and progression of macular degenerations. These results have been submitted for peer-reviewed publication. Lysoclear is now optimizing its enzyme into a drug candidate in preparation for IND enabling studies.
Oisín Biotechnology is developing a highly precise, patentpending, DNA-targeted intervention to clear senescent cells. These cells secrete molecules that cause inflammation in an effort to attract immune cells that would usually clear them. But for reasons that are not fully known, as we age, persistently senescent cells accumulate, leading to a vast number of age-related diseases. As a recent study has shown, clearing senescent cells both reduces negative effects of aging pathologies and also extends median lifespan and survival.
There are two major challenges to clearing senescent cells using this approach: Designing and creating the DNA construct that recognizes that a cell has become senescent and then destroys it, and safely and effciently delivering this construct into cells throughout the body. Both goals have been achieved in pioneering proof of concept experiments in 2016.
Arigos Biomedical has made great strides towards the banking of human organs, demonstrating functional and structural recovery of similarly-sized tissues from below -120°C. Their ability to cryopreserve large, complex tissue structures is a breakthrough in medical research; and their team is passionate about bringing this technology from the lab benches to the patient’s bedside as quickly as possible.
Covalent Bioscience is working on age related heart disease.
Covalent catabodies focus on healthy aging and age-associated diseases. They are using E-Vaccine to try to treat HIV infection.
SOURCES- SENS, Wikipedia, Youtube, Aubrey de Grey, Covalent Bioscience, Ichor
Written By Brian Wang. Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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