SRF’s researchers presenting our work at Indian biosciences conferences

Our VP of Research Dr. Alex Stolzing and Senescence Immunology Research Group Lead Dr. Amit Sharma will be presenting at conferences in India

Dr. Stolzing will be presenting a talk on “Aging Interventions – an update” at the 35th Annual Conference of Aging Interventions, organized by the Society of Neurochemistry, India (SNCI), running from December 2nd-4th, 2021.

Dr. Sharma will also presenting a talk titled “ ‘Engineering Natural Killer cells: Improving immune surveillance of senescent cells in aging and age-related diseases’” at the Conference. 

The conference will have attendees at University of Hyderabad, Gachibowli, as well as remote attendees via video conferencing.

Dr. Stolzing will also be a panelist at the Darwin International Conference, also hosted in India, and will be discussing: “Aging: a curable disease or an inevitable process?”. The Darwin International Conference is a virtual conference running from December 2-5, 2021.

British Daily Mirror featured an interview with SENS Research Foundation’s Science Writer Michael Rae about the world’s richest men taking on the longevity challenge

In the wake of the summer space race between Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, the world’s richest men are taking on a new challenge – immortality.

Amazon boss Bezos, 57, is one of the main backers of Altos Labs, which has raised £200million and just opened a new laboratory in Cambridge.

But Bezos, worth £150billion, is far from being the only one taking on the grim reaper.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin, 48, has invested more than £600million in a “longevity lab” called Calico.

Meanwhile Russian tech mogul Yuri Milner, 59 – worth around £3billion – has handed grants worth millions of pounds to the science of anti-ageing.

Longevity expert Michael Rae, 50, from California’s Bay Area, tells the Sunday People that the science of living forever is making huge leaps forward.

As well as being backed by Thiel, his SENS group has also had meetings with Bezos.

And with big-money backing, he is optimistic …

SENS Research Foundation, based in Mountain View, California, believes aging is a disease that can be tackled like any other.

Its goal is to “comprehensively repair the damage that builds up in our bodies over time.”

One research strand is asking if backup copies of cells [sic — mitochondrial DNA -SRF] can be created to replace malfunctioning ones.

The new cells [sic — mitochondrial DNA -SRF] would be implanted in our flesh so they can take over when our system starts to degrade.

This would mean we can refurbish our bodies time and again – like we replace faulty chips in a computer.

Michael Rae, 50, a science writer at the foundation, explains: “The Big Kahuna is when we get to the point that your life expectancy is no longer a function of your age.“

“Right now, every year you live, you’re closer to your doom. Once you take away ageing, it becomes open-ended. That doesn’t mean you’re immortal – you can still be murdered or hit by a catastrophic infection like Ebola, or die in a plane crash.“

“But you are no longer going to be more vulnerable to disease and death.“

“At that point, if you do the maths on how unlikely it is to die, it gives a life expectancy of about 1,000 years.

“You can still die the next day, or live to 2,000 years. It becomes about what happens in your life.” …

Longevity expert Michael Rae is hopeful that death from serious disease will plummet in the next decade as anti-ageing drugs currently in development hit the market.

He said: “One rejuvenation technology I suspect is going to be coming pretty quickly, in the next 10 years, is with drugs called senolytics.“

“There are certain cells that stop reproducing themselves and become metabolically abnormal.”

“They start excreting all kinds of inflammatory factors that make them more prone to becoming cancerous.“

“Senolytic drugs selectively kill those cells – there’s evidence that the body becomes rejuvenated in a wide variety of ways when you use them.“

“These drugs should be effective in eliminating a number of age-related diseases, which is a big step forward.“

“The immune system can already remove these damaged cells – but it seems it either falls apart as we age or it’s just incomplete.“

“We’re working on a range of ways to make it easier for your immune system to clear those cells out.“

“One thing we’re looking at to do this is by using engineered cells that will do the job for you.” …

He said: “The big concern I have about the research is that it’s not going fast enough because it’s not being funded adequately.“

“We’re not going half as fast as I’d like – every day that we’re delayed, we have another 110,000 people dead from this plague of ageing.“

“I watched my grandparents die. My grandfather was living on oxygen and had a hard time walking around by the time he passed.“

“My grandmother was almost blind and needed help getting out of bed.“

“I’ve done a variety of things to keep myself healthy, but I’m conscious the science is not developing as quickly as I would want.“

“Beyond that, yes there are concerns. If we unshackle people from the ageing process, the population is going to increase over time and that could pose certain ecological constraints.“

“It’s certainly going to pose a need for rethinking things like retirement ages and pension plans – and the way we structure our lives around ageing and dying.“

“But one has to maintain a sense of proportion. These things have technical fixes.“

“We have to be better about using resources on all kinds of fronts because the world is already headed for an environmental disaster.“

“Are we really saying the solution to things like our ecological problems is that people have to keep dying of cancer and heart attacks?”

Biological reprogramming technology

Amazon boss Jeff Bezos is reported to be one of the main backers of Altos Labs, a collection of state-of-the-art research centres in Cambridge, Japan and California headed by US scientist and cancer expert Richard Klausner.

The scientists here are using £200million of funding to develop something known as “biological reprogramming technology”.

This will allow the cells in our body to be rejuvenated, turning back the clock and reversing the ageing process.

There is also hope that the research will bring an end to life-changing conditions such as Parkinson’s, heart disease and cancer – as our cells will no longer degenerate and mutate.

One new scientist on the team, Spaniard Manuel Serrano, says he was offered five times his salary to move to Cambridge to work for Altos Labs, showing the firm is recruiting the best and brightest in the business.

Expert Michael Rae told us: “Reprogramming technology is taking a cell that has accumulated age-related changes that are dysfunctional and winding the clock back.

“You remove some of those abnormal changes, so it behaves like a youthful cell.

“Once you’ve done that it starts ageing again. So eventually you will have to wind it back again and again – but that’s fine as long as you keep up with it.

“In some ways that is even more exciting because if you are 70 years old and you can wind the clock back, you’ve done a lot for that person.

“Bezos is in his 50s – so he has made a bet that’s going to pay out at a very good time for him.”

Read full article HERE.

Longevity Science Foundation’s $1 billion, 10 year distribution shows shift in attitudes since SRF inception

SRF is elated at the announcement in Longevity Technology of a fund that will distribute more than $1 billion over a ten year period specifically “to research, institutions and projects advancing healthy human longevity and extending the healthy human lifespan to more than 120 years.”

Few may remember the environment in which SRF began, in which interest in longevity research and significant extension of human life was far outside the mainstream and inordinately difficult to raise funds for. Along with the recent founding of Altos labs, the Longevity Science Foundation’s extraordinary commitment heralds a hard-fought shift in attitudes towards fighting aging.

The Foundation will be advised by a “‘Visionary Board’ of leading longevity researchers, led by Evelyne Bischof and joined by Andrea B Maier, Eric Verdin, Matt Kaeberlein and Alex Zhavoronkov…”

According to Longevity Technology, “The focus of the Foundation will be to . . . . support projects in four major areas of healthy longevity medicine and tech – therapeutics, personalised medicine, AI and predictive diagnostics . . . . that can make a significant difference in people’s lives as soon as possible – even within five years.” The Foundation will also focus on “…driving longevity medicine from theoretical concepts to real-world applications…” that can be transformed into clinical treatments. Translational medicine has been hindered by a lack of sufficient funding, where the promises of revolutionary therapies remain locked away from discovery.

Visionary Board member Andrea B Maier also serves as co-director of the Centre for Healthy Longevity at the National University of Singapore, and predicts “In 5 years, healthy longevity will not only exist as a lab-proven concept, but will become part of everyone’s life.

The article also reports that “the Foundation will also empower people from all over the world to directly support the development of longevity research . . . and share findings with the public to enhance awareness of longevity care and available treatments.”

SENS Research Foundation looks forward to seeing this sector grow rapidly over the near future with evermore mainstream acceptance, and more resources like the Longevity Science Foundation’s offer the hope of ending aging in our lifetimes.

NIA Reports Senolytics Show Potential to Protect Against Coronavirus in Older Mice

The National Institute on Aging reports that: “Cellular senescence, an aging mechanism in which cells lose normal function, may contribute to a worse response in human cells to COVID-19 and in older mice to a similar coronavirus — but a class of drug known as senolytics decreased adverse responses and increased survival for the mice. The preclinical findings from a study funded in part by NIA were recently published in Science.”

They note that as the number of senescent cells increase with age, the cells release inflammatory factors that both interfere with the immune system, and contribute to the general risk factor of aging for almost all chronic diseases. This is also the focus of one of SRF’s projects that is working on selectively removing senescent cells and reversing the damage caused by them to rejuvenate the immune system.

According to the article, “Researchers from several NIA-funded laboratories at the University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic, and Indiana University . . . exposed cell and tissue samples, donated from humans, to SARS-CoV-2, a human coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 . . . ” and found that senolytic cells produced more inflammatory factors that “ . . . suppressed viral defense mechanisms and increased the expression of cell surface receptor proteins that the virus attaches to in order to enter the cell.”

In mouse models, viral exposure resulted in near 100% fatality for older mice, whereas 89% or the younger mice survived. However, treating older mice with senolytics “. . . decreased inflammation signals, improved the immune response, and increased the survival rate by 50%.”

The report suggests that humans with increased senolytic cells due to aging and other chronic conditions may benefit from increased protection from the COVID-19 virus and improved survival rates. The research continues, focusing on testing senolytic drugs in older COVID-19 patients who are hospitalized or residing in nursing homes.

For more on SENS Research Foundation’s efforts to reverse the damage of senolytic cells, please read about our ApoptoSENS research.

SENS Research Foundation wishes you Happy International Longevity Day and Longevity Month!

The United Nations General Assembly voted to establish October 1st as the ‘International Day of Older Persons’ as recorded in Resolution 45/106. The holiday was observed for the first time on October 1st, 1991.

Following this tradition, longevity research activists from around the world call this day and the month of October; International Longevity Day and International Longevity Month.

Events focused on supporting biomedical research to further understand the biology of aging and extend healthy human lifespan, take place internationally throughout the entire month of October.

Since 2013 hundreds of events have been organized and we hope this tradition will continue and will keep strengthening the longevity advocacy community.

If you organize an event, create a publication or make any other effort to promote International Longevity Day/Month, we would love to learn about it! You can let us know by emailing us at [email protected]

Reimagine Aging
The SRF Team

Annual Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week 2021

SENS Research Foundation joins the Mitochondrial Medicine Society and MITOAction.org during the third week of September in raising awareness for the Annual Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week.

Mitochondrial function declines with age, and these dysfunctional mitochondria adversely contribute to several metabolic and neuromuscular diseases. The mitoSENS team is working tirelessly to help discover the science to reverse and/or prevent damage to mitochondrial DNA. 

The SENS team is developing an innovative approach to repair mitochondrial mutations that, if successful, will have demonstrated, for the first time, a mechanism that can provide your cells with a modified backup copy of the entire mitochondrial genome. This genome would then reside within the protective confines of the cell’s nucleus, thereby mitigating damage to the mitochondrial genome.

Demonstrating the effectiveness of this technology would be a major milestone in the prevention and reversal of aging in the human body and it will also help address mitochondrial disease that affects people of all ages, including children born with mutations in this mtDNA. 

Learn more about our project and team here: Engineering New Mitochondrial Genes to Restore Mitochondrial Function MitoSENS

 

 

Altos Labs recruits star researchers for rejuvenation therapeutics

CC-BY-2.0; content adapted from images of Yuri Miller provided by TechCrunch, and of Jeff Bezos provided by the Seattle City Council.

Yuri Milner and Jeff Bezos are reportedly funding Altos Labs, a venture seeking to use biological reprogramming to rejuvenate cells in the lab, animals, and eventually humans.

As reported in the MIT Technology Review, the rejuvenation start-up is recruiting top researchers to work on “unfettered blue-sky research on how cells age and how to reverse that process.” Milner, a billionaire investor and science enthusiast, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos are said to be investing in the venture that has so far brought on Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte from the Salk Institute, UCLA professor Steve Horvath, and Nobel Prize winning scientist Shinya Yamanaka, who will chair the scientific advisory board.

The “effort took shape under the direction of Richard Klausner, the one-time chief of the National Cancer Institute,” who will serve as the CEO. To date, the venture has raised at least $270 million. Technology Review reports that “At least initially, Altos will be funding researchers with no immediate expectation for products or revenues. According to one person briefed by Klausner and Milner, the initial output of the company will be ‘great science.’ ” This is also the modus operandi of SENS Research Foundation, whose focus is on developing the early-stage scientific discoveries that will eventually serve as the foundation for translational therapies in an environment where scientists are empowered to explore novel ideas free from the pressures of products or revenues.

University of Lausanne, Switzerland professor and former Salk lab researcher Alejandro Ocampo expressed reservations about the amount of money and companies in this area of research, however noted that “You can take a cell from an 80-year old and, in vitro, reverse the age by 40 years. There is no other technology that can do that.”

In an effort to measure any rejuvenation effects, Altos will employ epigenetic clocks pioneered by Steve Horvath, critical as measuring the extension of life in animals would otherwise require too much time. As a result “Altos will be working at the leading edge of both causing and measuring rejuvenation.”

SENS Research Foundation welcomes the formation of Altos Labs and hopes that the ever-growing field of Rejuvenation Biotechnology will one day soon realize the possibilities of a vastly extended health-span and vitality of life for all.

Statement from the SENS Research Foundation Board of Directors

In June 2021, we began an investigation into the conduct of our Chief Science Officer, Dr. Aubrey de Grey, initially in response to allegations raised by two members of the scientific community. This investigation – conducted by an independent, third-party investigator – remains ongoing.

However, we recently were made aware of communications by Dr. de Grey indirectly attempting to apply pressure on one of the investigation’s participants. The integrity of this investigation is paramount, and we cannot permit Dr. de Grey to undercut or disrupt the investigator’s work. For this reason, regrettably and with heavy hearts, the Board of Directors unanimously decided to separate from Dr. de Grey, effective immediately.

We cannot overstate how deeply Dr. de Grey has shaped this Foundation since its founding; his impact on the SENS Research Foundation is indelible. This separation is not a decision we took lightly. It was, however, necessary.

The SENS Research Foundation remains steadfastly committed to our mission, and we will continue to redefine the way the world researches and treats age-related ill health, while inspiring the next generation of biomedical students.

Out of respect for the individuals who came forward, and for Dr. de Grey, the investigator’s efforts will continue. We will share more with the community if and when it is appropriate to do so.

Senotherapeutics Report

The total market value of diseases that could be addressed with (eventual) senotherapeutic therapies totals over $127B.

A new SRF-sponsored report from Longevity.Technology’s Market Intelligence Unit assesses the investment potential of the emerging senotherapeutics sector, examines the potential of targeting cell senescence to treat many major diseases, and deep-dives into key companies working in the field, including:

Atropos Therapeutics; Cleara Biotechnology; Insilico Medicine; Oisin Biotechnologies; Rockfish Bio; Rubedo Life Sciences; and TAmiRNA.

The report identifies the opportunities for growth in the senotherapeutics market and the factors that will drive that growth, together with the challenges that this early market will encounter as it moves into scale and validation.

Who is this report for?

  1. Investors seeking clarity on investment opportunities, market dynamics and risk factors;
  2. Senotherapeutic innovators looking to better understand the opportunities and challenges senotherapeutics face;
  3. Existing senotherapeutic companies looking to secure investment for future funding rounds;
  4. Investors seeking information on the different types of senotherapeutics and the strengths and weaknesses of each;
  5. Clinicians looking for an educational resource to learn about up-and-coming aspects of senotherapeutics;
  6. Executives of large pharmaceuticals to evaluate their participation in the longevity economy.

From the foreword written by our Chief Science Officer, Dr. Aubrey de Grey:

This is going to be the biggest industry ever and it’s a marketplace with 7 billion customers. Not one single person in the world is immune from aging, and these customers will be willing to spend significant amounts to stay healthy – no-one likes to be sick and no-one wants to decline. The space demands a long-term view from investment.

This thorough report from Longevity.Technology’s market intelligence unit provides important insights for the senotherapeutic market and highlights key concepts for potential investors, product developers, market entrants and academics. I hope that you find it as interesting and informative as I did and that one day we can consign aging to the history books.

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