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.

Michael Greve Doubles Down

Michael Greve, founder of the Forever Healthy Foundation and owner of Kizoo Technology Ventures, announced today that he will make an additional €300 million ($361m USD) available to launch new rejuvenation biotechnology startups and support the clinical translation of therapies designed by Kizoo’s existing portfolio of companies.

Read the full press release at Forever Healthy.

Defeating Aging by 2036

SRF’s Chief Science Officer, Dr. Aubrey de Grey, recently estimated a 50% chance that aging could be brought under medical control in as little as 15 years’ time. In a new interview with NextBigFuture, Dr. de Grey explains how recent developments – including the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic – contributed to that prediction.

Read the full interview write-up here: How the World Defeats Aging by 2036

SRF Masks Available

Official SRF Masks
Now Available

At the end of 2020, we invited all our supporters to submit designs for an official SRF mask. As well as being worn by our staff, these masks are now available – while supplies last – to anyone who’d like to support our work to end age-related disease and disability.

The Importance of Masks

It’s widely agreed that wearing a mask reduces your chances of transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to others, even during the critical period of “silent spread,” when you have no symptoms and are most likely to transmit the virus to your friends and neighbors.

There’s now a growing body of evidence that wearing a mask also protects you from becoming infected, as well as evidence (reviewed in a recent article from the New England Journal of Medicine) that individuals who get infected despite wearing a mask are still several times less likely to develop severe illness. This may be because face coverings significantly reduce the initial dose of the virus received, giving the body more time to mount a response before things get out of hand.

The Winning Design

The winning design features icons representing the seven strands of the SENS platform, each of which aims to repair a specific category of age-related damage and thus cure and prevent the chronic diseases that it drives. To learn more about the strands, visit the Intro to SENS Research page.

Technical Details

Mask is 100% cotton on the inside and polyester on the outside, has a pocket to fit a filter and has a nose clip. Washable and reusable. Size: 5.5″ x 8.7”

Filter is a 5 ply face mask insert which effectively protects against PM2.5 and other airborne contaminants. Featuring 5 layers of protection including 2 non woven fabric layers, 2 melt blown fabric layers and an activated carbon layer in the middle for max protection. These are disposable and should be replaced every 5 days or less of constant use. Size: 4.72” x 3.15”

Material: Non-Woven Fabric + Melt-Blown Fabric + Activated Carbon Fabric + Melt-Blown Fabric + Non-Woven Fabric

Mask Availability

If you’d like to secure an official SRF mask for yourself, you can order by making a donation through the PayPal links below.

WebMD Feature: Is There a Cure for Aging?

“I think there is at least a 50/50 chance that most people alive today will live to 1,000 years old.”

In a new video produced for WebMD.com, SRF Chief Science Officer Dr. Aubrey de Grey discusses emerging medical technologies that could not only pause aging, but reverse it, in the surprisingly near future.

The video above is included in WebMD.com’s feature article “Is There a Cure for Aging?“, which includes more quotes from Dr. de Grey and other longevity leaders. Check it out!

Enriching Mitochondria

The MitoSENS team has recently published a new protocol which enables researchers to isolate mitochondria from mammalian cells more efficiently and scalably than any prior technique, using only readily available and economical reagents and equipment.

The full text is available to read for free via MethodsX: Rapid enrichment of mitochondria from mammalian cell cultures using digitonin

Abstract

We describe here a simple method to enrich mitochondrial fractions from mammalian cells for downstream analyses in the lab. Mitochondria purification involves cell lysis followed by separation of the organelles from the rest of the cellular components. Here, we use detergent to rupture the cell membrane of mammalian cells followed by differential centrifugation to enrich the organelles. Optimum conditions with respect to detergent concentration, time, sample size, and yield are discussed. The method’s utility in downstream analyses and ease of processing multiple samples simultaneously is also described. All the reagents in this method can be assembled in-house, are economical, and are comparable, if not superior, to commercially available kits in terms of mitochondrial yield and integrity.

  • Rapid enrichment of mitochondria from mammalian cells using commonly available reagents.
  • Multiple samples can be processed simultaneously.
  • Works over a wide range of sample size (1 million to 100 million cells).

Graphical Abstract

Undoing Aging is rescheduled to May 26-28, 2022

Forever Healthy Foundation and  SENS Research Foundation have rescheduled Undoing Aging to 2022. We are looking forward to having Undoing Aging 2022 as a vibrant physical event in Berlin, which unfortunately is not possible in 2021 due to restrictions on events in Germany and the global Corona situation. We will issue ticket refunds to attendees who cannot attend the new date. It will take place May 26-28 at the Radialsystem Berlin. 

The Undoing Aging Conference is focused on the cellular and molecular repair of age-related damage as the basis of therapies to bring aging under full medical control and will bring together scientists and startups from around the globe, all pioneers in their respective fields, who are leading the charge in maintaining and restoring full health in old age.

To accommodate the exciting growth of the emerging rejuvenation biotechnology industry, Undoing Aging 2022 will add a dedicated forum and exhibition space for rejuvenation biotech companies to present themselves to prospective investors and industry partners.

Additionally, the 2022 conference will add a special “Rejuvenation Now” session highlighting the first generation of human rejuvenation therapies that are either currently in clinical trials or are available today.

Undoing Aging 2022 is not only open to the scientific community, but also welcomes startups, investors, the general media, and all interested members of the broader rejuvenation movement. The conference will feature a student poster session showing the work of innovative undergraduate and graduate students in the field of damage repair.

Scientific Organizer: Dr. Aubrey de Grey

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