Anthony Atala, known for his work on tissue engineering is launching a new company, Atlas Regeneration to focus on pharmacology related to aging. This is in many ways similar to Human Longevity Inc., and it seems a pity to me that someone who was doing something more useful is now going to focus on something less useful when it comes to advancing the state of medicine for healthy longevity.
Numerous groups are now getting into the field of longevity-related genetics and drug discovery with the aim of very modestly slowing down aspects of the aging process. It is probably the case that there is money to be made here, and there is certainly much more data to be gathered on the precise details of the operation of cellular metabolism and its relationship with natural variations in longevity. I do not see it as a viable path towards meaningfully lengthening human life spans, however. Few if any of these initiatives are involved in attempts on the damage repair approach to aging that characterizes SENS, and thus I expect their work to do little but add to our knowledge of metabolism, or move the research community a few steps closer to being able to capture some of the well-established benefits of calorie restriction or exercise through drug treatments. These are small potatoes compared to the rejuvenation that might be achieved through periodic repair of the cell and tissue damage that causes aging, rather than merely slowing down its accumulation.
Atlas Regeneration Inc, a company dedicated to developing novel software platforms and algorithms for drug discovery relating to regenerative medicine and stem cell research, has officially launched. Atlas has partnered with InSilico Medicine, a bioinformatics company, which employs its state of the art Geroscope platform to select and rate personalized anti-aging therapies and identify new drug candidates in longevity.
Aging is an issue that effects all people around the globe universally, but as the babyboomer generation ages, the stress that it places on society becomes greater and the need develop methods for people to remain productive as they age rises in turn. Aging is a very complex multifactorial process that cannot be stopped or reversed by a simple combination of drugs, which is why it is important to develop personalized treatments tailored to individual subjects. The pharmaceutical industry needs a platform to effectively utilize and clinically implement stem cells technology.
"We built our platform, Regeneration Intelligence, on years of experience in regenerative medicine and pharmacology, de novo organ regeneration, body-on-the chip technology just to mention a few of them with a one single goal: develop a reliable tool to convert multi-omics data from individual patient's tissues into unified drug score to predict the effectiveness of targeted compounds and improve clinical decision making, unified iPSC lines score to predict differentiation potential and evaluate clinical safety. We are reinventing this system for drug discovery in regeneration medicine and aging to more effectively employ big data to find solutions for aging, competing with the Google's Calico and Human Longevity companies, to deliver hope that we may see the time when our mutual efforts will start saving lives and increase life span via regeneration in adult humans."
Some of the ideas behind the company's bioinformatics platforms for both regeneration, iPS and aging are rather simple: analyze all available omics profiles of "cells-in-progress" (iPSC line under evaluation, cells/tissues under treatment and so on) and targeted counterpart cells in mature healthy tissues or organs, run computer simulations based on proprietary pathway map to see what drugs or treatments make the old or undifferentiated cell get as close to the norm/healthy counterparts as possible and then validate the results on human cells and model organisms. The same approach may be employed to personalize the drug regimen for individual patients. The core parts of the technology are proprietary signaling pathway map, a unique scoring algorithm along with well-developed biological models which allows us to use all-inclusive gene expression analysis, including microRNA, methylation and proteomics modules among others, and a comprehensive constantly updated drug database.
The position that aging needs personalized treatments is something I see as nonsense, and a symptom of the research community being focused on entirely the wrong approach to the problem. We all age for the same reasons, the damage that causes aging is the same in all of us. The therapies to repair that damage can be the same for all of us, mass produced and cheap once established. Only if you are trying to mess around with the operation of metabolism to slow aging or compensate for damage without actually repairing it - a futile effort, doomed to expensive failure and marginal benefits - do you need to care about exactly how the spiral of simple damage creating complex consequences takes place in any given individual.