Napa Therapeutics Formed to Develop Drugs to Influence NAD Metabolism

The involvement of In Silico Medicine in the formation of Napa Therapeutics to run drug discovery based on advances in understanding of mitochondrial metabolism in aging is an example of the premium placed on any approach that might plausibly reduce the cost and time involved in finding drug candidates. We will no doubt see a lot more of this sort of thing as computational methodologies become a plausible replacement for greater portions of the existing costly, hands-on, mechanical screening processes.

Draw a triangle in the present field of aging research with the three points set at calorie restriction mimetics, exercise mimetics, and general tinkering with energy metabolism, then efforts to increase NAD+ levels in mitochondria might be found somewhere in the midst of that space. That line of work is growing in popularity, and the early human trials of compounds like nicotinamide riboside suggest that the effect size might be worth chasing if the costs are low. (Though of course the development costs are never low for any approach that must pass through the full regulatory process).

Helping mitochondria to function more effectively in old tissues may help modestly with a variety of issues, given that faltering energy generation is a feature of aging, though it remains to be seen as to just how large the effect sizes are at the end of the day. This is not rejuvenation; this is pushing a damaged engine a little harder, this is overriding an aspect of the aged state of metabolism without addressing the underlying damage that causes that aged state. Sometimes that can work to some degree, sometimes it doesn't.

The Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Insilico Medicine, and Juvenescence Ltd announced today that they have formed Napa Therapeutics, Ltd to develop drugs against a novel aging-related target. The Buck Institute is one of the leading research centers in the world focused solely on research on aging and the elimination of age-related disease. Insilico Medicine is an AI company focused on a range of verticals devoted to aging. Juvenescence is a company focused on developing drugs to modify aging and the diseases of aging.

Napa Therapeutics is based on groundbreaking research in NAD metabolism conducted in the lab of Eric Verdin, MD, President and CEO of the Buck Institute. The Verdin lab will collaborate with Napa, using Insilico's drug development engine to speed the discovery of new compounds. "I am most excited by this model and the ability to combine the quality science of the Buck Institute with the remarkable deep learning engine at Insilico Medicine. To me this is another big step in the evolving process of using AI with human intelligence to extract the best of both systems. Napa Therapeutics lets Juvenescence deepen our collaboration with the Buck Institute and with Insilico Medicine. We hope to shorten the time required to identify molecules that can be brought to the clinic and most importantly help patients."



While this approach alone is not very promising it will increase our knowledge of the mitochondria metabolism..

I wonder if boosting NAD+ might lead to an oxidative stress, though...

Posted by: Cuberat at August 17th, 2018 8:28 AM

I am not very knowledgeable on NAD+. (I tried to order some a couple months ago from a chem supplier, but got shot down because I am an individual not a company). But is it not better and more reliable to just inject the NAD+ Rather than creating a complex drug to upregulate production? I see this as analogous to Hormone supplementation.

Posted by: JohnD at August 17th, 2018 8:47 AM

I really like what Buck Institute, and these other juvenescence companies are on the right track doing and searching for molecule that provide real rejuvenation and slowing of age. Wouldn't it be nice if they could quickly come up with some molecules that would make all of us feel and look 30 years younger?

Posted by: Biotechy Marcks at August 17th, 2018 11:10 AM

Hi Biotechy,
I doubt that a show molecule could make you feel 30 years younger (excluding LSD).

If it cold slow the aging after 40-50 by 10%, It would already be a big deal.

However, it is messing with the metabolism and hoping to find an existing repair system in the body and boost it's effectiveness...

Concentrating on the repair will bring higher benefits but in long term. Short term we can only try to slow the aging a bit. And increase the health span...

Posted by: Cuberat at August 17th, 2018 1:25 PM

This very recent article may be of interest --

"High protein intake is associated with low plasma NAD+ levels in a healthy human cohort"

This paper speculates about whether protein-restricted diets may confer some benefits via NAD+.

Posted by: Lou Pagnucco at August 17th, 2018 2:51 PM

I take 250mg of NAD+ with 100mg resveratrol each evening about 9PM. That is what Life Extension Magazine suggests at present as an energy and repair booster for the elderly like me.

Posted by: Biotechy Marcks at August 17th, 2018 4:06 PM

for me NAD+ or resveratrol did nothing noticeable. Fasting 3-4 days, on the other hand, gave me tangible benefits. Apart from the weight loss, I experienced improved vision, attention, alertness and a couple of weeks after better skin. The good effects lasted almost 2 months.

Posted by: cuberat at August 17th, 2018 5:11 PM

I am comfortable with my 8 hour fasts. Just don't overeat and stress optimal nutrition. Really, I rely most on CR mimetics to achieve my dietary health and lifespan extension goals.

Posted by: Biotechy Marcks at August 18th, 2018 4:48 AM

Ah, another very expensive and useless example of messing with metabolism! Much better if they put all these finances in the allotopic expression (MitoSENS programme) which perfectly works just needs more efforts for finishing!

Posted by: Ariel at August 18th, 2018 3:42 PM
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