Longevica raises $2.5 million for open research platform

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$2.5m in funding to support longevity research platform and study to accelerate the discovery of life extension mechanisms, launching in 2022.

Longevica, a life science company researching the mechanisms of healthy aging and life extension, has today announced its plan to launch an end-to-end platform to facilitate scientific research collaboration and breakthrough discoveries in the longevity science field and expedite consumer access to resulting novel health products.

Longevity.Technology: $2.5m raised in a funding round led by Xploration Capital will support the development of the platform and integration of the Longevica research dataset, created over 11  years with $13m investment and including the largest study of compounds covering the entire spectrum of modern pharmacology.

Through Longevica’s platform, scientists and research institutions from across the world will be able to test drugs of their choice in full-scale pharmacological screening experiments and get access to the largest research dataset which tracks the effects of 1033 pharmacological compounds – exciting stuff!

Longevica will now conduct a deeper testing of 300 compounds in the most promising classes found by the team. As a result, it plans to provide control groups, while managing operations and administrative costs, making screening trials an order of magnitude more affordable due to economies of scale. The research will be conducted at Jackson Laboratory in the US, a leading biomedical research institution.

“If you want to understand biological aging, you must first disrupt a costly, bureaucratic, and siloed research model with a nimble, open ecosystem that vastly increases the volume of research and pace of discovery,” says Longevica co-founder and CEO Ainar Abdrakhmanov.

“Our end-to-end platform will reduce barriers, foster collaboration and experiment data collection and analysis within the ecosystem, and provide a complete functional solution that safely and efficiently moves the benefits of life extension scientific research into the hands of consumers,” he adds.

In the study, the Longevica research team will more deeply explore a set of compounds that showed significant life extension properties in a previous study, led by Longevica co-founders Dr Alexey Ryazanov and Alexander Chikunov. The three-and-a-half year experiment was significant in its breadth and scope, examining the long-term effect of a whopping 1033 pharmacological compounds on the lifespan of 20,000 long-lived female mice through a large-scale systematic screening. Longevica recently received a US patent for one of the novel life extension methods and compound combinations discovered in the study.

“We’ve already identified three particularly high-performing classes of compounds that showed a statistically significant life extension effect,” says Dr Alexey Ryazanov, Professor of Pharmacology at Rutgers and a biochemist and molecular biologist whose discovery of alpha-kinases is the foundation for Longevica’s research approach. “We aim to increase the volume of both the mice and the drugs within classes to better understand the action mechanisms of these compounds and test interventions, both alone and in combination.”

Maximum lifespan for any species is determined by the rate of aging inherent in its genes and by environmental factors. There are many scientific approaches to understanding and altering the biology of aging, including genomics, cell therapy, and toxin elimination. Contrary to mainstream approaches, Longevica’s research is focused on experimental examination of known pharmacological compounds to understand and harness the mechanisms behind their effects on biological damage and aging.

“Longevica spent 11 years researching one of the most challenging problems out there and applied a fairly simple yet unique approach – testing known drugs without trying to choose the winning hypothesis in advance,” said Eugene Timko, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Xploration Capital. “We believe that the greatest results are yet to come and we foresee that new data will lead the team to new discoveries.”

“We discovered that one of the fundamental drivers of aging is the accumulation of toxic load composed of heavy metals in the body,” says Abdrakhmanov. “Our research led to the development of a patented product clinically proven to both block absorption and eliminate the accumulation of environmental toxins in the body, resulting in short-term health benefits and long-term life-extension effect.”

Abdrakhmanov says that Longevica research has shown mechanisms for life extension, and can support many scientific approaches to healthy aging. “We believe scientific collaboration and sharing of experiment data across our platform will be instrumental in expediting breakthroughs in our field,” he said.

“One issue haunting the field of longevity is availability and quality of the data, specifically the lifespan data under pharmacological perturbations. Short of the NIH’s Intervention Testing Program, it’s hard to point to a source of such knowledge with the appropriate sample size and rigor of studies,” said Dr Leon Peshkin, Systems Biology Department, Harvard Medical School.

“That’s why I am particularly optimistic about Longevica’s new initiative,” he adds. “Their past experiment already demonstrated how to approach “reverse engineering” of the aging processes in contrast to mere “screening” – as in searching for an accidental elixir of life. In the new phase they have not just found a way to validate and expand their findings, they are opening it up to a wide research community – we all stand to benefit from such an attitude.”

“Longevity’s screening has the potential to increase knowledge about the long-term benefits of rare sugars such as tagatose, including possible life-extension benefits, and this knowledge would benefit food producers and consumers,” said Ed Rogers, CEO at Bonumose, a company which has developed a process for producing rare sugars.

“Longevity science is uniquely interdisciplinary and can be accelerated by fostering collaborative spirit within and between researchers, facilitating experiments and networking,” said Professor Evelyne Yehudit Bischof, Longevity Physician and Head of the Visionary Board of the Longevity Science Foundation. “We at Longevity Science Foundation encourage the fostering of exchange and acceleration of longevity research, allowing scientists to co-utilise available tools. We congratulate the Longevica team on this endeavor.”

Stay tuned for our exclusive interview with Longevica co-founder and CEO Ainar Abdrakhmanov later this week

Eleanor Garth
Deputy Editor Now a science and medicine journalist, Eleanor worked as a consultant for university spin-out companies and provided research support at Imperial College London and various London hospitals in a former life.

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