The Senolytic Therapy Network is advancing the fight against aging with outreach and research initiatives – we speak to a co-founder.
The Senolytic Therapy Network (STN) was founded to serve as the premier organisation for studying and implementing senolytic therapies into clinical practice. With a firm belief that successful senolytic therapies are the necessary next step in advancing the fight against aging and promoting successful organ and tissue regeneration, the Network works with practitioners across the globe to educate healthcare professionals about the science behind senolytics and senotherapeutics, advancing the field and supporting research initiatives that can further diagnostic and therapeutic aspects as they relate to cellular senescence and senolytics.
Longevity.Technology: We are currently preparing our market intelligence report on senotherapeutics, so we were keen to understand more about the STN, which sits in an exciting place in this fast-developing field. We caught up with Dr Luiz Martínez, co-founder of the Network, to find out more.
The STN started earlier this year, born out of a desire to educate clinicians on the up-and-coming aspects of senolytics therapies, and, as Dr Martínez puts it, “to gather everyone under the same roof.”
“By organising the the research, the logistics and the clinical aspects, we can make the most out of these therapies which we know are working and which are having clinical studies published,” he says. “I really think anti-aging therapeutics and age management medicine is going to be the next big thing.”
Dr Martínez is keen to raise awareness of the potential of senotherapeutics.
“With regard to the whole medicine anti-aging space, we’ve all heard about stem cell therapy, telomerase, NAD boosters, et cetera, but senolytics appears to be less well known, especially from a technical perspective,” says Martínez. “However, this year I think we are going to see a boom in interest, however, in senolytic therapies, research and clinical aspects, and we’re excited about that.”
Dr Martínez says that the STN is preparing for the first Annual Senolytic Therapies Congress later this year in the autumn. “The field is rapidly-evolving, and there will be so much more data on clinical applications, the time will be right to bring together leaders in the field,” he explains.
“I really think anti-aging therapeutics and age management medicine is going to be the next big thing.”
Although senotherapeutics is still its early days, it is gathering investment interest.
“I see this field right now evolving in parallel,” Martínez explains. “Open, or specific senolytics are still some way off, but we have clinical and investment partners that have expressed interest.
“I see a future where we can probably tailor the senolytics to specific organs, tissues, or wherever they are needed at that moment. That’s something that will be very detailed and very exciting! In the meanwhile, we know that there are some alternatives that can be used clinically to offer at least some amount of senolytic activity for those patients that really can’t wait 10 or 20 years to gather the benefits. So we do have some alternatives that we’re working on right now, and there are some published trials on some specific combinations that have shown promise.”
When it comes to delivery methods, there is a careful path to tread. “We really need to improve on research in this area,” explains Martínez. “Specifically, we are looking to fine-tune targeting these therapies to exact locations; systemic therapies are easier, but we definitely are looking at improving delivery.”
Of course, moving from lab to clinic is not a straightforward process. “Translation is really the challenge we have to face,” says Martínez. “The Network has clients, we have high-end researchers doing amazing stuff and clinicians that want to get on board and help patients, but translation is often where things fail. How can we get a senotherapeutic safely and quickly into clinical use? It goes back to just getting a strong team of advisors together, connecting people and making the investment happen.
“When we do all this at the same time we get benefit and we get product. We have an aging population, we have declining birth rates – we have a real situation here with aging that we need to address within the next 5, 10, 20 years. I definitely believe that senolytics are going to play a major role in all this.”
Dr Martínez finds the senolytic field fascinating, but there are two stand-out areas for him.
“One is the applications of dermal senolytics, looking particularly at skin aging and the field of tropical dermal senolytics,” says Martínez, explained that he has coined the term “dermalytics” for this area. “This area is going to be very interesting because there are readily available areas for senolytic applications, and it’s set to be one of the fastest evolving fields. Dermalytics are going to be huge; I’m working on something in that area myself. It’s too early to go into details, but we have the research and the technology and hope to launch officially later this year.”
“Senescence is one of the most important hallmarks of aging and senolytics are believed to be essential in the anti-aging effort.”
The other area that Dr Martínez is particularly interested in is specifically, is applying senolytic therapies to the bone marrow space. “Bone marrow tissue has a very particular, protective niche,” he explains. “As aging progresses, bone marrow cells also age and become dysfunctional; there is more research to be done, but might we be able to rejuvenate bone marrow with senolytic therapy as a strategy for tackling age? That’s a very interesting proposition.”
Any predictions for the future of longevity? “There is rather a ‘NAD booster boom’ at the moment, but from a scientific perspective, senolytic therapy, especially for the older population, must precede NAD boosting,” says Martínez. “In the future I think we’ll see the integration of these two, with NAD boosting therapies converging with senolytics.”
Dr Jin-Xiong She, who helped to shape the Network and serves on the board, told Longevity.Technology: “Senescence is one of the most important hallmarks of aging and senolytics are believed to be essential in the anti-aging effort. The STN hopes to become the premier forum for longevity practitioners, researchers and patients to gain the most updated information about senolytic therapies including biomarkers, nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals.
“STN will provide a platform for clinicians and patients to exchange information, ideas and to conduct research. It will also offer a fellowship program for senolytic therapy, and information and webinars will also be available.”