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VitaDAO announces “Longevity Molecule” research project

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VitaDAO will use advanced machine learning to crunch the data from 1.04 billion prescriptions to understand the impact of drugs on human lifespan.

VitaDAO, which frames itself as the “world’s first decentralized intellectual property collective” has announced its opening research project – The Longevity Molecule – which will be led by Morten Scheibye Knudsen and carried out by the Scheibye-Knudsen Lab in Copenhagen.

Longevity.Technology: VitaDAO is on a mission is to extend human lifelines by researching, financing and commercialising longevity therapeutics in an open and democratic manner – its members will own the intellectual property assets that result from the projects it supports and funds and members can contribute work or funds to join VitaDAO by purchasing or earning VITA tokens. And when it comes to extending lifespan, VitaDAO is certainly putting its money where its mouth is; in an unprecedented leveraging of data, Longevity Molecule is correlating over a billion prescriptions with lifespan to understand the global effects of certain drugs on longevity. 

The Scheibye-Knudsen lab focuses on developing interventions for aging and age-associated diseases using a variety of approaches. Using advanced machine learning technologies and granted exclusive access to the data, the Longevity Molecule research project, which is based at the lab, has analysed 1.04 billion prescriptions from 4.8 million individuals over 50 years in The Danish National Health Service Prescription Database and correlated this with the survival of individuals prescribed certain drugs.

The Scheibye-Knudsen Lab has now identified more than 10 FDA-approved medications that appear to have a strong effect on lifespan following analysis. The next step in the project will focus on optimising, repurposing and re-formulating the three drugs with the strongest and most significant impact on the human lifespan.

Longevity Molecule research project timeline

The first step is testing the identified drug’s ability to attenuate features of aging in a controlled laboratory setting. The Scheibye-Knudsen Lab will test the molecules in both human cells and in a fruit fly animal model.

VitaDAO
The Scheibye-Knudsen Lab testing the molecules in a fruit fly animal model.

Testing the drugs in human cells will allow the researchers to understand how the molecules affect human cellular aging. Fruit flies are used extensively in biomedical research and specific aging research as they have a short lifespan of about 60 days; the team has exclusive access to Tracked.bio deep-learning-based technology and will be able to investigate aging in thousands of flies at once.

After successful testing in fruit flies and cells, the next step will be performing compound optimisation in cell lines and testing the compound for age-attenuation in mice. The researchers will use medicinal chemistry for compound optimisation, allowing better efficacy, solubility, stability and tolerability. Toxicology on the optimised compound will be specifically tested and its effects on age-associated features, such as hearing, will be investigated.

The the third phase of testing will be a transition to clinical trials, where the age-attenuating effects of the compound in healthy volunteers will be evaluated. Currently, the Scheibye-Knudsen lab is running three clinical trials for aging interventions in humans, and the project has the added boon that Morten Scheibye-Knudsen also runs the largest recruitment platform for volunteers for clinical trials in Denmark.

We have an interview with Morten Scheibye-Knudsen coming soon – stay tuned!

Images courtesy of VitaDAO

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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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