Aging Biotech: Moving Beyond the Hallmarks

Known to increase lifespan for over half a century, nutrient sensing has been perhaps the single largest topic within aging research. As this molecular pathway has been elucidated over the years, more and more therapies and drugs have been developed that attempt to manipulate it at various stages to improve health. In relatively recent history, a drug called rapamycin was shown to increase the lifespan of mice even if not started until old age. This was a monumental breakthrough in aging research because prior to that, it was largely believed that to increase lifespan, one must intervene in the aging process early. Since this time, rapamycin has grown to become the single most robust method of increasing longevity across organisms, with some members of the research community arguing it should be put into large-scale clinical trials right away (it is already FDA-approved at high doses as an immunosuppressant and cancer treatment). In this vein, academic labs and companies like Aeovian Pharmaceuticals, Beiwe Health, and Tornado Therapeutics, continue to work on rapamycin, rapalogs (variants of rapamycin), and other molecules with similar molecular targets. Others, like Trivium Vet and the Dog Aging Project, are taking this treatment to our pets, hoping that it can act as a stepping stone toward applications for humans.

But nutrient sensing is far from the only aging hallmark under investigation.

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