Chatham House, February 9-10


MipTec is the largest drug discovery conference in Europe with over 3,000 delegates from pharmaceutical companies


Stem Sells, Translational Medicine, Protein Therapeutics, Medicinal Chemistry and others


New in silico approaches to evaluating the efficacy of and repurposing drugs for aging and age-related diseases


The forum will attract many young scientists in aging research providing the possibility to recruit scarse talent with unique skills and interests


Unlike other aging conferences, the forum is geared towards the pharmaceutical industry addressing the need for new markers and new drugs within the traditional regulatory frameworks

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

SENS6 Conference in Cambridge - Highlights

When you open a 70-year old patient on the operating table and touch the aorta, the feeling may resemble touching an eggshell or sand paper. It is stiffer than the heart of a young person and the key reasons for this are the abundant calcium deposits in the connective tissue that accumulate with age.

The many factors leading to mineralization of the connective tissue include genetic and acquired diseases, inflammation, reactive oxygen species, but the major problem is that it occurs spontaneously during aging as calcium-containing molecules are trapped in the extracellular matrix and develop into apatite over time.

Despite its relative significance, compared to the many other areas of aging research, mineralization of the connective tissue is rarely mentioned in scientific publications and few teams are working on preventing or clearing out the extracellular aggregates.  To address the problem, a multidisciplinary team of physicians, bioinformatitians, biochemists and physicists performed a comprehensive bioinformatics analysis of the many factors involved in mineralization, identified key molecular targets and proposed a list of possible drugs to address the issue.

The results of the study were accepted for publication by a high-impact journal in biogerontology “Rejuvenation Research” and will be published shortly and can be cited as “Mineralization of the connective tissue: a complex molecular process leading to age-related loss of function”, Anastasia Shindyapina, Garik V Mkrtchyan, Tatiana Gneteeva, Sveatoslav Buiucli, M Kulka, B Tancowny, Alexander Aliper, Alexander Zhavoronkov, Rejuvenation Research, ahead of print. doi:10.1089/rej.2013.1475, , PMID 23902273

Anastasia Shindyapina together with her collaborators presented the results of the study on the 5th of September at the SENS6 conference in Cambridge, UK.

“Aging inevitably leads to the loss of function on many levels. Mineralization of the connective tissue is one of the causes and consequences of aging and is a complex multifactorial process. Metabolic activity, diseases and external stress factors may cause calcification, but most importantly, it occurs spontaneously. Our goal is to identify least toxic ways to both prevent calcification and to repair the accumulated  aggregates.”, said Anastasia Shindyapina, ASUS Fellow for Bioinformatics and Medical Information Technology, PhD-candidate at the Moscow State University and researcher at FOIRMYS.

"Mineralization of connective tissue with age is one of the many aspects of aging that are examples of "accumulation of eventually pathogenic extracellular material", an issue that attracts too little attention within the academic community. The accumulation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) and of mineral deposits both result in increased stiffness of connective tissue, impair homeostasis and contribute to a broad range of age-related diseases. Through comprehensive bioinformatic analysis of the many molecular processes involved in mineralization, Zhavoronkov's team has identified possible molecular interventions. Additionally they proposed that mineralization and AGEs work in concert and should be addressed concurrently. Anastasia Shyndyapina, the lead author on the paper, recently presented this work at the SENS6 conference in Cambridge.", commented Dr. Aubrey de Grey, Chief Science Officer of SENS Research Foundation and International Adjunct Professor at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT).

The First Open Institute for Regenerative Medicine for Young Scientists (FOIRMYS) is a non-profit volunteer initiative bringing together over a thousand enthusiast young scientists and physicians interested in regenerative medicine. It was first organized by Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD in collaboration with Sergey Yakovenko, PhD, Sergey Roumiantsev, PhD and Oleg Korzinov in Moscow with support from Anna Chapman.
FOIRMYS provides regular weekly lectures by the top academic and industry thought leaders, investors and regulators. The list of presenters includes Paolo Macchiarini (Karolinska Institute), Alexey Aravin (Caltech), Charles Cantor (Boston U, ex-director of the Human Genome Project), Augustinus Bader (Leipzig University), top managers from Beijing Genomics Institute, Malaysian Genome Resource Center, Indigo Capital Partners and many others. As part of the curriculum students participate in practicums at “Altravita IVFFRCCPHFORCCQuantum PharmaceuticalsBiopharmcluster “Northern” and Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.
Members work in small teams comprised of scientists and physicians on ambitious outlier projects in aging and regenerative medicine with topics ranging from mineralization of connective tissue, HGPS and regulation of endometriosis to industry overviews and healthcare economics. The projects are coordinated in a crowdsourced environment and rely heavily on popular tools like Facebook, Dropbox and Google Apps. FOIRMYS developed a concept called “Personalized Medicine”, where projects are centered around the problems of a single patient, who provides samples and helps coordinate the project. Members also learn how to promote their work, create personal science blogs (including Women in Science initiative) and engage in industry outreach.
Participation in practical group projects resulted in success stories including young scientists’ publications in peer-reviewed journals, fellowships, participation in international conferences, gainful employment of young scientists and international collaborations.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Ageless Generation will be published on July 2nd

A new book "The Ageless Generation: How Advances in Biomedicine Will Transform the Global Economy" by a director of the Biogerontology Research Foundation and the International Aging Research Portfolio project, Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD will be released next week. Until the 2nd of July it will be on pre-order sale with Amazon providing 33% on hardcover and 59% on Kindle editions. Please consider taking advantage of this opportunity before the prices go up.

Over the past 20 years, the biomedical research community has been delivering hundreds of breakthroughs expected to extend human lifespan beyond thresholds imaginable today. Biomedical innovations typically reach the mass market in much slower fashion than those from information technology. They follow a paradigm where neither demand, in the form of the consumer, nor supply, in the form of the innovator, can significantly accelerate the process. Nevertheless, many of the advances made over the past three decades are already propagating into mainstream clinical practice and converging with other technologies extending our life spans. Biomedicine will transform our society forever by allowing people to live longer and to continue working and contributing financially to the economy longer, rather than entering into retirement and draining the economy through pensions and senior healthcare. Old age will become a concept of the past, breakthroughs in regenerative medicine will continue, and an unprecedented boom to the global economy, with an influx of older able-bodied workers and consumers, will be a reality.

However, biomedical advances are not all the same. The current paradigm in biomedical research, clinical regulation and healthcare created a spur of costly procedures that provide marginal increases late in life extending the "last mile", with the vast percentage of the lifetime healthcare costs being spent in the last few years of patient's life, increasing the burden on the economy and society. In the near-term, unless the governments of the debt-laden developed countries make proactive policy changes, there is a possibility of lengthy economic decline and even collapse. The book presents several scenarios and proposes possible solutions on both government and individual levels.



Editorial Reviews:

“The Ageless Generation addresses the greatest socio-political/scientific challenge of our time. It is provocative, fast paced, and hard to put down. This book should stimulate a lot of thought and hopefully some constructive responses both scientific and in the health care system.”
--Charles Cantor, Chief Scientific Officer, Sequenom, Inc., and Professor Emeritus, Boston University

"This book shatters the illusion of retiring at 65, correlating the importance of research into repairing and slowing age-related damage with social security savings that will make even the most hardened policy maker sit up. The author’s passion for his subject gives a unique impetus to the writing. We must act now."
-- Benjie H. Fraser, Senior Vice President, JP Morgan

“Aging is getting interesting! Zhavoronkov provides a concise but thorough view of aging from changing global demographics to the latest research. Importantly, he outlines a point-by-point plan centered around aging research that if realized could solve the aging population problem, create major economic benefits and enhance dramatically the quality of life for elders. Everyone should take heed. The choices we make now will impact us all in the near future.”
--Brian Kennedy, Ph.D., President and CEO, Buck Institute for Research on Aging

"The research of Alex Zhavoronkov paints a picture of frightening reality: that our children might just live to 130. The financial and economic consequences of this cry out for more urgent attention from all sides of society. A huge physchological readjustment in our attitude towards retirement, as we know it, is required for us to start to cope with this new future."
--Hugh Gallagher, Chairman, International Employee Benefits Association

"The devastating impact of population aging in the decades to come is becoming like the proverbial weather: everyone is talking about it but no one is doing anything about it. Zhavoronkov starkly sets out the nature and trajectory of this crisis - and then he elaborates what few others have yet described, and no one so expertly: the unique solution to it, namely the development of comprehensive rejuvenation medicine that will restore and maintain the health of the elderly so that they can continue to contribute wealth to society. This book has the potential to define medium-term economic and social policy for the entire industrialized world."
--Aubrey de Grey, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer, SENS Research Foundation

"Alex Zhavoronkov claims that we do not have to age the way all other generations did. Or... possibly... at all? Controversial and assertive, he lays out the case for expanding research into what makes all human beings sink into twilight before a century of life. Shall we adjust social policies for an era of spry oldsters, or even semi-immortals? These matters will roil our arguments for the next five decades. The Ageless Generation presents one side with knowledge and verve."
--David Brin, bestselling author of Kiln People, Foundation’s Triumph, and many others