Posted on Mar 07, 2019, 8 p.m.
In collaboration with Apollo Ventures biotech incubator that supports longevity research and treatments for age related disease, the biotech startup Samsara Therapeutics has finished seed financing.
The biotech startup company will be focusing on biological mechanisms of autophagy, the cellular garbage removal system used to break down unwanted/damaged cellular compounds and recycle them; high levels of which are associated with increased longevity.
Most notably caloric restriction can boost autophagy, bring about other beneficial changes to metabolism, and slow down aging to be documented, of which much research has been put into. But little has been put towards ways to increase autophagy for enhanced waste disposal. Boosting autophagy is within reach and may help to improve health and longevity.
The goal is to harness the power of autophagy via using small molecules such as those found in the Ashitaba plant. There is much interest in investigating the natural world for compounds to delay/slow aging processes, in particular flavonoids. A team of researchers from the biotech have recently identified the flavonoid 4,4’-dimethoxychalcone to be a potential geroprotector that appears to activate autophagy.
Abstract: “...External DMC administration extends the lifespan of yeast, worms and flies, decelerates senescence of human cell cultures, and protects mice from prolonged myocardial ischaemia. DMC induces autophagy, which is essential for its cytoprotective effects from yeast to mice. Pro-autophagic responses induce a conserved systemic change in metabolism, operates independently of TORC1 signalling and depends on specific GATA transcription factors....have identified DMC in the plant Angelica keiskei koidzumi, ...and have identified and mechanistically characterised the conserved longevity-promoting effects of a natural anti-ageing drug…”
The million dollar question is whether a compound can be found to boost autophagy better than caloric restriction, as caloric restriction has a price point of zero other than some will power. Whatever is found would need to be of significance to improve on caloric restriction to be considered a success. That being said, cheers to Samsara in their attempts at developing autophagy boosting therapies, and here’s hoping that we see something useful from them and other companies working in the space of longevity in the near future.
Materials provided by:
Note: Content may be edited for style and length.