Big deal for AI-powered longevity biotechnology

Posted Aug 15, 2018 by Tim Sandle
New technologies, backed by investors seeing market growth, are paving the way for new biotechnology research into age related diseases. These diseases can be tackled by reducing the signs and symptoms of aging. One example is a new startup, called Napa.
Cloned dogs at a care room of the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in Seoul
Cloned dogs at a care room of the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in Seoul
Jung Yeon-Je, AFP
The new collaboration is an indication of research into aging biomarkers together with the interventions discovered over the past five years is advancing. The collaboration is through the startup Napa Therapeutics, Ltd.
Napa is to develop drugs against a novel aging-related target, as Business Insider reports. In terms of what each company will offer, the Buck Institute is one of the primary research centers focused on research into aging and the elimination of age-related disease. Insilico Medicine is an artificial intelligence pioneer, which is looking at on a range of factors associated with aging. Juvenescence is a biotechnology organisation looking at developing drugs to modify aging together with diseases associated with aging.
With age-associated diseases, these are diseases that occur at a higher frequency with increasing senescence. Aging-associated diseases do not necessarily refer to age-specific diseases, but more with how often certain conditions occur.
Napa Therapeutics is based on new research in nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide metabolism. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is a coenzyme found in all living cells. The compound is a dinucleotide, because it consists of two nucleotides joined through their phosphate groups. Some of the biochemistry with NAD is interesting because of its importance in the regulation of aging.
According to Dr. Eric Verdin, MD, President, and CEO of the Buck Institute the partnership is: “A unique opportunity to use cutting-edge AI to accelerate drug discovery.”
He adds: “The Buck is excited to join forces with Insilico and Juvenescence as we work to eliminate the threat of age-related disease for this and future generations.”
What is special about the partnership is the combining of cutting-edge science with deep learning, where artificial intelligence can be partnered with human intelligence. This should reduce the time required to identify molecules that can be brought to the clinic.
A focus of the aging research will be with the reduction in pain and suffering associated with the age-associated diseases. These diseases include atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis, cataracts, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and Alzheimer's disease.