The International Longevity Alliance, a non-profit international organization with its headquarters in Paris, announces the launch of its crowdfunding campaign, in support of The Major Mouse Testing Program (MMTP): an ambitious research project to investigate healthy longevity therapies in mice. The project aims to test a number of compounds and their combinations, that are expected to slow down aging processes and postpone the manifestation of age-related diseases. Each stage of the project will require relatively small funding, from $60 to $100 thousand, but could have a major impact on the development of new therapies to slow down aging in humans. The first stage of fundraising has been launched this month and hosted on Lifespan.io crowdfunding platform, dedicated to helping researchers who study aging and longevity.
“Aging is the leading risk factor in the development of severe diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and others” says Steve Hill, the leader of the project. – “Science is increasingly demonstrating that the processes of aging are amenable to intervention, and that such intervention will help prevent and reverse many diseases simultaneously. Many promising interventions lack robust animal testing, however; this is where we will try to foster the scientific research of longevity therapies”.
The first campaign is focused on the problem of “death resistant” senescent cells which accumulate with age and slowly poison the body and damage neighboring cells. Many leading experts in gerontology, including famous life extension proponent Aubrey de Grey, believe the reduction of these cells should reduce chronic inflammation and help encourage healthy tissue regeneration and function. A new class of drugs known as “Senolytics” have been shown to remove these dysfunctional cells and this is the initial focus for the project. Senolytics have successfully demonstrated their ability to significantly improve the state of the cardiovascular system, lungs and skin in old mice, but these promising drugs have not yet been tested for their effect on longevity.
The research team under the guidance of Dr. Alexandra Stolzing, Principal investigator at Leipzig University in Germany and lead researcher in Loughborough University, UK, is hoping to show that these substances will promote longevity. To speed up the pace of the experiments, testing will be done in mice that have already reached middle age naturally, corresponding to a human of approximately 60 years old.
“When the ILA representatives invited me to take part in this project, I made my decision immediately, because this is an exciting opportunity to test interventions in vivo” Dr Stolzing commented. “We also want to investigate the effect of Senolytics on stem cells”.
The MMTP project will be realized over several years, with support from the pro-longevity community, India Future Society and partner organizations worldwide. The more funding raised for the project, the more substances the researchers will be able to test, which includes combinations of proven therapies from previous test phases.
The team is planning to publish the results open access, to make all groups investigating aging and longevity benefit from the results of this research.