Scientists in the field of gerontology have struggled with the fact that testing drugs in vivo, or on live subjects, is costly and time consuming, sometimes taking decades in order to return conclusive results. However, with the use of big data based software this hurdle can be overcome and studying the effectiveness of the drug can be measured.
In light of this in 2014 scientists from Insilico Medicine, based at the Emerging Technology Centers at the Johns Hopkins University presented an approach for screening and ranking of geroprotective drugs. The approach was presented in Basel in 2014 at the first International Symposium on Geroprotectors.
"We have long known that natural geroprotective processes occur, and could potentially be replicated with drugs," said study author Alex Aliper. "However, identifying such processes has been a slog of trial and error, banging our heads against the wall to see what sticks. With this new technology we can eliminate that slog and get to the task of making breakthroughs."
The Geroscope™ (software developed by InSilico that can identify Geroprotectors much more quickly and efficiently than could be done with traditional in vivo testing) was applied to gene expression data derived from stem cells found in subject's blood, and used it to compute pathway activation profiles with the ultimate goal of selecting five drugs with potential geroprotective properties. Once those drugs were identified they were subjected to further in vitro testing on a fibroblast cells which possessed signs of aging. Several of the selected drugs displayed geroprotective action and reverted the cells back towards a less aged state. As a result InSillico has identified one of the few groups of compounds which have the potential to display Geroprotective action and which have been thoroughly tested on a live subject.
On September 24th, 2015 Basel will hold the second annual International Symposium on Geroprotectors organized by Alexander Zhavoronkov, of InSillico Medicine, as well as Bhupinder Bhullar, of the Novartis Institute For Biomedical Research A session on Practical approaches to aging research focusing biomarkers and big data analysis will be chaired by Professor Georg Fullen of the Institute of Biostatistics and Informatics in Medicine and Aging Research at Rostock University Medical Center, and another focusing on Geroprotective drugs will be chaired by Professor Alexey Moskalev, head of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Gerontology at the Russian Academy of Sciences.
"We are excited to be a part of a symposium that will bring together some of the biggest voices in Geroprotective research." Said Qingsong Zhu, Chief Operating Officer of InSilico Medicine. "Aging is something that affects everyone in the world, and causes suffering on an individual basis and a great cost to society as a whole, so we simply cannot wait to find the tools to fight it. The Geroscope™ was a great first step toward expediting this process but there is still so much work to be done and international cooperation is essential to making the breakthroughs that need to be made."
About Insilico Medicine
Insilico Medicine is a Baltimore-based company utilizing advances in genomics and big data analysis for in silico drug discovery and drug repurposing for aging and age-related. The company is utilizing the GeroScope™ and OncoFinder™ packages for aging and cancer research. Through internal expertise and extensive collaborations with brilliant scientists, institutions, and highly credible pharmaceutical companies, Insilico Medicine seeks to discover new drugs and drug combinations for personalized preventative medicine. For more information on Insilico Medicine, Inc. please visit http://www.