All complex organisms accumulate damage at a cellular level over time. Some of this damage can be initially mitigated or repaired by the body's repair and regeneration processes, but eventually, one or multiple processes fail, and the organism suffers from systematic degradation. This process is known as the biological aging process, and it is the root cause of most non-communicable chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, chronic kidney disease, and dementia.
Professor of the Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry, and Molecular Genetics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Hua Zhu and his postdoc Dabbu Jaijyan, are attempting to defy and reverse the biological aging process by developing a therapeutic tool that would bolster the essential repair and regeneration processes of the cell.
Zhu says, "The proposed research has great implication for people and governments all over the world seeking a cost-effective preventive solution for all the major diseases of aging. If our project succeeds, it could lead to clinical trials to test the therapeutic potential of recombinant virus expressing multiple anti-aging factors."
Funded by BioViva USA, the research team is developing a recombinant mouse cytomegalovirus (R-MCMV) to express several anti-aging and regenerative factors. Short term, the aim is to extend the lifespan of primary human cells and organoids, as well as of aged mice. The long-term goal is to establish a platform for clinical trial studies using a novel human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) as a vector and to develop a multi-gene therapeutic aging vaccine.
BioiViva has already applied for the patent. Based on the results of the study, the company will begin developing this next-generation vaccine to target various aspects of aging. BioViva 's goal is to launch the vaccine and solve one of the world's largest social and economic burdens in modern society.
Today, approximately two-thirds of people die from age-related factors. In the United States, about 46 million people are above the age of 65. This number is expected to double by 2060 and therefore increase age-related health issues.
In his laboratory, Zhu studies two herpes viruses, human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) and Varicella-Zoster virus (VZV). The goal is understanding HCMV and VZV pathogenesis - specifically, how these viruses interact with host cells, replicate, and cause disease. The lab is equipped with the necessary facilities and expertise to create recombinant viruses for vaccine development using the technology known as recombinant bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC).
According to Zhu, cytomegalovirus (CMV) has proven safe and can be used for clinical studies in humans. His research has focused on developing vaccines for various human diseases. His lab has established a platform for expressing a gene which could prevent or reduce the outcome of a disease.
Elizabeth Parrish, CEO of BioViva stated "This research is poised to develop a new class of vaccines and redesign how we treat aging, making it easier for people to stay healthy longer. Over 100,000 people die of aging every day, and hundreds of millions suffer from chronic disease. This vaccine has the potential to forge a better way forward, with less suffering."
About BioViva: BioViva USA, Inc. is a diagnostics and prognostics platform company developed to expedite drugs and treatments that affect human health span. BioViva has developed a comprehensive set of biomarkers of aging, which include molecular, physiological, anatomical, clinical, and qualitative markers. BioViva also collaborates with clinicians, machine learning companies, biomedical scientists, and statisticians to develop innovative protocols for adaptive clinical trials for gene and cells therapies.
BioViva's exclusive partner company Integrated Health Systems (IHS) provide gene and cell therapy treatments to patients in need, globally. IHS utilizes intramural and extramural peer-reviewed research to create marketable therapies for treating age-related diseases and infirmities -- including Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, cancer, sarcopenia, cachexia, kidney failure, and the aging process -- at the level of the genome.