SIRTLab’s Professor Haim Cohen on SIRT6 and its importance in longevity research.
Not many companies style themselves as longevity-focused, but SIRTLab Corporation, a US Company with research laboratories in the Weizmann Science Park, Israel, is one that is very happy to do so. With a patented suite of advanced technologies to raise the specific and direct activity of the SIRT6 protein, SIRTLab has various age-related diseases in its sights, including liver disease, frailty, metabolic syndrome, neurodegeneration and inflammatory conditions.
Longevity.Technology: Boasting leading geroscience researcher Dr Nir Barzilai as its Chief Medical Adviser, SIRTLab was founded by Boaz Misholi and Professor Haim Cohen, a world leader in research of SIRT6, who has seen over $40 million invested in his research. We caught up with Cohen to find out more about SIRT6 and the role of sirtuins in longevity.
Haim Cohen on…
The importance of SIRT6
In longevity terms, I would say SIRT6 is the main regulator of healthy lifespan and the main regulator of longevity. We found that SIRT6 levels increase due to caloric restriction, and to explore whether SIRT6 mediates the effect of caloric restriction, we generated mice that over-expressed SIRT6 and found those mice lived, on average, 30% longer than average mice and had a long list of positive phenotype effects that extended healthy lifespan.
Longevity as a corporate strategy
Our main target is longevity – to extend healthy lifespan. So, while we are aiming to treat frailty, to improve healthy liver function, &c, we are also aiming to improve longevity. There are specific targets like liver disease, joint disease, inflammation in the joints, as well as Alzheimer’s in the future, building on SIRT6’s positive effects in Alzheimer’s. We have a list of targets both for now and the future.
The next steps for SIRTLab
We have two main experiments coming up in the near future. The first is a safety experiment in monkeys, as establishing the drug is safe will allow us to move to Phase 1 in humans, so it is key.
The second experiment will involve even older mice, injecting them with the drug to see if we can improve the symptoms of age-related diseases. Hopefully that will be done by the middle of next year and we can move on to the next phase.