Mitrix Bio CEO and Founder on how energy is the headline and why it will take a major intervention to win the Degeneration Game.
DISCLOSURE: Longevity.Technology (a brand of First Longevity Limited) has been contracted by the company mentioned in this article to support its current funding round. Qualifying investors can find out more via the Longevity.Technology investment portal.
Last week, we brought you an interview with Tom Benson, the CEO and Founder of Californian longevity biotech start-up Mitrix Bio, in which we discussed mitochondrial dysfunction and the mitochondrial cycle. Today, it’s the turn of longevity interventions and predictions, the role of mitochondrial DNA – and a guest appearance from David and Goliath.
Longevity.Technology: Mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in dozens of chronic diseases from Alzheimer’s to CVD and from frailty to immune senescence. Mitrix Bio is targeting that dysfunction with its novel mitlets platform, and when it comes to learning more mitochondria, Mitrix’s founder Tom Benson is a compelling teacher.
Tom Benson on…
One Hallmark to rule them all?
There are many different causes of aging – 15 different types of aging hallmark, but we think that the biggest root of aging by far is degeneration of DNA. There are two types of DNA – nuclear DNA, the giant DNA that is one per cell and there are also separate little strands of mitochondrial DNA, perhaps 500 in a cell. These are passed down directly from your mother and are ancient, but they run the mitochondrion, causing it to produce energy. So if they get damaged, then the energy produced will decline.
There has been a big focus in the longevity field on nuclear DNA and epigenetic damage as a cause of aging – and it’s absolutely critical – but that’s not the only DNA issue. Mitochondrial DNA is also degrading – so there’s a bit of a David versus Goliath battle going on here. We’ll have to see which area of research will be the first to get to a big milestone.
If we find that just increasing energy is all you need, then maybe aging isn’t that complicated. Maybe all the other aspects of aging are just secondary symptoms. Maybe if we just provide new mitochondria, that will reverse aging in many, many different parts of the body. Maybe not all, and we have tons of work to do, but maybe energy is the answer to senescence, to stem cell depletion and more.
I believe that mitochondria are the best low-hanging fruit, the best target for longevity right now.
Mitrix Bio’s First Law of Longevity
We have a term that we use at Mitrix Bio – the First Law of Longevity. Basically, if something is that easy to do, then evolution would have done it 200 million years ago. We don’t think that simple solutions are going to move the needle that much – things like dietary supplements, shining a red light on your skin, simple drugs. They can be good for your health, and may help you reach 100, but your DNA is degenerating. Living to 130, adding another 30 years of healthspan? That’s going to take a major intervention and the creation of something our bodies can’t do.
Stay tuned for more from Tom Benson next week when we talk mitochondrial medicine and its applications
READ MORE: Mitochondrial transplant therapy appears to make immune systems younger
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