Nir Barzilai joins SIRTLab Board as Chief Medical Advisor.
Longevity research is a complex and multifactorial field, areas of which are still poorly understood, and the lack of financial incentives and the high costs associated with research mean some companies swerve the longevity branding, preferring seemingly-more attractive areas of focus for straplines and slide decks.
Longevity.Technology: However, interest in longevity is gaining serious ground – after all, we all have a vested interest in progress in the space. There are economic upsides to improving lifespan and healthspan as well, with a recent paper calculating that a slowdown in aging that increases life expectancy by one year is worth $38 trillion, and for ten years $367 trillion.
SIRTLab Corporation, is one such company that has nailed its longevity colors to the mast; a US Company with research laboratories in the Weizmann Science Park, Israel, SIRTLab has patented a suite of advanced technologies to raise the specific and direct activity of SIRT6 protein to treat various age-related diseases for multiple large markets and existing needs. The company styles itself as “focused on longevity”, and includes liver disease, frailty, metabolic syndrome, neurodegeneration and inflammatory conditions among its targets.
The company 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.
SIRTLab leads a Longevity Program focused on the high level expression of sirtuin 6 (SIRT6), a key orchestrator of responses to lipids, glucose and inflammation, mainly based on the work of Professor Haim Cohen. Professor Cohen’s lab, along with others, has shown that transgenic overexpression of SIRT6 leads to the restoration of “youthful” energy homeostasis, improved metabolic profiles and significant prolongation of lifespan in mice. A model with overexpression of SIRT6 demonstrated life expansion of up to 50% (with an average of 30% increase) and positive impacts on frailty. In addition, SIRT6 suppresses triglyceride synthesis, fat metabolism and inflammation (by suppression of NF-kB and other pathways), as well as glycolysis. SIRTLab has developed several effective methods to increase the level of SIRT6 within the body cells, and anticipates that clinical trials will start within a year.
Today, SIRTLab has added to its longevity credentials by announcing the appointment Nir Barzilai, MD, as Chief Medical Advisor and a member of the Board of Directors.
Barzilai’s appointment follows SIRTLab’s positive proof of concept preclinical data in longevity and frailty models; he joins Boaz Misholi, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Professor Haim Cohen, Founder, Director and Chief Scientist, Professor Dan Peer, Director, and Scientific Advisor, Hagit Ashush, PhD, Sr Vice President, Research and Development, and Amir Shukrun, Chief Financial Officer.
A passionate advocate for geroscience, Barzilai is a chair Professor of Medicine and Genetics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the Director of the Paul F Glenn Center for the Biology of Human Aging Research, and the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Nathan Shock Centers of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging. As well as a founder of the Academy for Health & Lifespan Research and an executive of the Longevity Biotech Association, Barzilai is a founder of CohBar, a biotech that develops mitochondrial-derived peptides as therapy for aging and its diseases.
Barzilai’s research interests are in the biology and genetics of aging. His focus on the genetics of exceptional longevity has led to his team’s discovery of functional variants of Sirt-6 in centenarians, demonstrating that this gene is relevant for humans’ healthspan and lifespan. His research also focused on the metabolic decline of aging, and his team demonstrated the role of the brain (the hypothalamus) in leading this decline.
Barzilai is well-known for leading an international effort to approve drugs that can target aging – Targeting Aging with Metformin (TAME) is a specific study designed to prove that multi-morbidities of aging can be delayed by metformin. Barzilai has been working with the FDA to approve this approach which will serve as a template for future efforts to slow aging and its diseases in humans.
“We are honored and excited about the joining of Dr Nir Barzilai to the steering team of SIRTLab and to the Board of Directors,” said SIRTLab Chairman and CEO Boaz Misholi. “Nir is among the leaders of the longevity field and biology of aging, with a long and successful record of professional achievements. His involvement with SIRTLab, demonstrates the unusual potential of SIRTLab approach to longevity, frailty, and other conditions related to old age.”