Mitotech's lead compound significantly increased lifespan of rapidly aging mice
Mar 21, 2017
Mitotech S.A, a Luxembourg based clinical stage biotechnology company focused on age-related disorders, highlighted a study by an international group of scientists where Mitotech’s lead compound SkQ1 increased longevity of mtDNA mutator mice that are known to exhibit features of premature aging. SkQ1 is a small molecule engineered to treat a spectrum of age-related disorders by reducing oxidative stress inside mitochondria. The results of the study were published in the February 2017 issue of Aging journal in an article titled “Improved health-span and lifespan in mtDNA mutator mice treated with the mitochondrially targeted antioxidant SkQ1”
“This is an important milestone for anti-aging research in general and for the field of mitochondria targeting antioxidants in particular”, said Dr. Maxim Skulachev, Chief Scientific Officer of Mitotech S.A. “The publication is a product of a continued collaboration between the Stockholm University and the Moscow State University focused on the role of mitochondrial oxidative stress in aging, with our Swedish colleagues leading the charge. Effect of SkQ1 in this experiment reliably demonstrated that oxidative stress is one of key processes defining longevity of organisms and onset of aging-related phenotypes. The interplay between accumulation of errors in mitochondrial DNA and oxidative stress has been actively investigated in recent studies, and this particular result provides solid evidence that mitochondrial ROS and cardiolipin peroxidation can be actionable drug targets in relation to many age-related disorders.”
The experiment was performed at the Wenner-Gren Institute and was led by Dr. Barbara Cannon and Dr. Jan Nedergaard. mtDNA mutator mice typically demonstrate early onset of aging-specific phenotypes such as weight loss, reduced subcutaneous fat, alopecia (hair loss), kyphosis (curvature of the spine), osteoporosis, reduced fertility and heart enlargement. SkQ1 – Mitotech’s lead molecule – was able to attenuate manifestation of many such phenotypes in a statistically significant manner. SkQ1-treated group of mtDNA mutator mice showed normalized mitochondrial ultrastructure of liver and heart and lower levels of kyphosis and hypothermia compared to untreated group with p-values consistently reaching thresholds <0.01. Typical markers of oxidative stress – malondialdehyde (MDA) and 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) – were also significantly lowered by SkQ1 leading to the conclusion that the antioxidative mechanism of action of the compound was responsible for anti-aging responses in the model. Finally, mice treated with SkQ1 lived significantly longer than untreated animals on average with difference between the groups reaching p-values <0.005 on survival end-point (corresponding to 16% median lifespan increase).
About Mitotech S.A
Mitotech S.A. is a Luxembourg-based biotechnology company developing novel drugs for the treatment of age-related disorders. The core technology behind Mitotech products is based on a novel class of small molecules – mitochondria targeting cardiolipin peroxidation inhibitors. Company’s lead compound SkQ1 is being developed in several drug formulations covering a variety of therapeutic areas with major focus on ophthalmology and neurodegenerative diseases. Mitotech successfully completed Phase 2 clinical study for Dry Eye indication in the U.S. with other indications also approaching clinical stage of development.