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Earlier this year, we hosted the Ending Age-Related Diseases 2018 conference at the Cooper Union in New York City. This conference was designed to bring together the best in the aging research and biotech investment worlds and saw a range of industry experts sharing their insights.

Dr. Sudhir Paul from Covalent Bioscience talks about his company and its mission to develop therapies against amyloid diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and misfolded transthyretin (TTR) amyloidosis, by using catabodies (catalytic antibodies).

The company is developing catabodies, which work like enzymes and are the culmination of their research, which began in the late 80s. They work similarly to antibodies, but they are more powerful and appear to be passed down to us from our parents. Catabodies have the same properties as antibodies and can be delivered via injection, which potentially makes them cheaper to manufacture, or via gene therapy.

Regular antibodies require the assistance of macrophages in order to destroy the target protein; catabodies do not require the help of macrophages and can directly destroy the target protein itself. Catabodies also have multi-cycling, which means that they can target thousands of molecules, one after the other, rather than antibodies, which can only bond with a single target protein before being used up.

Not involving macrophages also keeps inflammation down, as amyloids are so abundant that the activated macrophages trigger a harmful inflammatory response. Catabodies can remove the amyloid without this happening, so they are better suited for dealing with abundant amounts of amyloid in aged patients.

Catabodies can also be produced similarly to how antibodies are currently produced and at a relatively low cost, so they are ideally suited for mass production, making them very cost-effective to create and use. This also means that treatments would likely be widely available and accessible, much as current antibodies are.

About the author

Steve Hill

Steve serves on the LEAF Board of Directors and is the Editor in Chief, coordinating the daily news articles and social media content of the organization. He is an active journalist in the aging research and biotechnology field and has to date written over 500 articles on the topic as well as attending various medical industry conferences. In 2019 he was listed in the top 100 journalists covering biomedicine and longevity research in the industry report – Top-100 Journalists covering advanced biomedicine and longevity created by the Aging Analytics Agency. His work has been featured in H+ magazine, Psychology Today, Singularity Weblog, Standpoint Magazine, and, Keep me Prime, and New Economy Magazine. Steve has a background in project management and administration which has helped him to build a united team for effective fundraising and content creation, while his additional knowledge of biology and statistical data analysis allows him to carefully assess and coordinate the scientific groups involved in the project. In 2015 he led the Major Mouse Testing Program (MMTP) for the International Longevity Alliance and in 2016 helped the team of the SENS Research Foundation to reach their goal for the OncoSENS campaign for cancer research.
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