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

As a scientific writer and a devoted advocate of healthy longevity and the technologies to promote them, Steve has provided the community with hundreds of educational articles, interviews, and podcasts, helping the general public to better understand aging and the means to modify its dynamics. His materials can be found at H+ Magazine, Longevity reporter, Psychology Today and Singularity Weblog. He is a co-author of the book “Aging Prevention for All” – a guide for the general public exploring evidence-based means to extend healthy life (in press).
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