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The Life Extension Advocacy Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting healthy longevity and aging research through crowdfunding and advocacy initiatives, is hosting its second annual scientific conference, Ending Age-Related Diseases: Investment Prospects and Advances in Research, at the Cooper Union in New York City on July 11th-12th.

The goal of this conference is to promote collaboration between academia, biotech companies, investors, regulators, public health advocates, and doctors in order to foster the creation of interventions to relieve our aging society from the burden of age-related diseases. It is supported by Genome Protection Inc., which is developing therapies to counteract harmful viral elements in our genome that provoke chronic inflammation, and Icaria Life Sciences Inc., which provides contract research in the field of geroscience.

The morbidity from chronic age-related diseases is increasing proportionally to the aging of the global population, representing a challenge to social protection and healthcare systems around the world. The development of next-generation drugs and therapies that could directly target the processes of aging to more effectively prevent and cure age-related diseases has now become a priority, yet the industry is clearly facing unique financial, development, and regulatory bottlenecks.

The goal of this conference is to promote collaboration between academia, biotech companies, investors, regulators, public health advocates, and doctors in order to foster the creation of interventions to relieve our aging society from the burden of age-related diseases.

The list of confirmed speakers includes renowned researchers and visionaries, such as Aubrey de Grey (SENS Research Foundation), Maria A. Blasco (CNIO), George Church (Harvard Medical School), Ronald Kohanski (NIA), Morgan Levine (Yale Center for Research on Aging), Qingsong Zhu (Insilico Medicine), Andrei Gudkov (Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center), Gregory Fahy (Intervene Immune), Vera Gorbunova (University of Rochester), Kelsey Moody (Ichor Therapeutics), Michael West (AgeX Therapeutics), Kris Verburgh (Free University of Brussels), Joe Betts-Lacroix (YCombinator, Vium), James Peyer (Kronos BioVentures), Michael Greve (Forever Healthy Foundation), Sree Kant (Life Biosciences), and many others.

Keith Comito, the president of LEAF, said:

“In the last 20 years, multiple animal studies have shown that the aging process is amenable to intervention, with credible research demonstrating potential therapies to prevent, postpone, and even partially reverse some negative aspects of aging. Despite this, age-related diseases still claim the lives of over 100,000 people every day globally, in addition to causing immense suffering for the afflicted, caregivers, and society at large in terms of creating unsustainable economic burden. The goal of this conference is to promote collaboration between key stakeholders, biotechnology companies, investors, policy makers, and academia in order to foster further research on the mechanisms of aging and thereby drive forward the development of innovative therapies that can address age-related diseases at their root causes. LEAF is creating the local network that will help us build this burgeoning and profoundly important field.”

Elena Milova, LEAF board member and director of the conference, said:

“Aging is a complex phenomenon. There are at least 10 main mechanisms that define the way we age. In order to develop a set of therapies that really make a difference in terms of improving the public health of our aging society, we should be looking in many directions at once. That is why our program is so diverse. We will begin the conference with a set of reports on the biomarkers of aging, which are crucial to identifying the most promising drugs and therapies that can modify aging. Then, we will be looking at many potential interventions, from gene therapies that improve our resistance to age-related diseases on a genetic level to cell reprogramming, senolytics, and controlled regeneration of different tissues and organs. On the second day, there will be the panel discussion ‘Unlocking a future without age-related diseases: a forecast’, where the experts will share their visions of how this industry will be developing and when we can expect the first therapies targeting aging to arrive.”

Andrey Gudkov of Genome Protection, Inc., said:

“Recent progress of geriatric science indicated a connection between aging and the progressive accumulation of DNA damage in somatic tissues. The R&D program of Genome Protection, Inc. is focused on pharmacological targeting of what we believe is the major mechanism of such damage that involves activation of the ‘retrobiome’ – the families of highly repetitive virus-like elements in our DNA that expand via reverse transcription and act as endogenous generators of DNA damage. Our set of prospective anti-aging products includes small molecules and immunotherapeutics that improve genomic stability of cells, stimulate natural mechanisms of damaged cell eradication, and reduce the inflammation and frailty associated with aging.”

Kelsey Moody, CEO of Ichor Therapeutics, said:

“Efforts to halt or reverse age-related diseases are the paramount of aspirations for the pharmaceutical industry. Senolytics have emerged as a focus area with significant promise to postpone and mitigate age-related diseases. At Ichor, we have an active senolytic drug development program and are extensively studying ways in which our compounds can most effectively be deployed in the clinic. Other programs at Ichor are targeted to specific disease indications. For example, within our age-related macular degeneration program, we have demonstrated that we can efficiently remove retinal lipofuscin – a type of molecular garbage implicated in disease onset and progression. Whether targeting fundamental mechanisms of aging or taking new approaches to specific diseases, we are creating new conventions out of the unconventional.”

About the Life Extension Advocacy Foundation

The Life Extension Advocacy Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting life extension, longevity, and aging research through crowdfunding and advocacy initiatives. Its mission is to connect the researchers and scientists developing the latest advancements with the people who support them through initiatives such as Lifespan.io. To date, more than $300,000 has been collected by Lifespan.io in support of seven studies.

LEAF hosts the Rejuvenation Roadmap, a curated database of various drugs and therapies that target the main mechanisms of aging, helping the public to visualize their developmental pipeline through preclinical stages, human clinical trials, and final approval.

LEAF also runs the Longevity Investor Network, which organizes pitch sessions and connects new biotech companies with investors.

To request a press accreditation to the conference, please contact Elena Milova at [email protected].

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