Posted on 13 April 2021
Longevity briefs provides a short summary of novel research in biology, medicine, or biotechnology that caught the attention of our researchers in Oxford, due to its potential to improve our health, wellbeing, and longevity.
Why is this research important: Up until the age of around 30, your muscles have a propensity to grow larger. However, around the mid 30s muscle mass starts to decline if not regularly exercised. This is called muscular atrophy. As we get older, this muscular atrophy physically manifests as reduced ability to move, poor balance, lower endurance and frailty. This condition is called sarcopenia.
Sarcopenia can have a big impact on quality of life, reducing mobility and increasing the risk of suffering a major fall. According to a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) report, sarcopenia affects up to a third of people ages 60 and above.
What did the researchers do: Companies are now seeking out treatments to decrease the rate of muscular atrophy we experience with age.
Biophytis, a clinical-stage biotechnology company based in Paris, is developing Sarconeos (BIO101), an orally administered drug which stimulates muscular resilience and hopes to be a future treatment of sarcopenia and neuromuscular diseases.
It works by activating the Mas receptor. Mas activation up-regulates the AKT and AMPK pathways, two major cellular processes that play a crucial role in muscle metabolism and maintaining muscle function and stability.
Key takeaway(s) from this research: Preclinical trials of the drug have shown improvement of muscle function and greater ability to preserve strength, mobility and respiratory capacity.
Biophytic are currently testing the safety and efficacy of Sarconeos (BIO101) in a phase 2 clinical trial (SARA-INT) in sarcopenia.
Interestingly, the Sarconeos (BIO101) has also been the subject of the COVA trial, a clinical trial involving 310 COVID-19 positive patients, to determine its ability to reduce mortality and respiratory failure caused by the virus. This is due to its positive impact on lung function. Results are due to be released in September this year.