News Release

October 17th, 2019

Bethesda, MD: The third annual Geroscience Summit was organized by the Trans-NIH Geroscience Interest Group (GSIG). The Geroscience Summit is hosted by the National Institute of Health, and brings together interdisciplinary experts in the field of age-related diseases to bring their expertise to the field of geroscience.

Geroscience seeks interdisciplinary experts in age-related diseases

National Institutes of Health’s William H. Natcher Building
National Institutes of Health’s William H. Natcher Building, Bethesda, MD

Geroscience is an emerging field that recognizes aging as the greatest risk factor for most chronic diseases and disabilities that affect older adults. This field’s mission is to first understand how aging allows for these diseases, then determine how to slow the progression of them.

Traditional medicine generally specializes based on a single disease. For example, a cardiologist treats heart disease, and a dermatologist treats skin disease. However, the scientific community now believes diverse, age-associated diseases are caused by common underlying pathways. Even so, different disciplines don’t communicate with each other. The purpose of the Geroscience Summit is to help bridge this gap, and bring together interdisciplinary experts to discuss combating age-related diseases.

As a globally recognized expert in age-related diseases, Ichor’s CEO, Dr. Kelsey Moody, was invited to present at this year’s summit.

Auctus Biologics targets gut aging

Dr. Moody presented on a platform technology to treat gut aging that is being developed by Auctus Biologics, an Ichor portfolio company. Dr. Moody discussed that perturbations in gut health may significantly contribute to aging and age-related diseases, which may include autoimmune disease, “leaky gut”, nutritional and metabolic changes resulting from reduced microbial diversity, and disturbance of the gut/brain axis, which may contribute to age-associated neurodegeneration.

Dr. Moody described Auctus Biologics’ development of “ribobodies,” a new therapeutic modality that may be useful to study and treat gut aging. A ribobody is a small, gut-stable compound that mimics antibodies.

IgG antibody and Ribobody
Left: IgG antibody
Right: Ribobody
Each is composed of protein scaffold (blue) and a binding interface (pink).

While antibodies have been extraordinarily beneficial in research and the clinic, their use in the gut is limited because they are rapidly degraded by the gastrointestinal system. Ribobodies are more robust and do not significantly degrade, allowing for broad applications in research and medicine, particularly within the gut.

Last year, Ichor raised $1.5MM to develop this platform, and published their findings in the peer-reviewed journal “ACS Biochemistry.”


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About Ichor Life Sciences

Ichor Life Sciences is a premium pre-clinical contract research organization offering services in discovery through pharmacology. The company operates R&D laboratories in LaFayette and Potsdam, New York, including an AAALAC-accredited vivarium. Services are provided through two divisions. Ichor Discovery Services provides world-class protein manufacturing, as well as a full suite of capabilities in structural biology, biophysics, and assay development. Ichor Pharmacology Services offers in vitro testing, histology, PK/BD, in vivo toxicology, and in vivo efficacy capabilities. Therapeutic areas served by Ichor Life Sciences include oncology, metabolic disease, musculoskeletal disease, ophthalmology, and geriatrics. Ichor Life Sciences was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in New York’s Finger Lakes intellectual corridor.