Ageing is inevitable! As the global population ages, the prevalence of age-related diseases poses a significant burden on both individuals and healthcare systems. According to WHO, by 2030, it is estimated that over 1.4 billion people worldwide will be over the age of 60, and this number is projected to reach 2.1 billion by 2050. This demographic shift highlights the urgent need for innovative solutions to tackle age-related diseases and improve the quality of life for older adults.
Ageing is a complex process influenced by a multitude of factors, with the accumulation of senescent cells emerging as a key contributor. Senescent cells are caused by multiple factors including cumulative damage and decreased levels of cellular autophagy, leading to the development of age-related pathologies in various organs such as the heart, liver, kidneys, muscles, brain and bone. The discovery of cellular senescence in 1961 has led to a new field of ageing research, with a focus on developing targeted interventions to address age-related diseases. Biotech companies have begun targeting senescent cells to mitigate a variety of age-related conditions.
Current research on therapies to mitigate the effects of ageing focuses on decreasing the number of senescent cells, but targeting these cells with senolytic drugs is challenging due to their specificity. While senolytic drugs have shown promise, their limited specificity requires intermittent administration to prevent toxicity to normal cells.
Our research aims to address this challenge by harnessing the specificity of antibodies that recognise cell surface proteins upregulated on senescent cells. These will be used to deliver reagents that will result in the upregulation of apoptosis or autophagy in the senescent cell, leading to programmed cell death and clearance. Our approach is a targeted and effective strategy for combating ageing-related diseases, and we believe it holds tremendous potential for improving the health and wellbeing of the ageing population.
As we strive to address the growing challenges posed by an ageing population, our proposal represents a significant step forward in the development of effective and targeted therapies. We believe that this research has the potential to make a real difference in the lives of millions of people worldwide, and we are committed to advancing this critical work.