Scientists find natural mimetics of anti-cancer & anti-aging drugs metformin and rapamycin

Researchers from the Biogerontology Research Foundation, Insilico Medicine, Life Extension and other institutions announce the publication of a landmark study in the journal Aging on the identification of natural mimetics of metformin and rapamycin. Metformin, a common type 2 diabetes drug, and rapamycin, a common anti-rejection drug, have both been shown to have substantial anti-aging and anti-cancer effects in a variety of model organisms. However, both compounds have known side effects and are regulated drugs for existing disease indications, factors that problematize their off-label use as healthspan extending drugs.

In this study, the researchers applied deep-learned neural networks to profile the safety and gene- and pathway-level similarity of more than 800 natural compounds to metformin and rapamycin, in an effort to identify natural compounds that can mimic the effects of these anti-cancer and anti-aging drugs while remaining free of the adverse effects associated with them.

"Earlier this year we launched Young.AI, a comprehensive system utilizing the recent advances in deep learning for tracking a variety of aging biomarkers. I hope that the consumers using the Longevity A.I. will start using it. One of the goals of our group is to identify the combinations of molecules that achieve the desired effects" said Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, co-author of the study, founder of Insilico Medicine and Chief Science Officer of the Biogerontology Research Foundation.

Their analysis identified many novel candidate metformin and rapamycin mimetics that have been previously unreported as such. In particular, they identified allantoin and ginsenoside as strong mimetics of metformin, epigallocatechin gallate and isoliquiritigenin as strong mimetics of rapamycin, and withaferin A as a strong mimetic of both. Additionally, their analysis also identified four previously unexplored natural compounds as fairly strong mimetic of rapamycin.

"Aging is not recognized as a disease, so we need strong potential geroprotectors of natural origin on the market. Supplements that slow down aging, affecting the key mechanisms of aging at the molecular and cellular level" said Alexey Moskalev, PhD, a co-author of the study.

These findings are significant because, as naturally occurring compounds, such nutraceuticals are not subject to regulation by the FDA and other regulatory bodies. Furthermore, because the researchers induced a deep-learning based classification of the safety profiles associated with these compounds, the novel candidate mimetics the study identified are likely to have less adverse effects than metformin and rapamycin, though this needs to be further validated by clinical testing.

"This study is significant not only for the identification of novel candidate mimetics of metformin and rapamycin, which as natural compounds are not subject to regulatory bodies like the FDA and which have higher-scoring safety profiles as indicated by our deep-learned safety profile classification analysis, but also for demonstrating particularly powerful screening methods that can be applied to the identification of novel and safe mimetics of other known anti-cancer and healthspan-extending drugs and compounds" said Franco Cortese, co-author of the study and Deputy Director of the Biogerontology Research Foundation.

Aliper A, Jellen L, Cortese F, Artemov A, Karpinsky-Semper D, Moskalev A, Swick AG, Zhavoronkov A.
Towards natural mimetics of metformin and rapamycin.
Aging (Albany NY). 2017 Nov 15. doi: 10.18632/aging.101319.

Most Popular Now

Theravance Biopharma and Pfizer Inc. enter global …

Theravance Biopharma Ireland Limited, a subsidiary of Theravance Biopharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: TBPH) ("Theravance Biopharma") and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) ("Pfizer") today anno...

Researchers identify immune-suppressing target in …

Researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have identified a tenacious subset of immune macrophages that thwart treatment of glioblastoma with anti-...

Intermittent fasting: live 'fast,' live longer?

For many people, the New Year is a time to adopt new habits as a renewed commitment to personal health. Newly enthusiastic fitness buffs pack into gyms and grocery stores...

Pharmacies leave customers hanging when it comes t…

Proper disposal of leftover medication, particularly antibiotics and opioids, can help reduce antibiotic resistance, prevent children from being poisoned and stop the mis...

Researchers determine how a specific protein regul…

Immune checkpoints are surface proteins that cancer cells use to evade immune response. These surface proteins are critical for cancer cell growth and drugs targeting the...

Bristol-Myers Squibb completes divestment of manuf…

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) announced today that it has completed its previously announced divestment of its oral solid, biologics, and sterile product manufa...

Scientists find a new use for already known anti-c…

The world scientific community is waging a difficult and prolonged war on cancer. New research in the field of immunogenic cell death can extend the area of drugs applica...

Lynparza approved in the US as a 1st-line maintena…

AstraZeneca and MSD Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., US (MSD: known as Merck & Co., Inc. inside the US and Canada) announced that Lynparza (olaparib) has been approved in the US f...

Bayer and Exscientia collaborate to leverage the p…

Bayer and Exscientia Ltd., a UK-based Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven drug discovery company, have entered into a three-year, multi-target collaboration. The partners...

Farxiga granted FDA Priority Review for patients w…

AstraZeneca today announced the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) and granted Priority Review for Farxiga (dap...

FDA approves first generics of Eliquis

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved two applications for the first generics of Eliquis (apixaban) tablets to reduce the risk of stroke and systemic embolis...

Aspirin appears to curb colorectal cancer recurren…

The benefits of a daily aspirin may extend beyond heart health to colorectal cancer treatment, say City of Hope researchers who have found aspirin appears to reduce tumor...