Aging is the most important risk factor for the development of age-related diseases. There are a few markers of biological aging. Biomarkers based on epigenetic signatures are at the top of this list. Traditional drug discovery & development shows a low success rate in finding targets for these diseases because it is based on biomarkers designed to identify manifest disease, instead of biomarkers that predict future disease. This results in failed drug trials that are timely and costly. Therefore, the drug industry is eager to find alternative approaches to drug target discovery for age-related diseases. With this in mind, Age Labs AS has developed EPIPHANY, a platform for the discovery of clinically relevant biomarkers for early detection of age-related diseases (predictive biomarkers). We use machine learning-based algorithms that detect epigenetic patterns of aging. The algorithms are built from a set of 20000+ blood samples from individuals with extensive health records (covering 30+ diseases) spanning 45 years. This enables us to find predictive patterns of future disease, enabling earlier disease detection than before. The main objective of EpiDx is to optimize the prediction accuracy of our platform. Furthermore, we will also perform clinical validation of 2 predictive biomarkers for Rheumatoid Arthritis that were already developed using EPIPHANY. This will confirm that the predictive biomarkers provided by our platform can indeed be found in early stages of disease, and will provide necessary validation of the platform’s applicability to future drug targeting. Ultimately, every predictive biomarker developed by EPIPHANY is a potential early diagnostic test for clinical use, expanding the market potential of our solution beyond the drug industry, into the healthcare market. It is Age Labs’ main vision to provide novel solutions for the earlier detection and more effective management of age-related diseases.
Project leader: Karl Trygve Kalleberg
Institution: AGE LABS AS