Expert Pitch
American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR)

Experts: Geroscience Approach May Lessen Severity of COVID-19, Bolster Older Patients’ Response to Diseases

Recording now available of webinar featuring four leading geroscience experts discussing how targeting the biology of aging may boost immune response to help older adults fight infections, diseases

Newswise — March 26, 2020 (New York, NY) – As the nation and world respond to the growing COVID-19 pandemic, a panel of leading aging research experts, convened by the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR), posed that targeting the biology of aging through promising therapeutics could bolster the medical response to COVID-19 and other viruses that are devastating older patients.

A recording of the webinar featuring the four experts is now available for streaming. Presenter slides are also available.

“The field of aging research has developed a range of promising drug interventions, or gerotherapeutics, that may modulate response to viral infection in older adults by targeting not only immune decline and inflammation, but by increasing whole-body resiliency to severe illness,” says Nir Barzilai, MD, AFAR Scientific Director and Director of the Institute for Aging Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. 

“We urge regulatory bodies to expedite the evaluation of these gerotherapeutics for testing in older adults exposed to COVID-19. This is an important approach not only for the current COVID-19 pandemic, but for future pandemics as well.”

The 90-minute webinar, COVID-19: Can the Science of Aging Move Us Forward?, explored how targeting the biology of aging that is the greatest risk factor for all major diseases—including heart disease, cancer, stroke, pneumonia, diabetes, and others—can help older adults live healthier and longer. In countries from China to Italy to the United States, older adults have by far been at greatest risk for hospitalizations, intensive care unit use, and death as a result of COVID-19.

The webinar also highlighted two promising gerotherapeutics: the common diabetes drug metformin and mTOR inhibitors such as rapamycin. In addition to Barzilai, the webinar featured: 

  • Sean Leng, MD, PhD - Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and 2006 AFAR Beeson Scholar, who provided an overview of statistics and the geroscience approach to COVID-19 and older adults
  • George Kuchel, MD, FRCP, AGSF - Director and Chief of Geriatric Medicine, UConn Center on Aging, on research related to the vulnerability of older adults to COVID-19
  • Joan Mannick, MD - Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer, resTORbio, who presented on the results of clinical trials involving resTORbio’s lead product candidate, RTB101, which inhibits the activity of a protein complex called target of rapamycin complex 1, or TORC1, an evolutionarily conserved pathway that contributes to the decline in function of multiple aging organ systems.

RTB101 is an example of the gerotherapeutics, or “geroprotectors,” being developed by biotech and pharmaceutical companies to target what are known as the “hallmarks of aging,” such as immune dysfunction and inflammation. 

To learn more, view the full webinar. and download presenter slides here.

### 

About AFAR. The American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) is a national non-profit organization that supports and advances pioneering biomedical research that is revolutionizing how we live healthier and longer. For nearly four decades, AFAR has served as the field’s talent incubator, providing more than $181 million to more than 4,200 investigators at premier research institutions nationwide. A trusted leader and strategist, AFAR also works with public and private funders to steer high quality grant programs and interdisciplinary research networks. 

AFAR-funded researchers are finding that modifying basic cellular processes can delay—or even prevent—many chronic diseases, often at the same time. They are discovering that it is never too late—or too early—to improve health. This groundbreaking science is paving the way for innovative new therapies that promise to improve and extend our quality of life—at any age. Learn more at www.afar.org or follow AFARorg on Twitter and Facebook.




Filters close

Showing results

110 of 2522
Released: 10-Jul-2020 9:45 AM EDT
How COVID-19 Shifted Inpatient Imaging Utilization
Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute

As medical resources shifted away from elective and non-urgent procedures toward emergent and critical care of COVID-19 patients, departments were forced to reconfigure their personnel and resources. In particular, many Radiology practices rescheduled non-urgent and routine imaging according to recommendations from the American College of Radiology (ACR). This new Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute study, published online in the Journal of American College of Radiology (JACR), evaluates the change in the inpatient imaging volumes and composition mix during the COVID-19 pandemic within a large healthcare system.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 12-Jul-2020 7:00 PM EDT Released to reporters: 10-Jul-2020 9:00 AM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 12-Jul-2020 7:00 PM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Released: 10-Jul-2020 9:00 AM EDT
Team is first in Texas to investigate convalescent plasma for prevention of COVID-19 onset and progression
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

A research team is the first in Texas to investigate whether plasma from COVID-19 survivors can be used in outpatient settings to prevent the onset and progression of the virus in two new clinical trials at UTHealth.

Newswise: Commentary in Pediatrics: Children Don’t Transmit Covid-19, Schools Should Reopen in Fall
7-Jul-2020 3:00 PM EDT
Commentary in Pediatrics: Children Don’t Transmit Covid-19, Schools Should Reopen in Fall
University of Vermont

Based on one new and three recent studies, the authors of this commentary in Pediatrics conclude that children rarely transmit Covid-19, either among themselves or to adults. The authors recommend that schools reopen in the fall, since staying home can adversely affects children's development.

Newswise: Team Sports Risks Go Well Beyond Injury During the Pandemic
Released: 9-Jul-2020 6:25 PM EDT
Team Sports Risks Go Well Beyond Injury During the Pandemic
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences

Annabelle de St. Maurice, MD, MPH, co-chief infection prevention officer for UCLA Health, speaks on The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guide for youth sports to resume.

Newswise: shutterstock_1658523400-300x300.jpg
Released: 9-Jul-2020 3:40 PM EDT
WashU Expert: America gains nothing by leaving WHO
Washington University in St. Louis

President Donald Trump’s recent announcement to suspend U.S. funding to, and withdraw from, the World Health Organization is “counter to our interests in addressing our needs to save the lives and further the health of Americans, as well as an abandonment of America’s position as a global leader,” says the director of Washington University in St.

Released: 9-Jul-2020 2:15 PM EDT
NFHS-AMSSM Guidance for Assessing Cardiac Issues in High School Student-Athletes with COVID-19 Infection
American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM)

An expert medical task force appointed by the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) and National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has issued guidance for assessing potential cardiac issues in high school student-athletes with COVID-19 infection.

Released: 9-Jul-2020 12:45 PM EDT
Structural analysis of COVID-19 spike protein provides insight into its evolution
Francis Crick Institute

Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute have characterised the structure of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein as well as its most similar relative in a bat coronavirus.


Showing results

110 of 2522

close
1.26911