Targeting ‘zombie cells’


Lewis Gruber, who’s turning 70 this year, says he has no plans on dying.

Well, that’s not entirely true. The biotech entrepreneur has prepared a will. And when pressed on exactly how long he expects to live, he replied calmly, “Something on the order of 120 I wouldn’t think would be out of the realm of possibility.”

Gruber is the co-founder and chief scientific officer of SIWA Therapeutics, a Chicago biotech startup focused on “anti-aging.” The company is developing a drug that aims to cure a variety of aging-related diseases by targeting senescent cells. Senescent cells, sometimes referred to as “zombie cells,” stop dividing and repairing tissue. They can accumulate in the body and feed tumor growth and interfere with the body’s natural ability to repair itself.

SIWA says it has discovered a monoclonal antibody, called SIWA 318H, that selectively binds to and removes both senescent cells and cancer cells. The startup will initially focus its therapy on cancer, specifically pancreatic cancer to start, and believes it has the potential to become the first comprehensive cancer therapy to reduce cancer cells as well as the senescent cells that feed tumor growth.

SIWA, which is currently in the pre-clinical stage, hopes to tackle a range of different cancers and other aging-related diseases, like breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and ALS.


Natural anti-aging skincare: role and potential

flowers on long stems


The deterioration of the skin morphology and physiology is the first and earliest obvious harbinger of the aging process which is progressively manifested with increasing age. Such deterioration affects the vital functions of the skin such as homeodynamic regulation of body temperature, fluid balance, loss of electrolytes and proteins, production of vitamin D, waste removal, immune surveillance, sensory perception, and protection of other organs against deleterious environmental factors.

There are, however, harmful chemicals and toxins found in everyday cosmetics that consumers are now aware of. Thus, the natural beauty industry is on the rise with innovative technology and high-performance ingredients as more consumers demand healthier options. Therefore, the aims of this review are to give some critical insights to the effects of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors on excessive or premature skin aging and to elaborate on the relevance of natural beauty and natural anti-aging skincare approaches that will help consumers, scientists and entrepreneurs make the switch.

Our recent investigations have shown the potential and relevance of identifying more resources from our rich natural heritage from various plant sources such as leaves, fruits, pomace, seeds, flowers, twigs and so on which can be explored for natural anti-aging skincare product formulations. These trending narratives have started to gain traction among researchers and consumers owing to the sustainability concern and impact of synthetic ingredients on human health and the environment. The natural anti-aging ingredients, which basically follow hormetic pathways, are potentially useful as moisturizing agents; barrier repair agents; antioxidants, vitamins, hydroxy acids, skin lightening agents, anti-inflammatory ingredients, and sunblock ingredients.

SOURCE: Biogerontology