September 24th, Switzerland

Free Registration, Part of MipTec 2014, Congress Center Basel


MipTec is the largest drug discovery conference in Europe with over 3,000 delegates from pharmaceutical companies


Stem Sells, Translational Medicine, Protein Therapeutics, Medicinal Chemistry and others


New in silico approaches to evaluating the efficacy of and repurposing drugs for aging and age-related diseases


The forum will attract many young scientists in aging research providing the possibility to recruit scarse talent with unique skills and interests


Unlike other aging conferences, the forum is geared towards the pharmaceutical industry addressing the need for new markers and new drugs within the traditional regulatory frameworks

Thursday, February 4, 2016

GPU Computing: Massive Inexpensive Parallel Processing with GPUs Challenge Standard CPUs

GPUs were originally designed to attack very data-intensive graphic processing problems, used for rendering very complex images and for graphics in games and multimedia, and hence their name Graphic Processing Units (GPU).  What makes GPUs so powerful is the massive number of core processors in each device, compared to standard multi-core CPUs that have just a few or a handful of internal cores.  GPU cores are typically slower processors than standard CPU cores but are able to process many threads at once and can accelerate software to over 100 times faster than standard CPUs.

The challenge with GPUs and parallel processing is that in order to take full advantage of the GPU processing power it’s necessary to write software that can effectively manage and control work in parallel across all of the cores.  It’s a tough problem but there has been progress in developing software to effectively control the GPU cores.
GPUs are now mass produced, relatively inexpensive and increasingly being used for applications like scientific fields, signal processing, medical imaging, virus pattern matching, neural computing deep learning, life sciences, big data and fluid dynamics.
One recent example application of GPUs is in the area of bioinformatics.  Dr. Alex Zhavoronkov, CEO of Insilico, said that “when you’re using deep learning in bioinformatics your only option today is GPU computing.  Deep neural networks are evolving and revolutionizing many aspects of our daily lives – in pictures in videos in voice. GPU computing is becoming much more available and more databases, with millions of samples, also are becoming available. So success in deep learning is primarily centered around two factors: being able to utilize the full power of GPU computing, and access to huge databases.”
 Keywords: Bioinformatics; GPU Computing; Deep learning.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Northwestern team competes for $1M prize to slow aging

Fountain of Youth could just be only a pill away.
Researchers at Northwestern University say a drug that blocks a protein produced by aging cells in your body could control how fast you grow older.
They were contacted by the Palo Alto Longevity Prize to compete against teams from all over the world for $1 million.
The protein, known as plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, or PAI-1, normally helps control the body's clot-dissolving system. Douglas Vaughan, chairman of the Department of Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, believes controlling the protein is a way to prolong life.

"The biology of aging is becoming more evident every day that goes by," said Vaughan, who is also physician-in-chief at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. "We're  understanding that there are specific changes about cells and tissues as they age, and that there are markers that aging cells make and it's possible to identify those molecules and theoretically slow down the aging process.

In the Palo Alto competition, teams can enter one or both of two categories. The $500,000 Homeostatic Capacity Prize is given to the team that can turn back the clock in a mammal. The second is the $500,000 Longevity Demonstration Prize, which is given to the team that can extend the life span of a mammal by 50 percent.
Although the deadline for registration was Dec. 31, the competition will not end until 2019 because different therapies have to be tested.
"I think this competition puts a spotlight on aging, and the fact that this science is advancing very rapidly," Vaughan said. "We're excited to participate because we think we can make a contribution to the understanding of the aging process in mammals. Almost any disease you can think of is highly dependent upon age."
"Aging is the most important risk factor of heart disease, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases," Vaughan said. "We all want to have a longer, healthier life span. I don't think people want to live a long time and be infirm, but if you can maintain your vitality and function, I think that's a pretty desirable goal."
The Palo Alto Longevity Prize is funded by Joon Yun, president of Palo Alto Investors, which was founded in 1989 with $1 billion in assets invested in health care.
Living a healthy life for 120 years is not unreasonable in the next few years, Powers said.
"I think the public would be surprised at how much is going on in science in general and specifically in this area," Powers said.

Friday, January 22, 2016


Aardman, the Oscar-winning animation studio based in Bristol, developed the film with Alzheimer's Research UK.
Damage caused by dementia can reduce the brain's weight by the equivalent of an orange, Christopher Eccleston explains in a new digital campaign for Alzheimer's Research UK.
The makers of Wallace and Gromit have produced a short film to address people's misconceptions about dementia.
This short film from Aardman Animations features former Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston, whose father  Ronnie died following a 14-year battle with the illness.
The 90-second film for Alzheimer's Research UK uses stop motion techniques to show an orange being stripped away to demonstrate how diseases that cause dementia physically attack the brain.
The brain of an Alzheimer's sufferer can weigh around 140 grams less than a healthy brain – about the weight of an orange.
The 51-year-old actor said he hoped the film would "fight the misunderstanding and fatalism that surrounds dementia in our society".
 "We have to think differently about dementia. We have to stop believing dementia is an inevitability – something that simply happens to us all as we grow older. If we don't, we're never going to truly fight it.
"Dementia is caused by diseases and diseases can be beaten. We've tamed diseases like cancer and heart disease and a diagnosis of either is no longer a certain death sentence.
Hilary Evans, chief executive of Alzheimer's Research UK, said: "Major breakthroughs have been made in the battle against Aids and cancer, and research will bring these same life-changing advancements in the field of dementia.
"To get there, we must stop fearing dementia as something that just happens as we age, and focus on fighting the diseases, most commonly Alzheimer's, that are the root cause of it.
"There are still no treatments that can slow or stop the disease processes in the brain, but with the support of a nation, Alzheimer's Research UK will win the fight against dementia."

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials.

Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology article researchers investigated the effect of collagen peptides taken orally on skin hydration and the dermal collagen network.
According to the article, “collagen peptides are used as a bioactive ingredient in nutricosmetic products and have been shown in preclinical studies to improve skin barrier function, to induce the synthesis of collagen and hyaluronic acid, and to promote fibroblast growth and migration.”

Method used:

Two placebo-controlled clinical trials were run to assess the effect of a daily oral supplementation with collagen peptides on skin hydration.
An ex vivo experiment was also performed, where human skin explants were used to study extracellular matrix components in the presence of collagen peptides.


The intake of the collagen peptide supplementation orally for 8 weeks showed a great amount of increased skin hydration. The collagen density in the dermis increased and the fragmentation of the dermal collagen network decreased after four weeks of suppleme­ntation.
After 12 weeks, both effects continued to progress.
The ex vivo experiments demonstrated the collagen peptides induce collagen as well as glycosam­inoglycan production, offering a mechanistic explanation for the observed clinical effects.
The oral supplementation with collagen peptides is efficacious to improve hallmarks of skin aging.
Keywords: Collagen; Fragmentation; Anti-aging; Hyaluronic acid.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

GPU-Accelerated Deep Neural Nets Look for Cures that Already Exist

Discovering cures for cancer, for Alzheimer’s, for multiple sclerosis, for Parkinson’s, for the halting and reversing of aging itself, may not require the development of new drugs. It may mean discovering properties and therapies in drugs already developed and used for other diseases.
That’s the principle driving bioinformatics start-up Insilico  Medicine, a Baltimore-based company utilizing GPU-accelerated NVIDIA advanced scale computing to power deep learning neural nets using massive datasets for drug repurposing research that targets aging and age-related diseases.

Drug re-targeting is not new. One of the best known cases is rapamycin, a drug originally thought to be an antifungal agent before it became widely used in in-organ transplantation and then as a cancer fighter. Other companies have pursued drug re-purposing as a development strategy, but Dr. Alex Zhavoronkov, Insilico CEO, said his company using big data analytics to scale the strategy to a level never previously attempted.
“We’ve found a way to suture together our data with many other databases,” said Zhavoronkov, “and then it starts making sense. The breakthrough is combining so many pieces of the puzzle in one particular place.”
In February 2015 at the Personalized Medicine World Conference in Mountain View, CA, Insilico was recognized as the “Most Promising Company” in the fields of human genetics and personalized medicine. In March, Insilico was one of 12 finalists selected to present at the Early Stage Challenge at NVIDIA’s 2015 GPU Technology Conference.
Insilico has configured four NVIDIA  DevBox desktop supercomputer, using TESLA K80 GPU accelerators and four Titan X graphics cards, for a total of 28TF of processing power.
CEO of Insilico Alex Zhavoronkov said Insilico is experimenting with many flavors of deep neural nets as well as deep learning combined with more traditional research and testing methods. This includes deep feed forward neural nets using different data types as inputs, stacked auto encoders for cross-platform data harmonization, deep belief nets for drug scoring and, ultimately, drug repurposing.
Insilico developed methods to augment its proprietary gene expression and proteomic data using Hadoop and other methods to harmonize and compare data from different sources and turn it into usable pathway activation profiles that can be used by deep learning algorithms. In so doing, the company has created biomarkers for cancer, Alzheimer’s and other diseases.
The results include:
• DeepPharma, a GPU-based visual computing platform for creating virtual cells, tissues, bodies, and even virtual populations. These virtual laboratories are used is to simulate and test tissue-specific pathway activation – also called “net signaling drift” – measuring the effects of millions of compounds on the molecules within diseased or aged cells.
• OncoFinder, a personalized medicine decision-support tool that has been used by physicians, mostly in Europe and Asia, to help identify drug treatments for more than 800 patients.
“When you’re using deep learning in bioinformatics your only option today is GPU computing,” Zhavoronkov said. “Deep neural networks are evolving and revolutionizing many aspects of our daily lives – in pictures in videos in voice. GPU computing is becoming much more available and more databases, with millions of samples, also are becoming available. So success in deep learning is primarily centered around two factors: being able to utilize the full power of GPU computing, and access to huge databases.”
Insilico is not required to undergo FDA or other regulatory approvals because OncoFinder is not used for diagnostics, Zhavoronkov said.
Zhavoronkov said one of his greatest challenges has been assembling a staff combining expertise in machine learning, human genetics and pharmacology – particularly since deep learning is new to genomics research. “Finding talent that is qualified to experiment with deep learning applied to gene expression data is very difficult,” he said, “because you need people who are good with math and programming but also understand the biology. There are few people with this range of skills, so it’s a very precious resource.”
One of Insilico’s first aging-related projects is researching the process of skin aging. Zhavoronkov said Insilico has predicted the first compounds that may ameliorate the skin aging process and will announce its findings next year.
“Our first frontier is human skin,” Zhavoronkov said, “if you can successfully treat skin aging you can basically apply the principle to other tissues.”

 Keywords: Drug development; BioInformatics; GPU; Aging; Insilico Medicine.

Friday, December 11, 2015


Insilico Medicine and InSilico Screen Merge To Take Human Aging Research To the Next Level.
“The most valuable assets in bioinformatics companies are its people and at Insilico Medicine we constantly hire top talent through hackathons, challenges and competitions. Quentin Vanhaelen is an army of one who has developed a vertically-integrated system which synthesises data, performs complex simulations using manually-curated and automatically-annotated databases of molecular interactions primarily in Fortran, and produces impressive LaTeX reports. We are happy to have him join our team”, said Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, CEO of Insilico Medicine, Inc.
Since 2013, under Dr. Vanhaelen’s leadership, scientists at InSilicoScreen have assembled large databases of kinetic protein interactions and built sophisticated signal transmission, regulation of cell metabolism, autophagy, cell cycle and other models. The sole aim was to build models of human aging and regenerative processes to find new interventions and test the current ones on multiple levels from single cells to the entire organs.
“I have known Insilico Medicine for over one and a half years and they were always under the spotlights of innovations, but I realized that they are very focused and with my models they can use their real human data and biologically-relevant pathway activation algorithms with my time-series simulations for many applications, including deep learning. I really like working with the team and will spend my time between Baltimore, Brussels and Moscow”, said Quentin Vanhaelen, PhD, founder and ex-CEO of InSilicoScreen.
Aging research is a very altruistic endeavor, but building a sustainable business model is often challenging. As part of its business model, Insilico Medicine provides contract research, data quality analysis, cross-platform harmonization, pathway activation analysis, biomarker development, clinical trials pipeline review and scoring, portfolio review, and drug scoring and drug repurposing services to large pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies, hedge funds, academic institutions, and other organizations with large biological or pharmaceutical databases.
“We are very happy that our flagship portfolio company has expanded its scientific leadership with another eccentric, but amazingly brilliant theoretical physicist-turned systems biologist, who managed to build surprisingly sophisticated models of human biological networks that are fit for dynamic simulations” , said Dmitry Kaminskiy, senior partner of Deep Knowledge Ventures.

About Insilico Medicine, Inc:
Insilico Medicine, Inc. is a bioinformatics company located at the Emerging Technology Centers at the Johns Hopkins University Eastern campus in Baltimore. It utilizes advances in genomics, big data analysis and deep learning for in silico drug discovery and drug repurposing for aging and age-related diseases. 
Keywords: Aging bioinformatics; Insilico medicine; Aging; Regeneration processes.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Stem cell and aging

Aging is a complex process in which cells become damaged over time and die. As we age fewer and fewer of those cells are renewed and we slowly decay. General symptoms of aging are memory loss ; poor concentration; fatigue; wrinkles; general aches; loss of hair; insomnia; reduced sex drive; mood swings; degenerative diseases.
The introduction of new stem cell treatments potentially slow down or reverse this process. Stem cells are known to possess a unique anti – aging effect by means of regenerating and repairing organs damaged by various factors.
When you are young you have lots of stem cells, but as you age, you have fewer and fewer. Anti-aging treatments using your own stem cells involve removing your own stem cells, activating them and giving your cells back to you. Your stem cells do what they are designed to do, they communicate with other cells and facilitate regeneration hence promoting longevity.

Stem Cells treatments replenish the supply of stem cells to allow the body to repair and rejuvenate organs including skin. reduction of the effects of degenerative diseases; reduced fatigue; emotional and mental improvement; reduced stiffness of joints.
During stem cells treatment a patient receives 200 – 300 million stem cells. This quantity of the plain cells restored not only covers daily losses, but exceeds them a thousand times. Thus, the reserve of the stem cells, almost lost for the latest 15 – 20 years, is restored. Naturally, after such active cell replenishment, any organ gets rejuvenated and renewed, because the new and active cells displace the old and damaged ones.

- Feeling of vitality.
- Improved physical activity.
- Improved quality of hair.
- Increased libido.
- decreased level of hemoglobin.
- Decrease in creatinin levels
- Improvement in renal (kidney) function
- Decrease in the fasting blood sugars
- Loss of neuropathy.

Keywords: Aging; Stem cell treatment; Regeneration; Longevity.