A First-of-its-Kind Drug Candidate Targeting the Root Causes of Aging Could Soon Dominate Estimated $600 Billion Aging Market




 

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The following post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga's in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga.

The global market for over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription treatments that address age-related diseases and longevity is projected to more than quadruple in size over the next 5 years, growing from $110 billion today to more than $600 billion by 2025. This massive market is currently wide open as no Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved treatments targeting the underlying causes of aging exist yet, and many developers in the space are still focused on treatments and products that only alleviate the symptoms.

That could soon change with MYMD-1, the leading drug candidate from the clinical stage pharmaceutical company MyMD Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: MYMD). Phase 2 clinical trials for MYMD-1 begin this year following previous studies that confirmed its ability to regulate the immune system and curb inflammation.

The Anti-Aging Market Landscape

While the average human lifespan continues to grow - increasing from 66.8 years in 2000 to 73.4 years in 2019 - the quality of that longer life is not necessarily growing with it. In the United States alone, approximately 80% of adults 65 and older suffer from at least 1 chronic condition. More than 63% have 2 or more.

Jeff Bezos, the billionaire CEO of Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL), for example, both invested in anti-aging drug development.

The Link Between Inflammation and Aging

While a few companies are working on treatments for aging, their approaches vary widely, from targeting cellular senescence to using stem cells to regenerate healthy tissue. Some of the most promising research, however, lies in tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) inhibitors which target inflammation.

Among common age-related diseases, the leading cause of death across the board was the damage caused by the chronic inflammation associated with all of them. Inflammation is responsible for a significant proportion of all deaths.

Moreover, patients with chronic inflammation are at a higher risk of developing these debilitating diseases. Research suggests that as much as 15% of cancer diagnoses are linked to chronic inflammation. It also puts patients at a higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease, asthma and even neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.

Proinflammatory cytokines - TNF-α, IL-6, IL-17 and others - that the immune system produces trigger an inflammatory response that helps resist the disease. The acute inflammatory response is sort of like a state of emergency response.

Increased blood flow to the site of the infection causes swelling that helps block the invading substance from the rest of the body while dead or damaged tissue is "eaten" to stave off the spread of infection, a process that can cause pain.

While the pain, fatigue and general feeling of illness associated with this inflammatory response are uncomfortable, they're important emergency protocols for fighting off disease. Once that disease is defeated, the immune system stops producing TNF-α cytokines and returns the body to a normal state.

When you're suffering from a chronic condition, though, that fight is never really over. This can lead to the chronic presence of high levels of TNF-α cytokines. What should be a temporary response becomes a chronic condition and prolonged inflammation can lead to organ damage as well as the development of chronic diseases.

How MyMD-1 Could Become the Leading Treatment in the Anti-Aging Market

MyMD-1 is a TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-17 inhibitor that helps regulate this inflammatory response. While other similar drugs exist on the market, they come with adverse side effects including neurotoxicity, drug-induced lupus and life-threatening infections.

MyMD-1 is a TNF-α inhibitor that helps regulate this inflammatory response. While other TNF inhibitors exist on the market, they come with adverse side effects including neurotoxicity, drug-induced lupus and life-threatening infections.

The current options are also nonselective, meaning they target all TNF cytokines rather than specifically going after TNF-α - the one most strongly linked to the chronic inflammatory conditions. This nonselective process can significantly impair patients' immune systems, reducing their ability to fight off infections.

Available only as an injection, they also can be difficult and unpleasant to administer on your own.

MyMD-1 was formulated to address all 3 of these problems with current TNF inhibitors. The orally administered pill specifically targets TNF-α with the aim of helping regulate the immune response without suppressing it to dangerously low levels. Preliminary clinical results show that MyMD-1 demonstrates anti-proliferative effects, which can inhibit cell growth.

As the company launches more Phase 2 trials this year, expect to see new data as early as the 1st quarter of 2022, putting the innovative TNF inhibitor a step closer to becoming the world's 1st FDA-approved treatment for aging.

The preceding post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga's in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga. Although the piece is not and should not be construed as editorial content, the sponsored content team works to ensure that any and all information contained within is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge and research. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice.

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