Ichor Therapeutics, Inc., is a pre-clinical biotechnology company that develops technologies to target age-related pathology. The company received $79,775 in grant funding from Methuselah Foundation in July, 2015, to develop a C60-based therapy for acute myeloid leukemia (AML). AML is a lethal blood cancer with only a 24% five-year survival rate.
Ichor reports that short-term biodistribution studies have been completed, and long-term studies are ongoing. These studies track the accumulation and reduction of C60 in the blood and various organs over time, and are essential for establishing a safety profile during pre-clinical studies. The company has also initiated a large scale repeat of its pilot efficacy study, which led to a doubling of median lifespan in a mouse model of AML.
“We are eagerly awaiting the results of our efficacy study”, stated Ichor CEO Kelsey Moody. “Our current data supports the hypothesis that C60 may be a safe and effective therapeutic candidate for several age-related diseases, including cancer.”
However, Moody was quick to caution current consumers of C60, “Quality assurance is a critically important part of manufacturing, yet is often ignored in the context of research grade products. Methuselah Foundation supported early development of quality assurance measures in preparation for our studies. We were surprised to discover that when we evaluated multiple sources of C60, there were large disparities between what is reported by vendors, and what is actually contained within their products.” While a promising therapeutic compound, C60 is not approved for use as a drug or supplement. Its manufacturing is currently unregulated.
When asked about further development of C60, Moody stated, “Methuselah and Ichor will be exploring appropriate solutions to the problem of unreliable formulations. Ichor is actively adopting cGLP and cGMP standards. Once in place, we can begin FDA compliant manufacturing and pre-clinical safety and toxicity testing. We think C60 could have immense potential to treat disease, but it is important to take a measured approach as we move towards the clinic. Any new compound should be rigorously investigated before human use, especially for safety.”
The company expects its studies to conclude by March, 2016, and intends to publish the results in an open access peer-reviewed journal.
About Ichor Therapeutics, Inc.: Ichor Therapeutics (www.ichortherapeutics.com) is a privately held pre-clinical biotechnology company in LaFayette, NY. Founded in 2013 by then SUNY Upstate Medical University student Kelsey Moody, the company has raised over $1.2 million in grants and contracts to support research in eye disease, oncology, and aging.