Lactocore Group leverages milk peptides to combat inflammaging

Body-wide inflammation is linked to many chronic diseases, affecting health and longevity. Recent data indicates that milk protein hydrolysate is a promising source of novel bioactive peptides. These peptides have potential application in correcting inflammaging and age-associated metabolic disorders. 

Scientists are working on a sample of milk in a biotechnology laboratory

Image Credit: Chokniti-Studio/Shutterstock.com

In recent years, there has been considerable controversy surrounding milk consumption. Some researchers suggested that it is not a necessary part of a healthy diet for most adults, and may even be harmful if consumed excessively. Milk and other dairy products have been identified as the primary sources of saturated fat in the American diet, potentially contributing to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. In contrast, multiple studies have reported beneficial metabolic effects from milk protein hydrolysates, including improved glycemic control, enhanced glucose utilization, and optimized lipid metabolism. Addressing this conundrum,  Lactocore Group, founded by Dr. Anton Malyshev,  focuses on isolating and optimizing milk’s most beneficial components, specifically the regulatory peptides.

One of Lactocore Group's leading drug candidates, a peptide named CHM-273S, has been shown to decrease weight and appetite and normalize glucose metabolism. In a scientific article published in Pharmaceutics last year, the Lactocore Group R&D team demonstrated the potential of CHM-273S to alleviate glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. The study also showed reductions in systemic inflammation, body weight, and visceral fat percentage in rodents. Notably, these effects were comparable to those of metformin, another candidate being considered for treating inflammaging in humans.

But what is inflammaging? It is a state of systemic, chronic inflammation that arises with age in all mammals, independent of any pre-existing infection, and impacts the functionality of every bodily system. Inflammaging is believed to result from the immune system's inability to fully conclude its response to an illness or injury. As individuals age, their immune responses become less well-regulated. This leads to elevated blood levels of inflammatory substances such as C-reactive protein and chemokines, and it allows inflammatory agents like interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-alpha) to persist in body tissues. Consequently, inflammaging is a major contributor to a broad spectrum of common age-associated illnesses, ranging from microvascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer to arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.

‘The challenge with existing treatments for combating inflammaging is that they must be safe and risk-free for prolonged use. We cannot simply prescribe existing anti-inflammatory drugs like NSAIDS or corticosteroids to people, as these drugs can have detrimental health effects over the long term. Another group of promising drugs, the GLP-1 agonists (which include medications like Ozempic that help lower blood sugar levels and promote weight loss), appear to have a beneficial impact on microvascular health. However, this seems to be more of a secondary effect resulting from the prolonged reduction in blood sugar levels. In contrast, the milk-derived peptides we're developing display direct microvascular action, anti-inflammatory activity and offer significant benefits for metabolic syndrome. Importantly, they appear to be safe for long-term use. This makes them a compelling candidate for reducing inflammaging and promoting healthy longevity,’ stated Anton Malyshev, Ph.D. in Physiology and the CEO and Co-founder of Lactocore Group.

Lactocore Group's scientists have obtained promising results indicating that their milk peptides have the potential to prolong healthy life. While these findings are based on fish studies for now, they offer insightful implications.

Dr. Anton Malyshev explained, "The Nothobranchius guentheri, or killifish, utilized in our research, serves as an exceptional model to understand the impacts of pharmacological interventions on human health due to its biometric markers resembling ours. Its brief life cycle, spanning just 4-6 months from juvenile to breeding adult, makes this species invaluable for exploring aging dynamics. Through our year-long study, we observed that killifish are highly responsive to both physical and chemical environmental stimuli. Such influences can accelerate aging. For instance, under standard conditions at a temperature of 23°C, fish typically have an average lifespan of at least 250 days. However, when we raised the water temperature to 30°C, the fish's rate of aging doubled, reducing the average lifespan to approximately 150 days. Yet, after introducing our peptide into the experiment, the minimum life expectancy surged to 331 days, compared to a mere 140 days in the control group. Consequently, our peptide succeeded in extending life expectancy by 62%, while metformin gave us only 46%."

Drawing from the insights derived from the Nothobranchius model, researchers stand on the cusp of a groundbreaking understanding of aging. This could pave the way to not only extending life but also enhancing its quality during one's later years.

‘With the global longevity sector projected to reach upwards of $600 billion by 2025, it's clear that the market is ripe for innovation. But innovation for its own sake is not enough; our interventions must have tangible health benefits that translate to improved quality of life. The data surrounding inflammaging is particularly compelling. Chronic inflammation is one of the most significant precursors to the debilitating diseases we associate with old age. Addressing it can revolutionize our approach to aging. Milk peptides have the potential to both mitigate inflammaging and provide a host of metabolic advantages. Their dual role, targeting both inflammation and metabolic dysregulation, positions these natural components at the vanguard of longevity research. It's no exaggeration to say that we're on the precipice of a significant breakthrough that could redefine our understanding of healthy aging,’ commented Marianna Sadagurski, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, Integrative Biosciences Center (iBio), College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, at Wayne State University.

At present, Lactocore Group is actively working on securing a Series A round of funding. This essential financial support will bolster our research and expedite clinical studies of the identified peptides for pharmaceutical development. Timely investments will hasten the market entry of Lactocore Group's innovative solutions, benefiting both humans and animals.

Journal Reference:

Mitkin, N. A., et al. (2022) The novel peptide Chm-273s has therapeutic potential for metabolic disorders: Evidence from In vitro studies and high-sucrose diet and high-fat diet rodent models. Pharmaceutics doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics14102088

About Lactocore Group

Lactocore Group is an international biotech startup focused on pioneering research with milk peptides. The mission of the team is to create safe and effective milk-peptide-based treatments for common health issues, such as stress, anxiety,, type 2 diabetes and diabetic nethropathy, affecting both people and pets. Utilizing proprietary computational tools, Lactocore Group has discovered a range of promising milk-derived peptides, two of which have already demonstrated proof-of-concept in late-stage preclinical studies. As of today, the Lactocore Group has filed four patent applications related to peptide therapeutic agents, with the most recent one submitted in 2023.

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