On this episode of the Anti-Aging Hacks podcast, Steven Engle and Faraz Khan discuss mitochondrial peptides to beat disease and give you a longer life.

Steve Engle joined CohBar as Chief Executive Officer and Director in 2019. From 2011 to 2019, he served as the Chief Executive Officer of Averigon, an advisory firm to the life science industry. From 2007 to 2011, Mr. Engle was Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of XOMA Corporation (NASDAQ: XOMA), a publicly traded biotechnology company developing antibody therapeutics for multiple diseases.

He is a former director of the board of the industry associations, BIO, BayBio and BIOCOM. Mr. Engle received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering with a focus in biomedical engineering and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas, Austin.

Steve Engle’s Background

  • Was a founder in the nicotine patch industry
  • Was looking at a new venture in the health space
  • He learned that mitochondria were controlling many processes in the body
  • His company Cohbar is looking to create mitochondrial peptides to beat disease

Why are mitochondria so important?

  • Mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell
  • Each cell has hundreds or thousands of mitochondria
  • Mitochondria are highly concentrated in brain, heart and ovaries
  • Problems occur when mitochondria stop working well or when there are too few of them
  • Genetics and epigenetics can influence mitochondria
  • Doug Wallace is studying mitochondrial genome and it’s dysfunction
  • The cellular genome changes very slowly, but the mitochondrial genome could change faster

What does the mitochondrial genome do?

  • Produces energy via the electron transfer chain and ATP
  • Inside the mitochondrial genome, there are peptides that can go around the body
  • They change how organs and systems work in the body
  • These peptides can have effects in metabolic systems, oncology and longevity
  • Cohbar is developing molecules that can be used as therapies: mitochondrial peptides to beat disease

What causes damage to the mitochondria?

  • If you are eating too much food, that can cause more ROS
  • A younger body can handle insults to the mitochondria, but it gets difficult with age
  • DNA in mitochondria is not as well protected
  • Exercise is key for mitochondria
  • We need sleep to recover

What improves mitochondrial health?

  • Sleep, exercise, metabolic health
  • Get enough sunlight
  • Supplements can help. Check out my podcast with Shawn Wells on the best supplements for energy.
  • Intermittent fasting
  • Mental health and meditation
  • The people you hang out with
  • Breathwork

The 2-pronged approach to mitochondrial health

  • Create more mitochondria in your body
  • Reduce/recycle the damaged mitochondria which is done via autophagy/mitophagy

Symptoms of mitochondrial dysfunction

  • Mitochondria generate signals via peptides
  • Dysfunction leads to metabolic dysfunction, diabetes, heart disease and other chronic diseases
  • Cohbar is also working on obesity and fatty liver disease (NASH)

How Cohbar working on mitochondrial peptides to beat disease?

  • Improved on the MOTS-C peptide originally discovered by Dr. Steve Cohen
  • Cohbar is improving the MOTS-C peptide
  • They’ve discovered over 100 peptides from the mitochondrial genome
  • These relate to ARDS, oncology and more
  • They are exploring these peptides to determine which ones are efficient

Targeting inside the cell or outside the cell

  • Cohbar is targeting peptides that can go into the blood and affect systemic diseases
  • Cohbar sees developing therapeutics that can be injected into the blood or taken as a supplement
  • They are mimicking the natural machinery of the mitochondria since it is already part of our body
  • The FDA studies are still required, but the starting point is your body’s own defense
  • Firstly, Cohbar wants to use mitochondrial peptides to beat disease.
  • Next up, the goal is to help influence lifespan and health span by enhancing mitochondrial function

When will Cohbar’s peptides be available?

  • It may take a few years
  • This requires trial design and a regulatory pathway
  • Luckily both are happening right now

Check out Cohbar’s website to see their pipeline and science.

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