Geron Corporation's telomerase technology is licensed by Telomerase Activation Sciences (TA Sciences) and the patent has been granted for composition and methods for increasing telomerase activity from a natural source.
The patent covers the use of certain compounds to up regulate telomerase expression in cells, and TA Sciences will have exclusive worldwide rights to technology under this patent for nutraceutical and cosmetic applications.
"This foundational patent is a validation of the millions of dollars and more than 8 years of effort we have invested to bring TA-65, the world's first telomerase activator, to market," stated Noel Thomas Patton, chairman of TA Sciences.
Molecule found in Chinese herb
TA-65 is a natural molecule found in the Chinese herb astragalus. Dean Miller, vice president of Sales & Marketing for TA Sciences, told CosmeticsDesign.com USA thatin a 2005 trial, TA-65 was shown to increase skin elasticity and improve overall skin appearance.
Almost six years on, and after more development and safety testing, this new patent has now been issued.
"This significantly adds to the proprietary rights that Geron has built around its already strong portfolio of U.S. and foreign patents that will allow vigorous defense against infringers,” he continued.
Telomeres involved in cellular aging process
Telomeres, located at the ends of chromosomes, are key genetic elements involved in the regulation of the cellular aging process, that shorten with repeated replications, and therefore with age, positioning it in many theories of aging.
“We and others have shown that when the enzyme telomerase is introduced into normal cells, it can restore telomere length - reset the 'clock' - thereby increasing the functional lifespan of the cells,” explained Patton.
“Controlled activation of telomerase in normal cells can restore telomere length or slow the rate of loss, improve functional capacity and increase the proliferative lifespan of cells."
Telomere Biology has become a relevant topic in anti-aging research. In a study released on November 28th 2010, in the online journal Nature, a team of researchers at Harvard Medical School reported on the first reversal of the aging process in a mammal.
By reactivating telomerase, they rejuvenated worn out organs in mice that were the equivalent biological age to 80 year old humans.