Harnessing the Therapeutic Potential of Mitochondrial DNA

The mitochondria and its encoded peptides are the foundation for the development of CohBar’s potential breakthrough therapeutics targeting chronic and age-related diseases with underlying mitochondrial dysfunction, such as NASH, obesity, cancer, fibrotic diseases, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.

What are mitochondria?

Mitochondria are generally understood to be the powerhouses of our cells and responsible for converting nutrients into energy. Mitochondria evolved and originated by endosymbiosis when a bacterium was captured by a eukaryotic cell millions of years ago. They also have their own DNA that encodes hundreds of peptides (small proteins). The mitochondrial genome is 200,000 times smaller than the nuclear genome and is inherited maternally.

A much broader role for mitochondria: recent research reveals

  • Signaling within and between cells
  • Orchestrating multiple biological systems
  • Regulating metabolism and the immune system
  • Controlling cell cycle, cell growth, and cell death (apoptosis)

A deeper understanding of mitochondrial dysfunction

Mitochondrial dysfunction can result in decreased levels of peptides encoded in the mitochondria, some of which are secreted. We believe CohBar’s mitochondria based therapeutics (MBTs), which are novel modified analogs of mitochondrially encoded peptides, represent an entirely new frontier and an emerging new class of potential drugs for the treatment of chronic and age-related diseases impacted by mitochondrial dysfunction. Some of these diseases and biological systems include:

  • NAFLD/NASH, obesity, type 2 diabetes
  • Cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases
  • Cancer
  • Immune system and inflammatory disorders
  • Fibrotic diseases
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)

Our discoveries of peptides encoded in the mitochondria are the foundation of our platform technology

Our founders' and CohBar’s scientists have discovered the existence of hundreds of new potential genes in the mitochondrial genome that encode peptides (small proteins), and identified the first mitochondrial derived peptide (MDP) associated with age related diseases in human centenarians and their offspring. Further studies have demonstrated metabolic regulation and protection, cytoprotection and anti-inflammatory affects in animal models across multiple age-related diseases.