Elysium Health™ Announces New Research Initiative in Partnership With the University of Oxford in Connection With the Landmark INTERBIO-21st Study
Analyzing DNA methylation patterns at birth with the aim of developing novel, non-invasive, accessible measures to predict growth and neurodevelopment in early childhood
NEW YORK, April 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Elysium Health, Inc.™, a leading life sciences company focused on aging research, has entered into a material transfer agreement with the University of Oxford to analyze the DNA methylation patterns of 2,500 umbilical cord blood samples from the landmark INTERBIO-21st Study with the aim of developing novel, non-invasive, and accessible measures to help assess the risk of growth and neurodevelopment delay in early childhood. The research collaboration expands on Elysium Health's ongoing partnership with the University of Oxford, which includes the Oxford-Elysium Prize Fellowship in Cellular Health, exclusive licensing of IP, and other research partnerships.
"At Elysium Health, we develop breakthrough products based on advancements in aging research—and, research has shown that human aging does not begin in our 20s or 30s, but rather in the womb," said Elysium Health CEO Eric Marcotulli. "Thus, it is not surprising that technologies that have been traditionally utilized to measure aging later in life might likewise be used to assess growth and neurodevelopmental potential at birth. In addition to a focus on aging, a cornerstone of Elysium Health is accessibility. We are hopeful that the findings from this collaboration with the University of Oxford will make the valuable insights of early growth and neurodevelopment available to parents and caregivers worldwide. For Elysium Health, this is a significant advancement, as it expands on the company's research in women's health, and marks our first efforts in the field of children's health."
The INTERBIO-21st Study, conducted in high, middle, and low-income countries, aims to improve the phenotypic characterization of the preterm birth, fetal growth restriction, and small-for-gestational-age syndromes through a better understanding of how environmental exposures, clinical conditions and nutrition influence patterns of growth and neurodevelopment from conception to early childhood. INTERBIO-21st is an extension to the International Fetal and Newborn Growth Consortium for the 21st Century (INTERGROWTH-21st) Project, led by the University of Oxford, which established international standards for monitoring early human growth and development.
"Our hypotheses are driven by the concept that improvements in the phenotypic characterization of complex perinatal syndromes through the integration of clinical and laboratory data should facilitate the development of targeted screening and preventive strategies, as well as interventions in the periconceptual period, pregnancy, and infancy" said professor of reproductive medicine and director of the Oxford Maternal & Perinatal Health Institute at the University of Oxford, and Elysium Health Scientific Advisory Board member Stephen Kennedy, M.D., who co-leads the INTERGROWTH-21st Project. "In a recent study (Villar et al. 2021 Nature Medicine), we identified five ultrasound-derived trajectories of the growth of the fetal head associated with specific neurodevelopmental, behavioral, visual, and growth outcomes at 2 years of age.
This finding suggests it may be possible to develop a non-invasive test, using epigenetic signatures at birth, as a surrogate for serial ultrasound examinations of the fetus, which are not universally offered to mothers. Such a test, which we would be committed to making widely available across the world, could benefit families through the early identification of infants at risk of developmental delay."
Developing further on Elysium Health's proprietary algorithmic platform for epigenetic examination (APEX), and the company's biological age measure Index, Elysium Health plans to utilize the analysis of the INTERBIO-21st Study biobank to explore the development of potential epigenetic measures for fetal and early childhood growth and neurodevelopment. In collaboration with the University of Oxford, the company hopes to pursue large-scale availability of the resultant measures. While similar approaches are not currently available via the current standard of care, the measures will be non-invasive, accessible, and have the ability for remote administration.
About Elysium Health™ Elysium Health's™ mission is to solve the biggest challenges in health with science, to help people lead healthier lives. Working directly with the world's leading scientists and clinicians, Elysium Health™ is committed to translating critical advancements in aging research into health solutions people can access today. Learn more at elysiumhealth.com.
About the Nuffield Department of Women's & Reproductive Health
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