The Spanish biotechnology that digs into the secrets of aging

Its name may not tell you anything, but it is one of the most important biomarkers of aging and associated diseases. Telomeres, structures that protect the end of chromosomes (DNA), like the plastic at the end of a shoelace, offer information about the biological age of the organism, which has applications in preventive and personalized medicine. As we age, each time cells divide to regenerate tissue, telomeres shorten and, when critically short, these cells, as a self-defense mechanism, stop reproducing to become senescent (zombie cells), activating the possibility of suffering from certain diseases. The Spanish company Life Length has established itself as a world reference in the measurement of telomere length thanks to its own technology. “We have developed a very sophisticated technique, which is patented, to measure telomeres chromosome by chromosome with great precision”, explains Stephen Matlin, CEO, who highlights that Life Length is the most accredited clinical laboratory in Spain and the only federal one in the United States. United in our country. Although in our country the communicating vessels between science and the market are not exactly well oiled, the origins of this innovative company lie in the National Cancer Research Center, specifically, in the research of María Blasco, who today serves as director of the public institution. "The project was born in 2010, but the difficulty in obtaining financing at a time of crisis means that it will not be until 2016 when it gathers financial resources to set up its laboratories and start up its own telomere measurement technologies," says Matlin. The initiative was launched with three partners: the Botín Foundation, through its 'Mind the Gap' programme, Matlin himself, an expert in financial advice, and Blasco, who provided scientific knowledge. Today, the company, based in Madrid, offers its services in more than 35 countries and employs 75 people. MORE INFORMATION news No The genome of an immortal jellyfish opens the door to the fight against aging In April, the company received the Operating License from the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) and the CE marking for its test for diagnosis of prostate cancer, ProsTAV, the first in the world based on telomeres authorized for oncological diagnosis, which allows detecting alterations in the distribution of telomeres in a man with this disease.

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