NEW YORK, Nov. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Elysium Health, Inc.,TM a life sciences company developing clinically validated health products based on aging research, today announced the launch of INDEX by Elysium Health, an at-home test that enables customers to measure their cumulative rate of aging and their biological age. The company also announced the addition of Yale School of Medicine professor and aging researcher Morgan Levine, Ph.D., who joined as head of bioinformatics to lead the development of Index using the latest generation of an epigenetic biomarker called DNAm PhenoAge. Unlike earlier epigenetic clocks, which were developed to support population-level research, the Elysium Health team worked with Levine to further improve the testing methodology to make its application accurate and informative at the individual level. Since its founding, Elysium Health has been best known for the company's cellular health supplement Basis. Index marks the beginning of an expansion of the brand's product portfolio to include aging tests as well as interventions that target fundamental processes of aging.
"Scientists in the field of aging research have long explored two fundamental questions: Can aging itself be measured, and can we slow, stop, or reverse the processes associated with aging?" said Elysium Health CEO Eric Marcotulli. "With aging as the single greatest risk factor for all major chronic conditions—and a force that affects everyone even before birth—these questions are focused on supporting our collective ability to not only improve lifespan but, more importantly, healthspan. With the launch of Index, we hope to continue the scientific exploration of these two questions by extending the conversation to the consumer market and allowing everyone to benefit from the ability to determine their cumulative rate of aging and, with it, to see if lifestyle and other changes can impact how they age in the future."
Levine helped to identify specific DNA methylation sites along the epigenome that are highly correlated with nine clinical chemistry biomarkers of biological age and chronological age in the NHANES study. Since the development of the first epigenetic clock in 2011, the methodology has been further refined and validated in multiple large-scale data sets across diverse populations and tissues. A challenge to developing Index—and a key differentiator—was ensuring its accuracy and repeatability at the individual level. While the published applications of the biological age measure typically look at hundreds of sites on the genome, with the custom Elysium chip, Index examines global patterns across more than 100,000 sites, which solves for issues related to technical replicates—an incredibly important consideration for making this technology available to consumers and researchers.
"Historically, chronological age has served as the best estimation of health and aging. However, not all individuals age at the same rate—based on genetics, demographics, and lifestyle factors—and therefore, people of the same chronological age don't necessarily share the same current health status or future outlook," said Levine. "Index provides a better picture of where an individual is in his/her aging process, which is why I'm excited to make this aging measure and the technology that supports it directly available to consumers. It shows incredible promise when it comes to monitoring overall health and wellness and there is potential for even more diverse applications in the future. In clinical research, tools like this also enable faster evaluation of intervention efficacy, avoiding the need for decades of follow-up. It may also inform basic and population research, by shedding light on factors that alter the pace of aging and facilitating the identification of therapeutic targets to slow the process. For people in their everyday lives, while there are no guarantees, understanding one's cumulative rate of aging and the factors that are reflected on the epigenome may help them prioritize behaviors and lifestyle choices to proactively optimize their health and wellness today and in the future."
While the technology required for epigenome and genome mapping has historically made comprehensive testing cost prohibitive, with help from Illumina— a global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies —Elysium Health has developed the custom Elysium chip to make the initial release of Index as accessible as possible. Elysium Health is committed to continuing to innovate the testing technology to make the powerful health measure of biological age available to everyone.
During the first month of the product's initial limited release, Index will be available for purchase to existing Basis subscribers. New Elysium Health customers will have the option to purchase Basis semi-annual or annual subscriptions to become eligible to purchase Index in advance of the full public release in 2020. In addition to early access, Basis subscribers also have the benefit of preferred pricing during the limited release period.
About Elysium Health™
Elysium Health's™ mission is to solve the biggest challenges in health with science, to help people live healthier, longer. Working directly with the world's leading scientists and clinicians, Elysium Health™ is dedicated to translating advances in aging research and technology into effective, clinically proven products that help people manage their health in an actionable way. Learn more at www.elysiumhealth.com.
SOURCE Elysium Health