NEW YORK - Aging research company Elysium Health said on Wednesday that it will analyze the DNA methylation patterns of 2,500 umbilical cord blood samples from the Interbio-21st study as part of a new research collaboration with the University of Oxford.
According to New York-based Elysium Health, the goal is to develop "novel, noninvasive, and accessible measures to help assess the risk of growth and neurodevelopment delay in early childhood."
"[R]esearch has shown that human aging does not begin in our 20s or 30s, but rather in the womb," said Elysium Health CEO Eric Marcotulli in a statement. "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." Last April, Elysium Health acquired the exclusive rights to DNA methylation biomarkers of aging and cellular senescence from Yale University.
Conducted in high-, middle-, and low-income countries, the Interbio-21st study is an extension of the International Fetal and Newborn Growth Consortium for the 21st Century Project (Intergrowth-21st), led by the University of Oxford, to establish international standards for monitoring early human growth and development, Elysium Health said.
"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 Stephen Kennedy, director of the University of Oxford's Maternal and Perinatal Health Institute, who co-leads the Intergrowth-21st project, in a statement. Kennedy also sits on Elysium Health's scientific advisory board.
The new collaboration adds to Elysium Health's ongoing partnership with the University of Oxford, including exclusive licensing of IP and research studies.