Skulachev Ions. Questions & Answers

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How does SkQ differ from other antioxidants?

V. Skulachev claims that the most effective antioxidant should have a number of qualities. Firstly, the antioxidant should be addressed directly into mitochondria (living cell’s organelles, where the largest number of reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced).

Secondly, the antioxidant must be safe, since, interacting with the ROS, the antioxidant molecules themselves become radicals; accordingly, there must be a reliable way of its immediate neutralization in the cell, preferably with the restoration of the antioxidant to its original form.

Thirdly, all antioxidants have a pro-oxidant effect when the dose is increased, limiting the possibility of their use, i.e. they must have high efficacy in the lowest possible doses.

Fourthly, traditional antioxidants, even if they could appear in the mitochondrial membrane along with other cell membranes, are natural substances, the excess of which can be brought up by cellular enzymes, since their presence becomes undesirable. In fact, body has protection systems not only from oxygen, but also from antioxidants. The point is that ROS perform a number of biological functions, without which a full life is impossible (for example, they participate directly in the struggle against bacteria and viruses). Therefore, the antioxidant should effectively remove not all the ROS but just their excess, formed within the mitochondria as the body ages; the body’s enzymes should not deactivate it, as the body aspires to complete its aging program. SkQ corresponds to all these requirements.

What dosage forms are based on SkQ?

Now it is, first of all, eye drops for several eye diseases treatment. Work is underway to create an oral form – capsules with SkQ to affect the entire body. An injection form of SkQ is also going to be developed for use against acute pathologies.

Why are eye drops first?

The first indication that SkQ can be used for eye diseases treatment was obtained by studying the effect of SkQ1 on rats (OXYS line, derived in the SB RAS (Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences) Cytology and Genetics Institute (Novosibirsk)). These rats were derived in the R. Salganik’s laboratory in the 70’s and suffer from constant oxidative stress. Consequently, this leads to progeria – the accelerated development of several aging signs. Particularly, by the third month of life, there cataract and signs of retina pathology could be observed. These diseases are also typical for humans. High risk of cataract development and retina dystrophy is observed especially in elderly age. By the Project request, series of experiments were conducted on rats of the OXYS line. Since a 1.5-month-old age, rats were given daily food with SkQ1 inside at a dose of 10 to 250 nmol/kg. SkQ1 presence in all concentrations prevented cataract development. Similarly, SkQ1 influenced retinopathy. SkQ1 not only prevented retina dystrophy, but also improved its functional state, which was determined by electroretinography. Further experiments showed that similar results are achieved if SkQ1 is used in the form of eye drops, even among other lines of rats, as well as among dogs, cats and horses.

Whether clinical tests of eye drops were conducted?

The first series of tests were conducted in early 2010 and gave positive results (it was aimed at a common eye disease – dry eye syndrome). The study involved 80 people who received treatment in two Moscow ophthalmological clinics.

In autumn 2010, clinical tests of eye drops based on SkQ against glaucoma and cataract began. Totally, 80 people for each disease participate in these tests. The course of treatment for one patient will last for six months, but the total amount of tests will last much longer, since a significant time will be needed for the selection of all patients who must meet certain strict requirements set by physicians. These tests are based on leading ophthalmological centers in Moscow and St. Petersburg. In the near future, it is planned to launch a study on age-related macular dystrophy.

Why did cataract, glaucoma and retinal dystrophy become the first diseases for clinical tests?

Exactly with these diseases were the most positive results obtained, when conducting tests on animals. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the same results will be with humans as our eye structure is a little bit of difference.

Is it possible to buy eye drops?

Yes, you can buy eye drops here.

Are there any SkQ-based medicines for any other diseases?

Finished medicines do not exist yet, as capsules and injections based on SkQ are under development – there are tests now on animals. These medicines are planned to be used against chronic cardiovascular diseases, kidney diseases and some types of stroke. The range of senile diseases for which positive results are obtained (on animals) is wide enough, but it is still too early to say which diseases will be exactly treated.


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