Cardax's synthetic astaxanthin in line for anti-aging trial

By Hank Schultz contact

- Last updated on GMT

Cardax's synthetic astaxanthin is sold under the Zanthosyn brand name.
Cardax's synthetic astaxanthin is sold under the Zanthosyn brand name.

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Cardax, a Hawaii-based developer of synthetic astaxanthin, announced that the company’s proprietary carotenoid compound has been chosen for a National Institute on Aging test program.

The program selects several compounds each year for the NIA’s Interventions Testing Program.  The proposal, based on Cardax’s astaxanthin molecule branded as CDX-085, was submitted by professors Dr. Bradley Willcox MD and Richard Allsopp PhD of the University of Hawaii.  Dr. Willcox is a member of the Cardax board of directors.

If the compound successfully undergoes pilot studies to determine stability in mouse chow and to assess its bioavailability, the NIA study would begin in 2018.

Through its inclusion in the federally funded ITP program, CDX-085 has now been elevated to a select group of compounds that hold the most promise for potential anti-aging activitycompounds we hope will foster longer and healthier lives for aging Americans, and others around the world,​ Dr Willcox said.

The question that hovers over the proceedings is whether Cardax as a company can survive that long.  Even as the company recently announced the first revenues from the sale of the compound, it also revealed that it had to lay off most of its employees earlier this year and that CEO David Watamull and two other executives continue on for minimal financial compensation. The announcement said the company has spent more than $56 million to date and, while it has raised close to $500,000 in recent months, more funding will be needed.

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