In his weekly Longevity News Alert on 6th October 2015, leading longevity advocate David Kekich summarised the key findings of a new article released by leading U.S. Gene Therapy research company Bioviva which announced that it had become the first company to treat a person with gene therapy to reverse biological aging.
I will link to David’s article and the original in Bioviva so I will just highlight a few points I believe are important here.
BioViva CEO Elizabeth Parrish announced that the subject is doing well and has resumed regular activities. Preliminary results will be evaluated at 5 and 8 months with full outcome expected at 12 months.
She added that “Gene therapy allows doctors to treat disease at the cellular level by inserting a gene into a patient’s cells instead of using the regular modalities of oral drugs or surgery. BioViva is testing several approaches to age reversal, including using gene therapy to introduce genes into the body.
Although not generally considered a disease, cellular aging is the leading cause of death in the developed world, and the aging cell is also responsible for the diseases of aging, including Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and cancer.”
An important point to note is that the US Government is spending about $12 billion annually on research into diseases associated with aging, but only $2 billion of that on aging itself.
It seems ironical to me that the focus is on “effects” rather than the “cause”, but hardly surprising as Heart disease and cancer alone accounted for 65% of all deaths in the US in 2010.
This $12 billion is just the investment in research, the cost to treat people for the diseases would be far more.
Just imagine the impact on the US economy if a refocus on treating the causes of aging produced positive results that could be made generally available in the next 5 years, and which could dramatically reduce the number of people contracting and dying from these age related diseases (you and I possibly included). The pressure on the social security systems in all developed nations would be dramatically reduced.
But this would also depend on the FDA recognising and embracing the paradigm shift happening in this area and the potential impact it could have.
As the article points out “ The regulatory process might last a decade, while the actually useful part of that testing (does it basically work, and is the risk profile sufficiently defined and acceptable to patients) is only a few years.
Like any new technology, this will be very expensive for early adopters. However, pending positive outcomes from the trial, BioViva will pull all stops to drive down costs over the coming years.
Until then, wealthy medical tourists would pave the way to make these treatments affordable by infusing more R&D funds into the Company.”
The last paragraph makes a valid point. Although the wealthy are potentially the first to benefit, the finances they bring to the research fast track the benefits for everybody else.
After reading David’s article I visited the BioViva website and linked to the video of a presentation given by their CEO Liz Parish.
If gene therapy and its potential applications is something that interests you I highly recommend this video to you. It is amazing and certainly confirmed my strong belief in the potential to dramatically increase average life expectancy and to reverse aging in the very near future.
It goes for 48 minutes, but will be time well spent and I hope it will encourage and inspire you on your own journey.
You can read the full update from David Kekich here:
The BioViva article can be viewed at : http://www.bioviva-science.com/blog-1/2015/10/6/blhohf7cpv4hlgdhf6fcsw1kwodh3k
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