This is how much 20mg of paroxetine (Paxil in the US or Seroxat in the UK), an antidepressant that is now out of patent, costs around the world.
This is how much 20mg of paroxetine (Paxil in the US or Seroxat in the UK), an antidepressant that is now out of patent, costs around the world.
Aubrey de Grey of the SENS Research Foundation maintains an active schedule of presentations, and the interview here is one of a series of recent discussions in which he talks about timelines, funding, and progress in recent years. We’re in the midst of a tipping point of sorts, as the SENS view of rejuvenation research gathers more attention and legitimacy in the eyes of the public and various sources of funding. Senolytic therapies to clear senescent cells are well into the first stages of clinical development, with new compelling data for cellular senescence to contribute to specific age-related diseases arriving every month now. Targeting senescent cells for destruction was one of the strategies that de Grey started to advocate all the way back in 2002, when the research community was much less welcoming of any discussion of the treatment of aging as a medical condition, and there was little to no funding for such approaches despite the extensive supporting evidence. It doesn’t hurt to be proven right when it comes to reinforcing an agenda.
What is the future timeline for the advent of rejuvenation therapies sufficiently effective to grant a few decades of additional healthy life, and substantially rescue aged people from the immediate consequences of high levels of cell and tissue damage? In one sense we can put together a decently robust timeline for SENS research and development and estimate ten years to get to robust mouse rejuvenation in the laboratory, followed by a further ten years to push the first implementations into the clinic. We can feel fairly good about that, and indeed that planning has been carried out at the Methuselah Foundation and later the SENS Research Foundation several times over the past fifteen years. But that best possible pace of progress is entirely dependent on sufficient funding, $100 million or more each year, as well as the rapid cooperation of regulatory bodies. Both of these are sticky, complicated persuasion and human interaction problems. Thus no-one can predict how long it will take to (a) bootstrap SENS rejuvenation research to the necessary funding levels and (b) solve or work around the roadblock to the treatment of aging set up by the FDA and other regulatory bodies sufficiently well to allow rapid clinical implementation of therapies.
We should be optimistic, however, given that this does boil down to persuasion and funding as the limiting factors. That the science is a relatively clear road, and that the delay is all a matter of gathering sufficient support, means that everyone and anyone can help to accelerate progress towards the medical control of aging, and an end to age-related disease. It doesn’t require years of schooling to support a field of medical research as a patient advocate or a fundraiser or an entrepreneur. When interested scientists with promising plans are limited entirely by a lack of funding, we can all step up to make a difference. That has happened already: it is possible to look back at the fifteen year history of SENS advocacy and research, and track its progress from an idea with zero funding to the existence of several non-profit foundations devoting millions of dollars in philanthropic funding every year to the challenge. Our community achieved a great deal over the course of the early, challenging years, and that success can and will continue, with it becoming ever easier to raise ever more funding for research and development.
Interview – FightAging.org
Your foundation is working on an initiative requiring $50 million in funding – Well, if we had $50 million per year in funding, we could go about three times faster than we are on $5 million per year.
And you’re looking at a 2021 timeframe to start human trials? That’s approximate. Remember, because we accumulate in the body so many different types of damage, that means we have many different types of therapy to repair that damage. And of course, each of those types has to be developed independently. It’s very much a divide and conquer therapy. The therapies interact with each other to some extent; the repair of one type of damage may slow down the creation of another type of damage, but still that’s how it’s going to be. And some of these therapies are much easier to implement than others. The easier components of what we need to do are already in clinical trials – stem cell therapies especially, and immunotherapy against amyloid in the brain, for example. Even in phase III clinical trials in some cases. So when I talk about a timeframe like 2021, or early 20s shall we say, I’m really talking about the most difficult components.
What recent strides are you most excited about? Looking back over the past couple of years, I’m particularly proud of the successes we’ve had in the very most difficult areas. If you go through the seven components of SENS, there are two that have absolutely been stuck in a rut and have gotten nowhere for 15 to 20 years, and we basically fixed that in both cases. We published two years ago in Science magazine that essentially showed a way forward against the stiffening of the extracellular matrix, which is responsible for things like wrinkles and hypertension. And then a year ago, we published a real breakthrough paper with regard to placing copies of the mitochondria DNA in the nuclear DNA modified in such a way that they still work, which is an idea that had been around for 30 years; everyone had given up on it, some a long time ago, and we basically revived it.
What do you think are the biggest barriers to defeating aging today: the technological challenges, the regulatory framework, the cost, or the cultural attitude of the “pro-aging” trance? One can’t really address those independently of each other. The technological side is one thing; it’s hard, but we know where we’re going, we’ve got a plan. The other ones are very intertwined with each other. A lot of people are inclined to say, the regulatory hurdle will be completely insurmountable, plus people don’t recognize aging as a disease, so it’s going to be a complete nonstarter. I think that’s nonsense. And the reason is because the cultural attitudes toward all of this are going to be completely turned upside down before we have to worry about the regulatory hurdles. In other words, they’re going to be turned upside down by sufficiently promising results in the lab, in mice. Once we get to be able to rejuvenate actually old mice really well so they live substantially longer than they otherwise would have done, in a healthy state, everyone’s going to know about it and everyone’s going to demand – it’s not going to be possible to get re-elected unless you have a manifesto commitment to turn the FDA completely upside down and make sure this happens without any kind of regulatory obstacle.
I’ve been struggling away all these years trying to bring little bits of money in the door, and the reason I have is because of the skepticism as to regards whether this could actually work, combined with the pro-aging trance, which is a product of the skepticism – people not wanting to get their hopes up, so finding excuses about aging being a blessing in disguise, so they don’t have to think about it. All of that will literally disintegrate pretty much overnight when we have the right kind of sufficiently impressive progress in the lab. Therefore, the availability of money will also open up. It’s already cracking: we’re already seeing the beginnings of the actual rejuvenation biotechnology industry that I’ve been talking about with a twinkle in my eye for some years.
I’m sure you hate getting the timeline question, but if we’re five years away from this breakthrough in mice, it’s hard to resist asking – how far is that in terms of a human cure? When I give any kind of timeframes, the only real care I have to take is to emphasize the variance. In this case I think we have got a 50-50 chance of getting to that tipping point in mice within five years from now, certainly it could be 10 or 15 years if we get unlucky. Similarly, for humans, a 50-50 chance would be twenty years at this point, and there’s a 10 percent chance that we won’t get there for a hundred years.
You famously said ten years ago that you think the first person to live to 1000 is already alive. Do you think that’s still the case? Definitely, yeah. I can’t see how it could not be. Again, it’s a probabilistic thing. I said there’s at least a 10 percent chance that we won’t get to what I call Longevity Escape Velocity for 100 years and if that’s true, then the statement about 1000 years being alive already is not going to be the case. But for sure, I believe that the beneficiaries of what we may as well call SENS 1.0, the point where we get to Longevity Escape Velocity, those people are exceptionally unlikely ever to suffer from any kind of ill health correlated with their age. Because we will never fall below Longevity Escape Velocity once we attain it.
Could someone who was just born today expect – I would say people in middle age now have a fair chance. Remember – a 50/50 chance of getting to Longevity Escape Velocity within 20 years, and when you get there, you don’t just stay at biologically 70 or 80, you are rejuvenated back to biologically 30 or 40 and you stay there, so your risk of death each year is not related to how long ago you were born, it’s the same as a young adult. Today, that’s less than 1 in 1000 per year, and that number is going to go down as we get self-driving cars and all that, so actually 1000 is a very conservative number.
ARTICLE POSTED ON WWW.FIGHTAGING.ORG ON 1 FEB 2018.
Do you want to live a longer life in good health? Simple practices can make some difference, such as exercise or calorie restriction. But over the long haul all that really matters is progress in medicine: building new classes of therapy to repair and reverse the known root causes of aging. The sooner these treatments arrive, the more lives will be saved. Find out how to help »
Ten million Britons alive today can expect to reach 100, Government figures reveal.
Ministers will inject more than £300million into researching old age in order to support the ageing population. They say we need to ‘revolutionise’ the way people get older – ensuring they remain healthy and independent for longer.
Unveiling the cash boost, Business Secretary Greg Clark will pledge to help make the country’s scientists world leaders in understanding ageing. The funding will support a research hub looking at dementia as well as a major project looking at the prevention and treatment of disease, involving more than 500,000 patients.
Figures show more than ten million people in the UK today can expect to see their 100th birthday, while there are just 15,000 centenarians at present. Under the plans set out by Mr Clark, a £210million competitive fund will be established to invest in the development of innovative diagnostic tools, medical products and treatments. It will include the creation of a series of regional centres across the UK to improve the diagnosis of patients using technologies such as artificial intelligence.
The fund will also invest in genome sequencing to develop tools for early diagnosis of illness and disease and a new wave of therapies. A further £98million will be invested in a healthy ageing programme to develop products and services to help people to live in their homes for longer.
In addition, £40million will go to the UK Dementia Research Institute, in partnership with University College London, to create a hub in which 350 leading scientists will research treatments for the condition. An estimated 850,000 people in the UK are living with the disease.
Mr Clark said: ‘Through our Industrial Strategy we will not only boost innovation and productivity across the UK, but we will also ensure that this Government changes people’s lives for the better.
‘We are over £300million into developing the treatments of the future, in new technologies that will revolutionise the way we age and provide everyone with the best possible chance to grow old with dignity in their own home. ‘By 2020 we want to be the best country in the world for dementia care and research.’
Care minister Caroline Dinenage added: ‘As a society we are living longer – a child born today can expect to live to 100 years – but now we must seize the opportunity to improve the quality of lives lived longer.
‘These investments will … provide a revolutionary vital boost to develop and scale up products and services of the future, ensuring everyone can age well and live more independently throughout their lives.’
The figures about our increased longevity come after it emerged last month that the number of women working in their 50s and 60s had hit a record high. The state pension age for men and women will rise to 66 by 2020, and Government actuaries believe it will reach 70 in the 2050s and 71 in the 2060s.
John Stevens for the Daily Mail PUBLISHED: 02:09, 12 March 2018 | UPDATED: 02:10, 12 March 2018
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5489127/Ministers-announce-research-fund-help-ten-million-Brits-reach-100.html#ixzz5BiqHTy3J
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Peter Diamandis, co-founder of Celularity and Human Longevity, Inc., explains how Silicon Valley can make 100 the new 60. Click on the link below to see the video on www.uk.businessinsider.com or read the transcript.
How Silicon Valley can make 100 the new 60. Peter Diamandis is an engineer, physician and entrepreneur. He is best known as founder of the XPRIZE Foundation. He is also co-founder of Celularity and Human Longevity, Inc. These companies work to extend the human life span.
Peter Diamandis: So, what do we do right now? So, it’s still the basics, eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep. But what else can you do? There’s a couple different things.
It’s a company called Human Longevity Inc, H-L-I. We have a service at HLI called the Health Nucleus. When you come to the Health Nucleus, we spend three hours with you, we sequence your genome, all 3.2 billion letters of your life. We do a full-body MRI that’s able to detect cancer. We basically collect 150 gigabits of data about you, we feed it into machine learning and our goal is to find out, is there anything going on inside your body that you should know about. We all eventually have some problem, but we find it at stage zero or stage one, when it’s curable or treatable immediately.
Treatments coming in the near future are gonna be the stem cell treatments. The ability to use stem cells to solve autoimmune disease and degenerative disease. The human placenta for 99.999% of the time is thrown away. The placenta is the richest source, the most abundant source of stem cells, and that because these stem cells are immunologically privileged, meaning you can give these stem cells from a single placenta to hundreds, thousands, potentially tens of thousands of individuals, the price of these stem cells will drop down significantly.
Then, there are other treatments that are ongoing right now. You’ve heard about young blood experiments going on in Silicon Valley, where you transfuse the blood of a young person to an old person. What Elevian has done is recognize not just the whole blood that is important, there is a particular molecule called GDF11 that seems to be the molecule that’s most responsible for this rejuvenate effect. And so Elevian is actually commercializing that particular molecule.
Other companies like Unity Biosciences is working on finding those senescent cells in your body and destroying them. So cells will grow and they’ll stop growing so they don’t become cancerous and it’s called senescence. But when those cells start becoming inflammatory, they can damage your body. And so Unity Biosciences is working on how do we find the senescent cells and kill them, making more room for stem cells to grow younger, healthier tissues. So there’s a number of these technologies coming on right now.
In 10 to 12 years from now, for every year that you live, science is extending your life for more than a year. These treatments are going to be coming online to help you extend your life, but bottom line, eat right, sleep right, get exercise, that’s not going away.
More than a decade ago, researchers at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge began recruiting young, healthy Louisianans to voluntarily go hungry for two years. In addition to cutting their daily calories by 25 percent, the dozens who enrolled also agreed to a weekly battery of tests; blood draws, bone scans, swallowing a pill that measures internal body temperature.
All that sticking and scanning and starving was in the name of the Comprehensive Assessment of Long-Term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy, or Calerie—the largest human clinical trial ever to look at the effects of calorie restriction on aging. The National Institutes of Health-funded study also included sites at Washington University in St. Louis and Tufts in Boston. But only the Pennington participants had to also spend 24 sedentary hours inside a sealed room that recorded the contents of their every breath.
These are the measures that scientists (and some study participants) are willing to go to understand how a spartan diet impacts the aging process. Calorie restriction is one of the least ridiculous strategies in the burgeoning field of longevity science. Studies going back to the mid-1930s have shown over and over that cutting calories by 25-50 percent lets yeast, worms, mice, rats, and monkeys live longer, healthier lives, free from age-related disease. But there’s far less consensus on the mechanisms through which it works.
Which is probably why attempts to mimic fasting with medicines have so far all failed FDA approval. Calerie was designed to ask that question in humans and the first randomized control trial to do so. The researchers chose a 25 percent restriction (between 500 and 800 calories) because it seemed humanly feasible and still likely to show an effect, based on previous animal studies. With 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day, the stakes for good science supporting healthy human aging have never been higher. Unfortunately, the latest results don’t exactly clear things up.
In a paper published in Cell Metabolism, researchers from Pennington reported for the first time on their whole room calorimeter experiments—the sealed metabolic chambers they stuck participants in for 24 hours. Pennington is one of the few places in the world with these hotel-room-sized micro-environments, the most rigorous way to measure how many calories a person burns and where they come from—fat, protein, or carbohydrates.
After a night of fasting, participants entered the calorimeter promptly at 8:00am, and until 8:00am the following day they weren’t allowed to leave or exercise. Researchers delivered meals through a small, air-locked cupboard. As fresh air circulated into the room, the air flowing out went through a series of analyzers to measure the ratio of carbon dioxide to oxygen. Nitrogen measurements from urine samples help calculate a total picture of each participant’s resting metabolism.
The picture that emerged was that cutting calories, even modestly, lowered people’s metabolism by 10 percent. Some of that could be attributed to weight loss (on average folks lost 20 pounds over two years). But according to the study’s authors, the majority of the change had more to do with altered biological processes, which they observed through other biomarkers like insulin and thyroid hormones. “Restricting calories can slow your basal metabolic rate—the energy you need to sustain all normal daily functions,” says endocrinologist and lead author Leanne Redman. When the body uses less oxygen to generate all its required energy, it produces fewer byproducts of metabolism, things like free radicals that can damage DNA and other cellular machinery. “After two years, the lower rate of metabolism and level of calorie restriction was linked to a reduction in oxidative damage to cells and tissues.”
Other Calerie researchers don’t buy it. “You can have a low resting metabolic rate because you’re dying of starvation,” says Luigi Fontana, an internist who led the Washington University trial. “Does that make it a biomarker of longevity? No. You can be calorie restricted by eating half a hamburger and a few fries each day but will you live longer? No, you will die of malnutrition.”
Fontana’s own work with Calerie trial data suggests changes to specific insulin pathways matter more than overall metabolism decrease. He also points to studies where rats were made to swim in cold water for hours a day, dropping their metabolism. They didn’t live any longer than room temperature rats. In other studies, scientists overexpressed enzymes that protected mice from free radicals. They didn’t live any longer either. Redman’s data is interesting, he says, but it’s not the whole picture. “Twenty years ago the dogma was the more calorie restriction the better,” he says. “What we are finding now is that it’s not the number that matters. Genetics, the composition of the diet, when you eat, what’s in your microbiome, this all influences the impact of calorie restriction.”
But even if studying what happens to the human body when you cut calories hasn’t yet explained how cells age, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have potentially huge health benefits. “Calorie restriction is the only intervention known to delay the onset and progression of cancer,” says Rafael de Cabo, chief of the National Institute on Aging’s Translational Gerontology Branch. His team recently completed a 25-year study of calorie restriction in rhesus monkeys. While they didn’t see as drastic lifespan improvements as another monkey study, de Cabo’s team did observe lower rates of cancer and metabolic diseases. “If we could get people who work in situations with a lot of environmental pollutants to reduce their calories it would be extremely protective,” he says. “But as we very well know, no one is going to be able to withstand eating so little for their entire life.”
Maybe no one knows that more than Jeffrey Peipert. The 58-year-old ob-gyn participated in the Washington University trial nine years ago, hoping to bring down his weight, which he’d struggled with his whole life. When he went in, his blood pressure was 132 over 84; after a few months on a restricted calorie regimen it dropped to 115 over 65. A year in he lost 30 pounds. But six months later he quit. It was just too much work. “It took away my energy, my strength, it definitely took away my sex drive,” says Peipert. “And tracking calories every day was a total pain in the neck.”
Today he’s gained all the weight back and has to take a pill for hypertension. But at least he feels like he’s living well, even if he maybe won’t live as long.
Meglan Molteni @WIRED.COM – See more by clicking on the link below.