I’ve just founded a nonprofit, the Longevity Research Institute — you can check it out here.
The basic premise is: we know there are more than 50 compounds that have been reported to extend healthy lifespan in mammals, but most of these have never been tested independently, and in many cases the experimental methodology is poor.
In other words, there seems to be a lot of low-hanging fruit in aging. There are many long-lived mutant strains of mice (and invertebrates), there are many candidate anti-aging drugs, but very few of these drugs have actually been tested rigorously.
Why? It’s an incentives problem. Lifespan studies for mice take 2-4 years, which don’t play well with the fast pace of publication that academics want; and the FDA doesn’t consider aging a disease, so testing lifespan isn’t on biotech companies’ critical path to getting a drug approved. Mammalian lifespan studies are an underfunded area — which is where we come in.
We write grants to academic researchers and commission studies from contract research organizations. Our first planned studies are on epitalon (a peptide derived from the pineal gland, which has been reported to extend life in mice, rats, and humans, but only in Russian studies) and C3 carboxyfullerene (yes, a modified buckyball, which prevents Parkinsonism in primate models and has been reported to extend life in mice). I’m also working on a paper with Vium about some of their long-lived mice, and a quantitative network analysis of aging regulatory pathways that might turn up some drug targets.
We’re currently fundraising, so if this sounds interesting, please consider donating. The more studies that can be launched in parallel, the sooner we can get results.
10 thoughts on “Introducing the Longevity Research Institute”
If the FDA doesn’t consider aging a disease, then maybe it doesn’t consider anti-aging chemicals to be drugs and so they can go through without the FDA process.
Or am I being too hopeful?
Well, that’s how Leonard Guarente is betting — look up Elysium Health.
Thank you for doing this.
1) This is important work. Thank you for doing it.
2) Are you a non profit / registered charity? I.e. are you tax deductible?
Also you should accept PayPal on your website.
Making that happen should be one of your top priorities right now.
Trivial inconveniences are real and extremely impactful. You should accept payment / donations through every provider that reduces those inconveniences. PayPal is a minimum, but if possible also GooglePay, ApplePay, Venmo if those folks have a web payment platform, etc.
Yes, we are registered as a 501(c)3.
Sounds good. just made a small donation.
I’m not sure why drug companies would not be incentivized – there are lots of aging people who’d pay good money for something that works. FDA’s treatment does not seem to really explain it
“FDA doesn’t consider aging a disease, so testing lifespan isn’t on biotech companies’ critical path to getting a drug approved”
Some possibilities a) no insurance coverage (feels like an incomplete explanation) b) pharma makes more selling drugs to sick old people than keeping them healthy (gasp). The later would open them up to disruption though.