As the technological advancements take place, people in Silicon Valley have gotten obsessed with developing ways to stop the aging process in humans. It began with intermittent fasting and really long bike rides. However, some startup employees and venture capitalists have started to take many pills every morning, injecting stem cells in their brains or infusing their bodies with the blood of the virile and young.
This kind of life-extension and experimentation stays fringe because it is weird and there is minimal evidence if any of it works. However, Celine Halioua plans to take it mainstream using dogs. She has a startup called Cellular Longevity Inc which is developing treatments which increase the lifespan of dogs while making them active in their later years. These kinds of treatments work in canines. Halioua expects that regulators and consumers will be more favorably disposed to using similar techniques on humans.
Dogs are regarded a great model for human aging. She studied neuroscience and later worked for a venture capital world that was focused on longevity. Humans have always shared an environment with humans. They also develop diseases related to aging over time. If anti-aging science is lengthening the life of dogs, then humans will also be interested. The firm operates under the Loyal brand and has raised 11 million. It plans to begin trials in early 2022 on 2 compounds that might have anti-aging properties.
Problems in developing anti-aging therapies
The main issue when it comes to developing anti-aging therapies and drugs for people is that we have a long lifespan. Drug companies are not willing to invest in clinal trials which stretch over many years. The United States F.D.A is more comfortable with medicines that tackle specific problems instead of something that is abstract and broad as aging. For that reason, many promising anti-aging compounds are largely untested on individuals in clinical settings.
The idea of running any kinds of trials on dogs is not new. Over the last several years, about thirty thousand years, dog owners have listed their pets into the Dog Aging Project, which is an academic research study that the National Institutes of Health backed with $25 million. The project examines how environmental and genetic factors affect the aging process of dogs. It is also ruining a trial in which about two hundred middle-aged dogs will receive the compound rapamycin, which people use to prevent the rejection of organ transplants and certain kinds of cancer.
Supplements can delay aging in most tissues
According to Matt Kaeberlein, Rapamycin seems to reverse or delay the aging process pretty much in most tissues where scientists are looking at. In spite of its potential, doctors consider rapamycin to have a poor reputation, among physicians. It causes several side effects in organ transplant patients who have suffered maladies such as pseudodiabetic states and sores. Kaeberlin who is an advisor to Cellular Longevity states that the outcome occurs due to the high doses of organ transplants that patients receive. He does not expect a lot of issues with the low doses in the pills his team sneaks into the peanut butter they feed to the dogs. Kaeberlin has used rapamycin to minimize pain and inflammation in his shoulder. He says that he believes in using the drug. However, he stresses that people should not take the drug as a recommendation for others to perform similar experiments.
Canine studies that involve caloric restriction have show that the lifespan of dogs can increase by almost 2 years while delaying degenerative bone disease, cancer and other conditions. Scientists expect that combining therapies could show many more dramatic results. Kaebarlein says they can a 50 to 70 percent effect on lifespan, but it is difficult to predict without performing trials. According to nature.com, DNA studies have identified that genes which delay longevity and ageing in many species, including people. Over the past 20 years, scientists have discovered molecular mechanisms that are caused by ageing. This mechanisms can enable them to intervene, reverse or slow the process. According to researchers, it is possible to extend the lifespan in roundworms, yeast and mice. Therefore, scientists say that this can happen in humans and dogs.
Over the last 100 years, the lifespan of humans has increased markedly, mainly due to improvements in sanitation and nutrition and through the use of antibiotics and vaccines. The World Health Organization states that in 1900, the average life expectancy around the world was 31 years. Even in wealthy nations, it was below fifty. By 2015, the average life expectancy was seventy two and was eighty four in Japan. A majority of health researchers do not seek immortality, but rather to extend the health span. This is the period in which humans remain free from diseases and vigorous. This shortens old age and add one or two decades to life. The real issue is not improving the lifespan, but how humans can have a healthier lifespan.
Kaeberlin expects to treat five hundred dogs or more over a five-year period using rapamycin. This drug has been shown to increase the lifespan in mice by 30 to 40 percent. Due the rate that dogs age, they have an average lifespan of 11 years. Five years is long enough to display whether rapamycin can increase the lifespan of middle aged dogs significantly. This can also hint if this can happen in humans.
Piece by piece
The researchers who want to test drugs that can slow ageing in humans are not seeking to test them on ageing itself, but on condition which become more common in human as they age. This conditions include arthritis, arterial hardening, cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and diabetes. In the opinion of Joan Mannick, who is the chief medical officer at resTORbio in Boston, MA, scientists are breaking ageing into pieces they can tackle one piece at a time. They are tackling a common pathways that can be underlying multiple ageing-related conditions and looking at a common pathway that can have a clinical benefit. This is a necessary approach due to the conventional view that ageing is something that people should expect while illnesses like liver cancer are seen as something that went wrong. The scientific and medical community have agreed that ageing differs from disease.