For many years scientists, such as Robert Butler, have been endlessly searching for the fountain of youth with the closest being formulation of an anti-aging medicine. Interestingly, there is a new gene therapy, by Bioviva USA, set to reverse the muscles from aging.
Bioviva, a US-based biotech company (specializes in licensing gene therapies set to cure aging ailments) used the procedure on CEO Elizabeth Parrish. This makes her the ‘first’ person to have reconfigured the blood cells to stop aging.
“Current therapeutics offer only marginal benefits for people suffering from diseases of aging. Additionally, lifestyle modification has limited impact on treating these diseases. Advances in biotechnology are the best solution, and if these results are anywhere near accurate, we’ve made history,” commented Parrish Notes.
Working Theory of the Gene Therapy
Aging is a DNA controlled function that occurs in the chromosomes. Under the influence of telomeres, cells are given a protective cushion during cell division. repeated cell divison consequently leads to a shorter telomeres. A shot tolomere gives way to the aging process.
According to Parrish, the gene therapy has enhanced the lifespan of the telomere by a whopping 20 years. This was after she received two experimental- one containing muscle mass and the other with longevity gene- therapies back in 2015 (then 44 years of age).
To confirm this, scientists at SpectraCell tested Elizabeth white blood cells and it was noted that the telomere had lengthened from 6.71kb to 7.33kb. This meant that the health of the cells was lengthened twenty more times.
What Makes You Age and Wrinkle Up?
To understand this news it is important to grasp the science behind it. Well, the bloodstream contains DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) which carries the genetic traits. Chromosomes located in the DNA contain telomeres which compose of telomerase enzymes. It’s this component that controls the aging process.
The ‘caps’ cover the ends of the chromosome hence prevents deterioration. Aside from this, the telomere also keeps adjacent chromosomes apart thus protecting your genes. Now with time, these caps wear off making the chromosomes vulnerable to aging.
However, the rejuvenation of this gene therapy improves telomere scores (measures length of the telomere). A better score signifies more youthful cells in the human body.
Expected to Undergo Scrutiny
For any scientific breakthrough to stand out, it must be tested and acknowledged by recognized researchers and scientists. With this said, the latest progress will go through further analysis to a certain its efficacy and safety profile.
Anti-Aging Gene Therapy Being Attacked On All Fronts
The discussion of having a ‘permanent’ anti-aging solution always solicits divergent reactions. On this subject, some analysts and interested parties have shared their concerns about the success of gene therapy.
“Bioviva has the potential to create breakthroughs in human gene therapy research, while leapfrogging companies in the biotech market,” stated Dmitry Kamiskiy, founder of Deep Knowledge Life Sciences (DKLS). DKLS is an investment fund that focuses at better longer living.
However, not all are optimistic about the workability of the therapy. This bears the likes of non- believers of the capability of having “younger cells”. The situation is also instigated by the rumor of rogue staff members within the Bioviva administration team. The shortcomings of Bioviva Company don’t end here as they don’t have tangible data out in public.
Th dearth information extends even to the number of patients eligible for the gene therapy. Obviously getting more volunteers will be no mean task considering tough guidelines by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Elizabeth Parris herself had to move to Canada to have the therapy.
Apart from the gene therapy, methods such as the use of anti-aging medicine have raised a lot of criticism. A study commissioned by the public health department co-related the anti-aging treatment to hazardous effects on human health.
Prior to this, scientists had tried out the gene therapy on mice and produced convincing results. “Telomerase- treated mice, both at 1- year and 2- years of age, had an increase in median lifespan of 24 and 13% respectively,” said a representative for Spanish National Cancer Centre. Bioviva is also further focusing on the extension of the gene therapy to other sensory organs and body tissues.
As absurd as it may it sound, it is important to give this ambitious technology a chance- hoping it surpasses the hurdles- and see how far it goes.