Yesterday at Longevity2020 was all about rejuvenation therapies, bringing together some of the world’s leading luminaries in the fight against aging.
Things kicked off with a thoughtful introduction from author and futurist Jamie Metzl, who spoke about how COVID-19 has changed the world, and how the science of aging is now less about lifespan and more about fortifying the older population against the threat of viruses. Metzl expects a number of additional economic and political crises to emerge before the end of the year, but, similar to the periods after both World Wars, we are now in a new paradigm of technology innovation.
SENS Foundation’s Aubrey de Grey presented a long term view of the challenges associated with aging. During the Ask Me Anything segment, he talked about the so-called ‘Longevity dividend’ and how COVID-19 has demonstrated that the existing systems supporting older people are not fit for purpose and need to change now.
Longevity.Technology: The Ask Me Anything segments at Longevity2020 are proving to be very informative and highly interactive. With three exciting days still to come, note that one-day VIP passes are available, giving you the option to participate in an Ask Me Anything session.
Nir Barzilai of the Institute for Aging Research spoke about metformin, which is the focus of his upcoming TAME trial. As a low-cost existing compound, he suggests metformin will be able to deliver an extra two to three years of lifespan, pointing out that even if curing heart disease wouldn’t achieve this result. Barzilai feels metformin should be prescribed to older people now and spoke about how he will be retrospectively studying COVID-19 patients to understand if those on metformin had an advantage against the virus.
The Healthy Lifespan Institute’s Ilaria Bellantuono focused on how a new geroprotector called Zoledronate shows improved healthspan in animal models. Used for the treatment of osteoporosis, the drug is also associated with increased Longevity and reduced rates of infection, and her lab will be doing further studies on this.
Fight Aging!’s Reason brought everyone back down to earth with some perspective on the reality of rejuvenation developments, stating that work has “barely started” on practical rejuvenation. He feels that, while senolytics are showing positive signs of progress, there are many other fields that are nowhere near as advanced.
In addition to interesting updates from big-hitting public Longevity companies in the form of AgeX’s Michael West and resTORbio’s Joan Mannick, we also heard exciting news from Harvard University’s Vadim Gladyshev. He revealed that his lab is working with some excellent drugs candidates, with studies showing a two-to-three-fold increase in lifespan.
João Pedro de Magalhães from the University of Liverpool spoke about his view that we have reached a plateau in our understanding of the genetics of biology. This is in contrast to the huge increase seen in drugs proposed for Longevity. We also concur with his more conservative view of the number of companies actually doing anti-aging work – check out Who’s Who in Gerontology for a more focused list than you might see elsewhere.
Representing the next generation of Longevity research and development, Nina Khera is a 14-year old Longevity scientist and founder of senolytics start-up Biotein. Khera hosted a lively panel discussion that explored the most promising therapies for rejuvenation that the the panel’s experts had seen recently.
“It’s been great to see such lively online debate – especially during the Ask Me Anything segments,” said Longevity.Technology’s editor-in-chief Phil Newman. “We’re thrilled to have been able to facilitate this by bringing together so many of the key players in Longevity in one place at the same time.”
Today’s session is focused on AI & Longevity and will look at how machine learning is accelerating the frontier of anti-aging research and development. See you online!
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