Young blood – what’s the reality behind the blood plasma hype?

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The evolution of plasma-based therapeutics is happening at light speed and it’s set to be one wild ride – find out more in our brand-new report on young blood.

Today we launch our new report on young blood (our subscribers had exclusive early access on 31st October, as we thought Hallowe’en was an opportunity too fantastic to be missed!). Our report seeks to understand the reality behind the blood plasma hype – is it really an elixir of youth? What role to chronokines play? What are the investment opportunities available?

Longevity.Technology: Young blood generates plenty of headlines; on Longevity.Technology alone, we’ve covered Ambrosia overcoming its FDA warning, the University of Berkeley’s plasma dilution experiments and Nugenics Research’s 54% age reversal in animal study, as well as interviews with Harold Katcher and Irina Conboy.

The appetite for tackling aging via the blood and support for the hypothesis that the circulatory system could be a key to full body regeneration are growing with discoveries in murine models and the significance of other preclinical and clinical evidence. However, there is still unease in the science community about applying these therapeutics before thorough clinical trials, due to the safety risks and the ease of unlicensed transfusion of young blood. We aim to steer a path between the fear and the hype, objectively assessing the risks, rewards and opportunities.

Our report sets-out the role for young blood plasma as a valid and scalable therapy for mitigating diseases of aging through medically valid rejuvenation techniques, and it comes in two sections; Part 1 is a deep dive for scientists into the pathways and interventions that could deepen knowledge for a start-up or scientist interested in the space and looking for an overall view into young blood and Part 2 is for potential investors explaining the investment opportunities in young blood.

Young blood – what's the reality behind the blood plasma hype?

The science of young blood

Findings in the last few decades have made it impossible to ignore the integrative nature of human physiology and disease; organs and tissues once thought to act and behave largely independent of one another – the brain and the gut, for example – are now known to be in constant communication with one another and co-dependent in nature. Similarly, pathologies that were once thought to be separate are now understood to be intimately connected. This is exemplified by the rapid accumulation of comorbidities after an initial disease arises and begs the question, what is the source of biological information that is being propagated across the body leading to everything going pear-shaped? And how is this information being propagated?

The circulatory system – our blood – carries a rich density of information that is distributed throughout the body and represents a powerful method of communication. There is emerging evidence that suggests the body co-opts the circulatory system to coordinate aging via the secretion of factors called chronokines. Chronokines can be progeronic factors that accelerate aging, or youth factors that accelerate rejuvenation. Many companies developing therapeutics in the blood and circulation area are looking for chronokines in the plasma of the blood.

Factors that cells routinely secrete into the bloodstream to communicate are known as the body’s communicome. Aging is driven by an imbalance in plasma chronokines and a dysfunctional communicome. Plasma derivatives offer the opportunity for developing a wholly new paradigm for treating age-related disorders through the communicome, and there are plasma-based therapeutics that can be used to restore balance; our report delves into these, assessing the strengths and weaknesses.

We also consider heterochronic parabiosis, how to optimise the efficacy of plasma-based therapeutics, chronokine mimetics, the Goldilocks zone for plasma fractions, extracorporeal filters and many more. Our report covers stem cell signalling, finding out how old bodies can ‘remember’ to be young and intercellular signalling and how chronic inflammation, senescence and inflammaging can be ameliorated by plasma therapeutics.

The investment opportunity of young blood

Due to plasma’s regenerative capacity, plasma therapies have significant potential to target multiple diseases of aging; currently, plasma-based therapies are comparatively expensive, but price points will drop as technologies mature and more data is collected. This incentivises healthcare providers to cover costs and make it more accessible to the general public.

Although there are still misconceptions about the ethical issues surrounding young blood (vampires, anyone?), there are a number of companies going through clinical trial phases to ensure the efficacy and safety of their plasma-based therapeutics. there are already approximately 200,000 plasma exchanges procedures performed worldwide each year, and the procedure is approved to treat more than 50 relatively uncommon diseases. Our report highlights some of the most impactful disease markets where plasma-based therapeutics show promise based on both preclinical and clinical data.

Our report also dives into some of the companies in the space, looks at the regulation involved and covers how to make sense of the preclinical, clinical and non-clinical data in order to be better informed about the space.

Are we ready to administer young blood therapies? Download our free report to find out!

Eleanor Garth
Deputy Editor Now a science and medicine journalist, Eleanor worked as a consultant for university spin-out companies and provided research support at Imperial College London and various London hospitals in a former life.

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