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Lifespan.io interviews George Church about gene therapy and longevity

28-Jul-2021

Key points from article :

Most big gene therapy failures happened at the very beginning, 20 years ago, when a couple of people died.

Now have hundreds of gene therapies in clinical trials, and dozens that have been approved by the FDA.

Gene therapy adds a gene, CRISPR typically subtracts a gene - a few of these trials are starting.

Most rejuvenation gene therapies are in pre-clinical animal trials.

Includes separate studies by Noah Davidsohn and David Sinclair delivering Yamanaka factors.

Rejuvenate Bio is moving gene therapy using FGF21, TGFß receptor and aKlotho into dog trials.

Could be available publicly for dogs in a couple of years, as well as in clinical trials for humans.

Large synthetic libraries are enabling in silico and in naturo (natural computing) to make new enzymes, protein therapies and viral capsid delivery systems.

Need to re-educate the FDA to be more interested in preventative medicine and in aging as a disease, but that could take time.

Longevity treatments tend to require longer clinical trials because the variation of age of onset is quite high.

Small molecules (e.g. metformin, rapamycin) require luck or very exhaustive screening - gene therapy works from first principles.

George Church confirmed his quote “there is no law of physics or other reason for an upper barrier” - but noted his goal is not longevity.

Should get results from pre-clinical animal trials in the next four or five years.

We’re in a much better shape in terms of exponential improvement in the technologies that we need for testing and synthesis.

Discusses animal trials, potential human trials, reeducating the FDA and improvements in technology

Mentioned in this article:

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Academic

Harvard professor. Author of Lifespan.

Company

Ensuring safety of drugs, medical supplies and food which is used daily.

Academic

Harvard Professor and PersonalGenomes.org Founder.

Academic

Co-Founder and CSO at Rejuvenate Bio.

Company

Company delivering age-reversing gene therapies for animals