Can a drug help us grow old without our bodies falling apart?

old

The idea behind [Biotech startup] Unity—preventing aging—sounds crazy, but it’s backed by dozens of scientific papers, the key two in Nature. There are aging cells, called senescent cells, that build up throughout the body and contribute to what we think of as old age—things like achy joints, waning vision, even perhaps Alzheimer’s. Kill those senescent cells with drugs, [Nathaniel] David reasons, and people might be able to grow old without becoming infirm.

“Like, how awesome would it be?” asks David, a preternaturally youthful 50. “The problem is you have to take the first baby step to demonstrate it’s possible. That’s what chapter one is: demonstrate in a human being that the elimination of senescent cells takes a heretofore inescapable aspect of aging and can either halt it or reverse it.”

Related article:  Viewpoint: Call for moratorium on heritable gene editing reminds us of gene therapy's troubled early days

It’s an amazing goal, backed by great science, not to mention $222 million in venture capital and $85 million raised from a May initial public offering, which valued Unity at $700 million, flat with its last fundraising. But achieving that goal also entails incredible risk.

Unity has raised so much money precisely because its executives know it may take multiple tries to find a medicine. It’s not known what the risks of killing senescent cells are; it’s possible they could include, for instance, slow wound healing. There’s no way to know until human tests begin.

Read full, original post: A Biotech Entrepreneur Aims To Help Us Stay Young While Growing Old

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: What are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and how do they work?

Infographic: What are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and how do they work?

As of 1 December 2020, thirteen vaccines have reached the final stage of testing: where they are being given to ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend