The rejuvenation research community is very diverse. Despite each of us having their favorite projects or directions of activity, the achievement of our common goal – the extended period of health and productivity – is highly dependent on this diversity. We need advocacy organizations to educate the public and fundraise actively, in order to support fundamental research.
Once these fundamental studies are done, we need biotechnology startups to play their role in taking these new potential therapies through preclinical testing. Then bigger companies or venture investors need to support these startups with clinical trials in order to get promising interventions approved by regulatory authorities. Each stage is necessary to transform an idea into a treatment.
Regardless of what aspect of this process a person or group works within, it is always nice to meet like-minded people who are trying to find a way to achieve results sooner. There are many drugs which are already approved to treat specific diseases, but which are also known to have the potential to address aspects of the aging process. Sadly, most have not yet been tested in healthy middle-aged people in clinical trials, so we cannot be sure about their effect on the human lifespan.
So, should we just wait for a research organization or pharmaceutical company to do this? Mikhail Batin*, the head of Science for Life Extension Foundation, says no. Recently in the US to attend the conference “The Biology of Aging: Advances in Therapeutic Approaches to Extend Healthspan”, Mikhail also stopped by to visit LEAF President Keith Comito and discuss life extension activities in Russia and Mikhail’s new ambitious project – Open Longevity.
Mikhail believes there are alternative ways to organize pilot clinical trials and obtain crucial data about promising geroprotectors – information that every member of our community would benefit from. The solution is simple and elegant: members of a local community can become participants of a trial themselves, while a specialized patient organization will ensure proper procedures (study protocol development and observation, analysis of the data and preparation of a publication) are followed.
This is the main goal of Russian initiative Open Longevity, started few months ago. So far, Open Longevity is planning to test a combination of statins with sartans as a pilot project; the team is open to discussion regarding the experiment design and protocol. They are also considering calorie restriction and the well-known effects of metformin. All these interventions are relatively safe and easy to apply. The data will be accurately collected, and the project research team will publish the results in a peer-reviewed journal to share with the global community.
We wish Open Longevity every possible success and appreciate Mikhail’s team taking the time to connect with LEAF to discuss their work.
*Mikhail Batin is one of the longest active life extension advocates in Russia, along with Danila Medvedev and Valerija Pride (leaders of the Russian transhumanist movement and founders of Russian cryonics company KrioRus) in the scale of influence. He started his activities back in 2008 when the Foundation Science for Life Extension was first registered with the mission to support the scientific research to develop radical life extension techniques.
Since then, he became author and co-author of numerous books and articles promoting the idea of life extension, directly supported several research projects and organized three international conferences “Genetics of aging and longevity”, helping to establish international bonds between Russian and foreign star researchers on aging.