Discussing the LifeStar Institute

If you head on over to the Immortality Institute forums, you'll find a thread in which Kevin Perrott of the LifeStar Institute is taking questions and elaborating on that Institute's work:

As you likely know, LifeStar's goal is to be the international organizing entity for the development of "restorative medicine" and that includes everything from discovery to delivery.

It is our assertion that the science necessary to restore and maintain function against the degeneration of the aging process will get done. It is the "when" that we are most concerned with and removing barriers so that the urgent need for therapies can maximally accelerate their development. Such barriers of course include funding and human resources but moreover they are inherent in the way technology is developed after discovery in the issues surrounding intellectual property and commercialization just to name a couple of critical areas. Indeed, the hardest part may not be the science, but making sure that the HUMAN components of the development equation are not the "rocks in the road".

Each community of experts associated with a vital part of the technological development process needs to be approached and engaged to invite their thoughts on building their part of the program for maximal chance of success. In order to have a compelling reason for such communities to become engaged, we need to first ensure that the scientific community is able to assert that such an engagement would be worth their effort and thus the very first part of LifeStar's efforts involve gaining that support.

You might compare that with the stated mission of FasterCures, an organization founded a few years back in response to the obvious issues with medical (over)regulation and resulting slow speed of development. Comparing the two organizations is a somewhat interesting exercise, though I don't know that it is in any way helpful at this stage. FasterCures appears very meshed with the existing political establishment, and an organization that does not or will not acknowledge that the existence of the FDA is the root of the problem isn't going to get very far - in my opinion.

Short of a revolution - which is a whole different exercise in planning - I think that the greatest short term gains in medical technology are going to come from enabling research communities in restricted and overregulated regions to develop and monetize their work in less regulated regions. In the long term, the gains will come from building new research communities beyond the reach of those politicians and bureaucrats who would regulate us all into early graves.

But to return to what the LifeStar folk are up to:

The first thing any non-scientific community is going to ask before they get involved will be "Is it really possible that we have the science to make aging an approachable challenge?" and "Why should we be concerned when there are so many other important global issues to address?". In order to be prepared to answer those questions we approached the world's recognized experts in the biology and social policy of aging and asked them to meet with us to discuss those questions and how an international collaboration might be built that could be the beginning of the LifeStar World Health Inititative's Science Program,

You can see a record of that meeting at the LifeStar Institute website. It took place at the Buck Institute in August:

The theme of the meeting was late-onset interventions in the aging process and building the global collaboration to accelerate their development. ... It was a truly singular experience and one that will be hard to repeat, but LifeStar will be looking to do exactly that with each group of leaders whose input will be necessary to develop the strategic areas critical to realizing its mission. If this meeting is any indication, we are well begun.

There is a great deal more to look over in the Immortality Institute thread, so by all means read the whole thing.


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