Lifespan.io Launched: Crowdfunding the Cure for Aging

Our community began to crowdfund projects in longevity science, such as the ongoing SENS research programs, long before Kickstarter and the rest of the young crowdfunding industry came into being. It is inevitable and helpful that people will take the lessons of for-profit crowdfunding and try to apply them to general research funding at the small scale, as is happening at Experiment, and also inevitable that crowdfunding platforms devoted to aging and longevity research will arise, such as LabCures and now the newly launched Lifespan.io:

Lifespan.io is a project of the Life Extension Advocacy Foundation non-profit company, and is a mission driven crowdfunding platform dedicated solely to longevity research projects. We believe that centralizing and enhancing such efforts will create a strong community of contributors and researches who will help extend healthy human lifespans, both through both direct funding as well as shifting public perception in favor of this important humanitarian goal. Conquering the negative effects of aging is one of the oldest dreams of humanity, and now through the steady progress of science, we are poised to fulfill that dream.

Whether this occurs in 20 years or 200 is largely a question of funding. The best way to accelerate this process is by mobilizing those who desire the option of a longer and healthier life into a cohesive social force - crowdfunding relevant research and advocating for its benefits to society. On lifespan.io researchers post projects related to longevity or age related disease, and receive funds from contributors to fulfill their goals. Contributors, in turn, are able to exercise agency in the development of potentially life changing research, as well as receiving rewards specified by the project creators. We care about the success of and will actively support every project on our site; you won't just be one in a crowd. As we grow, the fruits of our success will be focused on furthering our shared mission.

Link: https://www.lifespan.io

Comments

Also please support the lifespan.io youtube channel, if they hit 1000 subscribers they get access to the youtube studio to make films etc...

This is the way fund raising at grassroots should be done IMO and I like how the SENS video explains things in the video and shows that even $5 buys lab equipment. We can win this war one box of pipettes at a time!

Posted by: Steve H at August 19th, 2015 8:09 AM

As I said before, what do the crowdfunders get? Nothing? When does the community understand that you should actually offer something? In my eyes, most of these projects are a huge waste of money and therefore it is no wonder that particicaption rates are a joke. Getting a new drug to the market costs 2-3 billion USD and takes 12-15 years. But the life extension community doesn't even get 2-3 millions, so it's no wonder that 20-200 (the latter sounds very realistic) years are mentioned by lifespan.io. Even the biggest crowdfunding projects for Parkinson's etc. only reach 500k to 900k USD. For this money you can recruit around 5-10 patients for a trial, that's all. Are you kidding me? Offer something the customer likes, reinvest the money into R&D and move life extension forward. Nobody cares about these videos and the hundreds of abstracts. Videos and abstracts that's all this funding creates. It's all talk and no action!

What we should do is:

1) Find promising drugs and treatments.
2) Fully disclose the risk associated with using them.
3) Offer them offshore for people (fatally ill or not) who want to take the risk. Gene therapy is well in the realm of what is possible today. CRISPR is one of the biggest breakthroughs of the last half century. However, there is one thing left to do, use it! This is how we move ahead.

Posted by: Waverunner at August 20th, 2015 1:12 AM

@Waverunner:

1) This is BASIC research. We are still very far from clinical trials. If we were near, big pharma could do it, so crowdfunding would be pointless.

2) They DO offer something, depending on the amount you donate. And, of course, the best they offer is the research results they will obtain if you found this. This would be MUCH, MUCH, MUCH MORE important than any merchandise.

3) At least some of us DO care about abstracts (and full papers). People want to know what they are funding.

4) The purpose of this mitoSENS crowdfunding is NOT to obtain a drug. That will cost at least $1 billion, the same that the whole SENS research program. The purpose of SENS research program is to obtain robust mouse rejuvenation.

It seems that you know nothing about how SENS therapies or medical research work.

Posted by: Antonio at August 20th, 2015 3:26 AM

@Antonio:

"2) They DO offer something, depending on the amount you donate. And, of course, the best they offer is the research results they will obtain if you found this. This would be MUCH, MUCH, MUCH MORE important than any merchandise."

I didn't mean merchandise, I meant experimental diagnostics or treatments or clear advice based on the conducted research. As funder I would like to be part of the research or to benefit from the outcome.

3) "At least some of us DO care about abstracts (and full papers). People want to know what they are funding."

Yes and you are free to do so. Others don't care so much about abstracts, especially when nobody controls their actual clinical relevance.

4) "The purpose of this mitoSENS crowdfunding is NOT to obtain a drug. That will cost at least $1 billion, the same that the whole SENS research program. The purpose of SENS research program is to obtain robust mouse rejuvenation."

My comments were directed at crowdfunded research for aging in general.

"It seems that you know nothing about how SENS therapies or medical research work."

I know enough about SENS therapies to see that no working treatments have been developed in the past, financing is a catastrophy and outlooks have been grim so far. The latter is improving but is far from delivering working solutions. I published research papers about network based approaches towards multimorbidity, so don't you dare to claim that I know nothing about medical research. The problem with a socialist like you (and you are a socialist because you deny people their individual freedom to choose risk) is that we run in circles. You have no idea about how markets work. Pharma is bad, government is good, don't let people choose, we have to do more research and let's all be friends.

Let's see how reality turns out.

Posted by: Waverunner at August 20th, 2015 8:27 AM

Helloooooo concern troll

Posted by: Jim at August 20th, 2015 10:22 AM

Oh boy, here we go with the nutjobbery again. Sure, let's have dying people travel overseas to "take a risk", that'll surely fund cures that actually work, right? Not just snake oil merchants who tell their patients that they have to "take a risk" on some MLM scam or "naturopathic" horsecrap or just a bunch of words strung together, all of which have an actual 0% chance of working, because telling people that something might work is a lot easier than actually making something that works.

This is why you have to know that something works before you're allowed to sell it to people. Because people "taking a risk" are easily tricked into buying something that never could work, and the more I read his posts the more I'm convinced that's Waverunner's actual business.

Also, I just love this:

"What we should do is:

1) Find promising drugs and treatments."

Because it's just that easy, right?

Posted by: Slicer at August 20th, 2015 1:35 PM

Waverunner's Instant Road to Researchâ„¢:

- We don't need basic research in order to do applied research. So don't do basic research.

- We don't need applied research in order to sell drugs. So don't do applied research either.

- Simply sell something you think can work. If patients' families don't complain too much about their belowed ones dying too soon... Congratulations! You found a cure!

....

- Profit!

Posted by: Antonio at August 20th, 2015 5:15 PM

I suppose all of the stated objectives of Lifespan.io are worthy and noble. I do believe what may only appear to be affordable for the few may someday lead to what is affordable for all (hard-line telephones ---> cell phones for example). What must be done from the beginning is agree upon a protocol that would provide conclusive evidence. A 100-year human study would be conclusive, however, it would be impractical and costly. Possibly, few who funded it would be alive to benefit from it. And forget animal studies, these lab studies only are side steps. If the end point is 7-more years of healthy independent living or reaching the age of 100, whatever objective is posited, then build agreement and move forward. However, there are caveats.

Having experience marketing a so-called anti-aging pill and having written a book on the topic, i can tell you that the public is largely lethargic over the idea of an anti-aging pill. What the public wants is vanity -- more youthful looking years --- thicker dark hair, smooth skin and viagra baby! In the public's mind, longevity = living more years in a debilitated state drooling at the mouth. I show a photo of a man blowing out 100 candles on his 100th birthday cake and before I finish explaining what it is, viewers say "Oh, I never want to live that long!" Longevinarians may be selling the public something they don't want or at least can't afford. Three-fourths of the world's population lives on less than $4 a day. Progress must move forward faster. Only elites will be able to fund such a mission impossible. The sheer volume of business generated by a 50-cent anti-aging pill rather than a $5.00/day drug should be the financial objective. The problem is that modern medicine is put out of business by such a pill. Will doctors go along with this idea. Lay aside diagnoses of dementia, heart failure, metabolic syndrome, kidney failure, cataracts and macular degeneration. It's all just aging. Now sneak whatever anti0aging elixir you have in the food chain and you have your answer. No, not Soylent Green!

Posted by: Bill Sardi at August 23rd, 2015 4:36 PM

@Bill Sardi: The need for long studies will be obviated by the development of good biomarkers that assess current biological age based on cellular state rather than the current very loose assessments of grip strength, skin elasticity, etc. Look at DNA methylation pattern research:

https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2015/05/a-review-of-dna-methylation-as-a-tool-for-measuring-age.php

Once that or something similar is done and robust, I think we'll see a lot more experimentation and assessment because the cost in time and money will plummet.

I agree that people are not as enthusiastic as they might be about longevity science. I submit, however, that your experiences are in selling things that have no meaningful effect and for which the hype far outweighs the scientific backing. The acid test of disinterest will come soon when, say, therapies to clear senescent cells by half become available; those will have sizable effects on health, judging from the mouse studies to date, and will people then ignore that? I am doubtful. I think they'll be adopted in the same way that stem cell treatments have been adopted.

Posted by: Reason at August 23rd, 2015 5:00 PM

"Having experience marketing a so-called anti-aging pill" Wahahaha, it's about time you admitted it.

"I submit, however, that your experiences are in selling things that have no meaningful effect and for which the hype far outweighs the scientific backing." Ding ding ding.

The first step in repentance is admitting your mistakes- Bill, are you finally giving up on bullshit non-cures and coming to the light side?

Well, if you are, you should remember that aging is not one process. You can't cure "aging" with one treatment, not even seven treatments. Glucosepane and other AGEs, amyloids (and I'll believe the broad-spectrum amyloid killer works after the clinical trials), mitochondrial dysfunction, senolysis (which requires several different senolytics), stem cell replenishment (and signaling environment), which requires different stem cells for each damaged tissue and organ, immune system burden, and the long-term specter of damaged DNA... each of these things needs to be handled separately.

So, no, there will not be a "pill", not without future science the likes of which we've never seen. By the time such a pill comes out, everyone reading this will either have received several different longevity treatments or be dead of old age.

I believe that longevity treatments will be embraced in a similar way to other treatments: when there's evidence that they actually work.

Posted by: Slicer at August 24th, 2015 4:40 PM

in order to get evidence that it works you have to do the basic research. This doesn't happen without funding. What you have described is a vicious cycle. And I for one want the chance even if that chance is perhaps one percent it is better than no chance at all. If I was a billionaire I would donate the money he needs to fund this. Finally, if we got just 5,000,000 people to donate 20 dollars a year. SENS would have their funding. I think you can find 5 million people to donate that much for a non zero chance at aging.

Posted by: esmaya at September 8th, 2015 7:55 PM

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