The Foster Foundation Makes a Year-End $50,000 SENS Rejuvenation Research Fundraising Challenge

It has been a great year for SENS rejuvenation biotechnology, both for funding and for results delivered by ongoing research programs. The 2015 fundraising continues apace, with yet another organization taking up the baton to offer a matching fund. Following on from our successful $250,000 Fight Aging! 2015 fundraiser to support the work of the SENS Research Foundation, the Foster Foundation has announced a matching fund of their own. They have put up a $50,000 fund to match all donations to the SENS Research Foundation made between now and the end of the year, just two weeks away. From the latest SENS Research Foundation newsletter:

We are pleased to announce that the Foster Foundation, a longtime supporter of SENS Research Foundation, has offered us a final year end challenge. They will match dollar for dollar up to $50,000 raised from December 14th to 31st. Formerly the Rose and Winslow Foster Family Foundation, the Foundation has provided over $150,000 in donations to SRF this year. We thank them for their amazing support of our mission. Help us secure this challenge grant by donating today and helping enable SRF's critical work to end age-related disease. So far we have received $8,402.61 towards this challenge.

The rejuvenation research programs running under the auspices of the SENS Research Foundation, and related efforts conducted by a few other organizations, represent the best of current approaches to the treatment of aging. Aging is caused by forms of cell and tissue damage, and therefore the fastest approach to building effective therapies, medical technologies capable of preventing and reversing aging, is to repair this root cause damage. Sadly all too little of modern medical research is focused on this goal, and the mainstream research community has so far only broadly undertaken work for cancer, stem cell therapies, and amyloid clearance, the latter mostly in the course of efforts to treat Alzheimer's disease. These are just three slices of the seven or more broad categories of repair technology needed, and much of the present mainstream work in these fields is either not directed at the treatment of aging, or is not likely to produce meaningful outcomes in terms of repair. This is why non-profit initiatives like the SENS Research Foundation are vital to the future of our health and longevity. Non-profits undertake the work that is overlooked, unprofitable, or unpopular in the existing funding ecosystem, and as a result can unblock logjams and enable progress and adoption of specific lines of research in the broader scientific community.

The SENS Research Foundation can point to success as a patron of mitochondrial repair research over the past eight years or so, helping to build the foundation for allotopic expression - placing backups of mitochondrial genes in the cell nucleus - to the point at which Gensight is now devoting tens of millions of dollars to development of the technology. The SENS Research Foundation has also recently funded the startup Oisin Biotechnology to proof and develop a method of senescent cell clearance, and transferred some of the promising results of their lysosomal aggregate clearance research to another startup, Human Rejuvenation Technologies, for the development of treatments for atherosclerosis. They are also in the process of unblocking work on clearance of glucosepane cross-links in humans, funding the development of the tools needed for effective research and development in that area.

These are all programs with concrete results that aim at repair of causes of degenerative aging and age-related disease. Few other organizations can claim to be doing as much with such a modest yearly budget. The more that we can help the SENS Research Foundation to grow, the faster we will see real, working rejuvenation treatments. The clock is ticking and none of us are getting any younger yet - a lot of work is left to accomplish before that starts to happen, and here is the chance to help make it happen.

Comments

Not trying to be a shower nozzle, but I believe Gensight is using an Adenovirus to transfer DNA into the retinal cells. The SENS foundation seems to be attempting to genetically modify the large swathes of body that are highly metabolically active and most prone to mitochondrial mutations (deletions). I don't think any in vivo tested vector for this kind of gene therapy exists yet (although I am happy to be told otherwise)?

Posted by: Jim at December 17th, 2015 6:01 AM

@Jim: I read in an interview to Mathew O'Connor that SRF is not researching gene therapies for allotopic expression, only how to deliver these proteins to the mitochondria, since gene therapy is a well funded research field.

Posted by: Antonio at December 17th, 2015 6:13 AM

I'm just thinking that the SENS foundation will have it's 'allotopic expression of mtDNA' technology demonstrated a long time before (if ever) doctors and scientists have the ability to genetically modify large swathes of a patients body.

I was wondering if anyone could give any overview of the prospects for in-vivo gene therapy. Most of the treatments in development at present are ex-vivo gene therapies (performed on cells extracted then re-administered to the body).

Posted by: Jim at December 17th, 2015 6:18 AM

Robust delivery to a very high percentage of cells in arbitrary specific tissues or all tissues in adult individuals is indeed the challenge in gene therapy. It is the thing blocking useful medical tourism for presently otherwise technically possible gene therapies.

Posted by: Reason at December 17th, 2015 6:19 AM

@ Jim -

"I don't think any in vivo tested vector for this kind of gene therapy exists yet"

One example is Milo Biotech:

http://milobiotechnology.com/pipeline/

http://milobiotechnology.com/technology/

for BMD:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25322757

As for delivering AAV to lots of sites in the body, here is another example:

Gene delivery to the spinal cord using MRI-guided focused ultrasound

http://www.nature.com/gt/journal/v22/n7/full/gt201525a.html

there are many companies moving ahead using AAV

for ex. RegenXbio

http://www.regenxbio.com/pages/navtechnology/index.htm

Posted by: alc at December 17th, 2015 9:12 AM

Concur with Alc AAV delivery is pretty good now and the various serotypes give us a cell group specific filter to target a small population of cells or a wider range of cells depending on application.

The biggest issue with AAV in my view is cost but this will fall with the use of bioreactors able to mas produce vectors cheaply.

Posted by: Steve H at December 17th, 2015 9:53 AM

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