Rejuvenation Therapies Will Bring Expanded Choice and Freedom

Wealth is your capacity for choice, your freedom to choose. We are wealthier than our ancestors because we can choose to fly, choose not to die from common infectious disease. Choose to communicate with the other side of the world, choose not to starve. Who would want to trade positions with the elite of past centuries, near as likely as their subjects to suffer parasitism, infection, early death? Building rejuvenation therapies, as is true for the rest of modern medical science, is a matter of building new choices and new freedoms. To choose to live, to choose to be healthy in circumstances in which those options are presently not on the table.

Freedom is a rather big deal in this age. Different kinds of freedom are available in different amounts in different areas of the world, and while many people tend to see the glass half empty and complain that freedom is not equally distributed everywhere, it's undeniable that we enjoy far greater liberty than previous generations. It's not always easy to act upon your choices, and sometimes you're free to choose in theory but not in practice, but overall, we enjoy options that who came before us couldn't even dream of.

Take health, for example. Two hundred years back, if you didn't want to get the flu, or any other infectious disease, you didn't have the option not to do so. The mechanism through which infectious diseases manifest and spread wasn't even remotely understood, so you didn't have any idea what you should or shouldn't do to minimize your risk of falling ill; basic hygiene wasn't exactly a standard, and drugs and vaccines were nowhere in sight. Today, however, if you want to avoid infectious diseases, you have plenty of options to do so.

The vast majority of diseases and ailments that we still cannot really cure or prevent are the diseases of old age, and they range from being a hindrance to being debilitating and lethal. Giving people the option to be free from the diseases of aging is literally all that life extension is about. Right now, we're all sitting on a fast train heading towards disability, disease, loss of independence and dignity, suffering for ourselves and our loved ones, and, ultimately, death.

Indirectly, life extension also means having more control over how long you'd like to live, because a longer life is only the logical consequence of being healthier for longer. To me, the idea of wanting to live for only a finite amount of time sounds absolutely absurd, but that's my problem; there may well be people who have their own reasons to want to live only so long. If life extension were possible, at the very least, you would have the option to live longer, and in a best-case scenario, you'd have an option to live in perfect health for as long as you see fit. Right now, you don't have that option. In this regard, your freedom is severely limited. This is all that life extension means: the freedom to be healthy and control how long you want to exist.



Very well written article. And the last few lines sum up the supposed 'problem' some people see in life-extension: don't utilise any treatments available if you don't agree with them!

Posted by: Steven B at July 25th, 2018 6:36 AM


I agree with this sentiment. But Isn't the normal reaction to "don't use it if you don't agree with it" something along the lines of how we're going to create a class divide in society? It's amazing. People who support this don't seem to care who takes it or who doesn't, yet many who oppose it seem to oppose it for all.

Posted by: Ham at July 25th, 2018 9:25 AM

Nicola BagalĂ  has been on a roll lately. I think that this is where LEAF really shines, shaking up traditional thinking about aging and death.

Steve, I know you hang out here, please express our greatest thanks to Nicola for tackling these subjects. It gives me a place to point if people have questions about how we can make this work going forward.

If I ever meet him, I gotta buy him a few rounds. Fantastic work.

Posted by: Mark Borbely at July 25th, 2018 10:08 AM

In my view, this is all a strawman argument. It is important to address when asking for investment money. However, the moment the treatment is available the select few that don't take the option will naturally disappear within a few decades. Deftists are akin antivaxers . With the only difference that we have no proven human treatment. Like any development or invention there will be winners and losers.

Let's do a simple thought experiment, and to be fancy call it gedankenexperiment )
If humankind remained a short-lived species with a lifespan of 40 years, we would have different choices and dilemma. Different tradeoffs. If we were more or less healthy till mid 40s and then were just dropping dead, say because we become very bad at fighting infections. Then nobody would blink at mild radiation poisoning. Fukushima would be a minor news. HIV probably would quickly evolve to a chronic condition which doesn't have enough time to kill us, as happened with syphilis. Same goes for cancers, cardio-vascular and dementia.
Asbestos would be acceptable safe material. The retention of knowledge might be a bit weak, but new ideas would be accepted faster. Probably the education will be more focused and vocational. The literature would be poorer as there will be less writers and less time to spend on reading. As a species , there will be no problem. Societal changes would be faster . The technological ones , probably , would be slower due to shorter time one can work after reaching adulthood. Probably the governments would be more impatient and , as result, less tolerant. Long-trem projects would be done only as multi-generational effort.

We can imagine what would happen by increasing the lifespan by steps of 10 years and compare with what had happened in the last 200 years. Every decade added will require societal adjustments. But nothing extreme.

Posted by: cuberat at July 25th, 2018 10:16 AM

resTORBio has reported positive phase 2B top line clinical trial results for their TORC1 inhibitor, the stock as of right now is up approximately 60% on the day, link to the press release:

"A 30.6% decrease relative to placebo in the percentage of all patients treated with RTB101 10 mg once daily who developed one or more laboratory-confirmed RTIs (p=0.026)

A 20.6% decrease relative to placebo in the percentage of all patients treated with RTB101 5 mg once daily who developed one or more laboratory-confirmed RTIs (p=0.108)

No decrease relative to placebo in the percentage of patients treated with either RTB101 10 mg twice daily or the combination of RTB101 10 mg + everolimus 0.1 mg once daily who developed one or more laboratory-confirmed RTIs, suggesting that less TORC1 inhibition with RTB101 10 mg once daily may have greater benefit in high-risk elderly patients

The following decreases in the percentage of patients with laboratory-confirmed RTIs were observed in the RTB101 10 mg once daily cohort as compared to the placebo cohort:
A 68.4% decrease in all asthma patients (p=0.0002)

A 66.7% decrease in all patients 85 years of age and older (p=0.007)

A 26.9% decrease in all T2DM patients (p=0.020)

No decrease was observed in either COPD patients or current smokers; a 42.0% decrease in all patients was observed when excluding patients with COPD (p=0.002) and a 43.9% decrease in all patients was observed when excluding current smokers (p=0.001)
All doses were observed to be well-tolerated. Data from the RTB101 10 mg once daily cohort are as follows: Adverse events (AEs) were balanced between the RTB101 10 mg once daily and placebo treatment groups. 4.5% of subjects in the RTB101 10 mg once daily cohort and 7.2% of subjects in the placebo cohort had a serious adverse event, none of which were considered related to study drug. 4.5% of subjects in the RTB101 10 mg once daily cohort and 6.1% of subjects in the placebo cohort discontinued study drug due to an AE. All AEs were mild or moderate except for 11 severe AEs in the RTB101 10 mg once daily cohort and 22 severe AEs in the placebo cohort."

--Great news, wish I had decided to buy the stock!!

Posted by: Chris at July 25th, 2018 11:28 AM

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