Articles on Senolytics are Starting to Look Just Like Articles on any Other Field of Medical Research and Development

It is probably worthy of note that press articles on the treatment of aging via senolytic therapies are becoming similar in tone and content to press articles on any other active field of medical development. Take this example, publicity for Unity Biotechnology and their work on senolytic therapies to clear senescent cells from old tissues and thus remove one of the contributing causes of aging and age-related disease. It is formatted as a discussion of trials, funding, and this company or that company, this lab or that lab. It exhibits little of the breathless nonsense as to why we shouldn't address aging and its consequences, a regular feature of the past decade of coverage, and is more a matter of business as usual. Whether this heralds a sweeping change in the way in which the world views aging is anyone's guess, but the existence of major investment and sizable companies working on therapies for aging does serve to make it increasingly challenging to be a naysayer on the topic of extended healthy longevity without appearing foolish.

Osteoarthritis is the first disease Unity Biotechnology is tackling, and that one disease represents a huge opportunity: By 2026, the market for osteoarthritis drugs will be $2.6 billion in the U.S. alone. The company is currently in a phase 1, government-approved safety trial with about 40 patients in multiple sites across the U.S. The goal is to show that the drug Unity is developing - what's called a senolytic agent - can be injected into the knee and tolerated by patients in gradually higher doses. Ultimately, the thinking is that such a drug can destroy senescent cells, effectively halting or reversing osteoarthritis in the knee. In the future the same drug might be effective in treating pain elsewhere in the body.

"Osteoarthritis standard of care begins with ibuprofen, then steroids, and then most people's standard of care is just accepting it: you're old, that sucks, and you're now in pain for the rest of your life. But we think there's a better way, by looking through the lens of biological insight of why those diseases happen in the first place."

Over the last decade the titans of the tech industry have dedicated money toward cutting-edge research focused on curing disease as well as slowing, delaying and, possibly one day, reversing the conditions of old age. Perhaps the most visible example is Calico, short for the California Life Company, a spin-out from Google launched in 2013 and funded with $1.5 billion to study the causes of aging and what to do about them. "People in Silicon Valley look at problems as solvable, with enough time and enough steps. And, obviously, the size of the return is huge. If you're able to bring anything like that to the market, you have something that's universally needed. Senescent cells are really one of the first bona fide targets of aging that we've found we've been able to do something about."

Taking aim at senescent cells is a treatment paradigm being used not only by Unity Biotechnology, but also by research hospitals in the U.S. A team at the Kogod Center on Aging at the Mayo Clinic is currently testing the use of senolytic drugs in treating chronic kidney disease in humans. "The time has finally arrived that our knowledge of biology and our sophistication level is sufficient that we can attack some of these fundamental, underlying causes of aging."

Link: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/29/jeff-bezos-backs-silicon-valley-scientist-working-on-a-cure-for-aging.html

Comments

If you are too operate in the existing framework then you have to agree to the established format. If your results are promising you don't have to bring moral justification, just get funding and FDA/industry approval.

And if there's money to be made , then it is much easier too

Posted by: Cuberat at August 31st, 2018 8:23 AM

What I'm personally concerned is that - yes, senescence cell therapy will probably emerge in the next 5 years - but since there are lots of different types of senescent cells, you will need whole host of senolitics... In terms of longevity, what good is a senolytic therapy for your joints, if you need another therapy for cardiovascular system, another for the brain - if it even clears the whole brain - another for the lungs, etc, etc.. Who can pay for 10 different senolytic therapies? I'm sure one day there will be universal therapy for the whole body, but ...

Posted by: DarwiN at August 31st, 2018 3:11 PM

@DarwiN : The state will pay for it, just like it already pays for cancer treatments.

Posted by: Spede at August 31st, 2018 3:19 PM

>Who can pay for 10 different senolytic therapies? I'm sure one day there will be universal therapy for the whole body, but ...
We don't know how universal or expensive this treatments will be. If dasatinib+querc├ętin work, then a single rhetoric dose would be 100 dollars .
Mind that dasatinib is pretty expensive. So if your need treatments every 6 months and you have a down of turkeys your would need to pay 200 a month. Not exactly cheap but much cheaper than being chronically I'll.

Of course, some of the therapies will be approved earlier and some later. Some will be more expensive, some cheaper. But it also depends on the economies of scale and provider negotiation. The first complex therapies will cost as much as the market can bear. After a few years the prices will have to go down either because of competition from some alternative approches pour from public perception outcry. There will be different jurisdictions with different costs too. Imagine anti-aging bootleggers.. people who obtain treatments by bypassing the official channels. Literally them agjng leggers ;)

Posted by: Cuberat at August 31st, 2018 3:57 PM

I noticed as well in an article I read recently that in the comments section - the number of comments from "deathists" was much fewer and there were many more rationalists who were praising anti-aging research than had been the case in the past.

Posted by: Link at September 1st, 2018 5:27 PM

Oisin biotechnology is most likely to be the best at senescent cell clearance. If the phase 1 trials look good it seems logical to make the treatment available to everyone with osteoarthritis of the knee.

Posted by: Tj Green at September 3rd, 2018 4:24 PM

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