By stretching the definition of European to include the United Kingdom, a topic about which everyone involved seems ambivalent, we can say that November opens with a set of three European longevity conferences, all within a few days of one another. The first is in London, running today, the second in Valencia, the third in Brussels. Conferences and concrete are metrics by which one can judge the health of a field: the more events, the more interest, and the more buildings under construction at various institutions, the more advanced the state of funding. First the conferences, and then the concrete, years later, if the field continues to grow and become successful.
It is still the case that most people remain to be informed that treating aging as a medical condition is a very real possibility for the near future. Most people remain to be persuaded that preventing death and disability by aging is of great importance, indeed the most important project that our species might undertake. Yet those very same people will be among the majority that will suffer and die from aging. Aging is by far the greatest cause of harm, loss, and cost in the world, its consequences many times larger than the next most severe affliction affecting humanity. We stand on the verge of doing something about this, but the silent majority doesn't know and doesn't care. The world still needs to be awoken.
Thus conferences, networking, advocacy, and spreading the word. This is an important juncture in the growth of the rejuvenation research community, as investment in the clinical development of senolytics, the first of the new classes of rejuvenation therapies outlined in the SENS vision for the treatment of aging, is pulling new groups into this sphere at an increasing pace. Rejuvenation through periodic repair of the molecular damage that causes aging will be the basis for a vast industry of medicine, larger than anything that has come before. Everyone adult is a customer at some price point. The first successful companies to deploy working rejuvenation therapies will become behemoths capable of funding the basic science to finalize all of the SENS rejuvenation biotechnologies. If the world can be awoken, if the resources for growth obtained, then the next few decades in the medical life sciences will prove to be a wild ride indeed.
Our inaugural forum, which takes place on 5 November 2018 in London, is a true public and private partnership which will address a host of issues pertaining to the full human life cycle - both from a scientific and a social science perspective. It will bring together key opinion leaders from the worlds of government, business, science and education, to identify immediate and long-term priorities for The Longevity Forum.
Life expectancy for humankind has increased considerably in the last 100 years. In fact, now we wonder about the limit of human longevity. Living better and longer is one of the main concerns of our society as well as one of the main objectives of contemporary medicine. Thus, the scientific community is working really hard to bring advances in this sense and to broaden knowledge about the genetic basis of human longevity and the biological mechanisms related to aging. Scientists want to find therapeutic strategies to prolong life and assure a quality standard. All in all, Longevity World Forum is conceived as a new space for experts to collaborate and develop knowledge about this field.
The defeat of aging lies within our collective grasp. It's time to seize this remarkable opportunity. The Eurosymposium on Healthy Ageing proclaims the possibility and the imperative of a moonshot project to overcome all age-related diseases within 25 years by tackling aging as their root cause. The result will be a world where healthcare is far less expensive; where human well-being can be radically extended; where people place greater value on the environment and on peace, in view of their expectation of much longer lives; where the right to life is more precious than ever, because life is longer.
Key steps in this initiative will include a paradigm shift stressing the need for research on aging itself, rather than only on individual diseases of old age; the removal of regulatory and other barriers which prevent or disincentivize companies from developing treatments for aging itself; an accelerated program to test anti-aging interventions on a much larger scale than anything that exists at the moment, leading to multiple human clinical trials of genuine rejuvenation biotechnologies by 2021. These programs will require a coordinated effort at national and international level, integrating diverse existing and novel research approaches. They need to be financed by both public and private organizations, and create inclusive, affordable solutions available on equal terms to everybody.