Reporting on the Longevity Leaders Conference

Some of the Life Extension Advocacy Foundation folk were at the recent Longevity Leaders conference in London, and wrote up a report on the event. The conference split up into three streams later in the day, one of which is followed here. Being focused on the pensions and life insurance industries as much as biotechnology, there were a lot of people present with minimal exposure to the prospects for rejuvenation and slowing of aging. It was noteworthy to see so many there being newly interested in the topic of treating aging as a medical condition, and motivated to learn more because it is important to their work in other areas of endeavor.

The conference was quite broad in scope and included people from the aging research community, the pharmaceutical industry, general healthcare, and the business and insurance fields. Speaking of insurance companies, it was interesting that the large insurance companies Prudential and Legal & General were both sponsoring the event; Prudential had even produced an interesting booklet for guests with the title "Prepare for 100" boldly on the cover. The book went on to talk about the changes coming to medicine and how people could soon be living longer than ever before thanks to the new medical approaches that are currently being developed.

Dr. Aubrey de Grey was in fine form as usual during the keynote panel discussion at the start of the event, just as he was when, later that day, I had the opportunity to interview him about progress with SENS. While we will be publishing the interview I did with Aubrey later, it's a good time to share the interesting concept of damage crosstalk now. It turns out that Aubrey has become more optimistic about the medical control of age-related damage and has moved his prediction of longevity escape velocity down from 20 years to 18. Quite simply, there is increasing evidence that the different aging processes have a lot more influence and interaction with each other (crosstalk) than previously thought.

Lynne Cox, a biochemist from the University of Oxford, chaired a discussion panel with Brian Delaney, president of the Age Reversal Network and who serves on our Industry Advisory Board, and Tristan Edwards, the CEO of Life Biosciences. The discussion topics were "What's at the cutting edge of aging research and development?" and "How can we accelerate research and development and the advancement of new therapies to address aging and age-related disease?" The panel was in a round table format, and attendees were also able to directly join the discussion, which proved lively and interesting. Lynne Cox, in particular, provided some very informative details about aging research.

There was considerable discussion about senescent cell clearing therapies as well as touching upon the topic of biohacking. The general feeling was that biohacking had the potential to set the field back if people conduct it in an unscientific manner and harm themselves in the process. Indeed, this echoes our sentiment that people who self-test at home should be very careful and apply a science-based approach to what they are doing. The bottom line is that if you are not recording your biomarkers and doing things scientifically, you risk hurting yourself and are taking things on faith rather than evidence; this also has potential to harm the field and set research back, so please hack responsibly.

On a more positive note, the panel was in favor about science doing something about aging and age-related diseases, and discussion of senolytics, senomorphics (therapies that block senescent cell inflammation), and cellular reprogramming were all enthusiastically discussed, especially by the academics present. This is very welcome, and it was great to see so many academics being frank about the potential of medicine to bring aging under medical control in order to prevent age-related diseases, which is in stark contrast to a decade ago, when suggesting the idea could harm your career and get you mocked by your peers. Times have certainly changed, as more and more researchers are now focusing on how we can rise to the challenge that aging presents.



Does he mean LEV from today or when therapies arrive?

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 8th, 2019 10:11 AM


Aubrey used to say (For as long as he has been doing this)...

"I give it a 50/50 chance that we can get all the components of damage repair under control within 20 years".

Given the media hoopla and sensationalism that follows poor Aubrey since day 1, making him sounds like a wild-eyed optimist, he's actually VERY careful of the timeframes he gives. Aubrey has never moved his dates before. This tells me that things have changed considerably.

I've often thought that aging would be highly interconnected. I've had a chance to look at some of the results from experimenting with mice. Its rather encouraging to know that what is likely to be the first true rejuvenating therapy (Senolytics) will be quite broad in its effects.

We are close people.. real close.

This also suggests that a combination of treatments that combat aging will have a synergistic effect. Of course only running the proper experiments will tell for sure, but this gives us a pretty good idea of what is possible.

Posted by: Mark Borbely at February 8th, 2019 11:06 AM

Hmm, I thought I read through this blog a month or two that Audrey sped up his prediction from 20 years for LEV down to only 10 years and someone commented it may have been because he is involved with AgeX and that they are making new (very optimistic) discoveries. Maybe I read or remember it wrong since it is quite a timeline change from 20 to 10 years.

Posted by: Robert at February 8th, 2019 12:11 PM

I still don't quite understand, does this mean in our lifetime?

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 8th, 2019 12:22 PM


If you are under say 60 and live an average lifespan and don't get hit by a bus... Likely.
If younger your odds go up considerably.

Posted by: Mark Borbely at February 8th, 2019 1:19 PM

@Mark Borbely

I am 24 years old so I am confused when he talks about lEV in 18 or 20 years, is it from now?

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 8th, 2019 1:23 PM

@Dokuganryu, if you don't get it by the bus and don't have serious health issues in the next 18 years, you will probable make it to LEV. Most anyone who makes it for the next 18-20 years, will be ok, healthwise per Audrey.

For some of us older people, we just have to be careful with our bodies until medical tech can get rid of the aging issues to causes us to serious medical problems.

Posted by: Robert at February 8th, 2019 1:33 PM


Does that mean the therapies will be out?

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 8th, 2019 1:43 PM


Yes.. from now.

So you won't even be 50 when a lot of this tech will be available.

Count yourself as lucky!

For us in our 40's, its going to be a much closer shave, but still likely achievable.

Posted by: Mark Borbely at February 8th, 2019 1:59 PM

@Mark Borbely
I wish my mom would manage it :(

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 8th, 2019 2:00 PM

Why younger than 60? - much older people could make it. Additional time left per year passed won't jump from one month, which is approximately the current gain for older people, to one whole year (LEV) on the 1st of January 2037.

While not homogeneous, progress will be gradual. In fact, even at the current rate of scientific improvement, someone who is 80 should already live longer than what's considered an average lifespan. This is for two reasons:

1. An 80 year old person's life expectancy goes up roughly one month per year (a bit less with each passing year), a gain
expected to increase in the 2020s as traditional medicine keeps chipping away at diseases one by one and the first rejuvenation therapies hit the market.

2. Someone who is 80 has obviously avoided death up to that age. The risk of dying before 82 for a baby is thus much higher than the risk of dying before 82 for an 80 year old. So life expectancy for an 80 year old is greater than life expectancy at birth.

In other words, we must distinguish:

1. PERIOD life expectancy (without improvements) from COHORT life expectancy (with improvements). Period life expectancy makes no sense on an individual level. This is particularly true for the young (the risk of death at 80 for someone who is 20 today will be much lower in 2079 than the risk of death at 80 for someone who is 80 in 2019), but it applies to the elderly too.


2. Life expectancy AT BIRTH (the figure quoted when talking about an "average lifespan") and life expectancy AT ANY GIVEN AGE. The second is always higher.

The point is that while it is extremely difficult to predict whether anyone will make it to LEV - whatever its date - the odds are always going to be greater than what a current "average life expectancy" would suggest.

Posted by: Barbara T. at February 8th, 2019 8:20 PM

However, I wonder whether anyone knows if LEV applies to all age groups.

For example, it is possible that by the date suggested a 50 year old could see one year of extra life added to his life expectancy with each year that goes by, which would effectively result in an indefinite lifespan.

But I wonder whether de Grey envisages the technology being advanced enough to mean LEV for an octogenarian, whose body will obviously be way more damaged.

I think this is explained somewhere in an old paper of his, but I can't remember the details.

Posted by: Barbara T. at February 8th, 2019 8:30 PM

I started reading about life extension ideas through drugs around the year 2000. Things were even more hazy back then for LEV. It wasn't until ~2013 that the first studies of a drug in animals showed real results, that was the senolytics drugs in mice. Then there was the interesting results with Metformin.

To give another example look at the circulating youth factors in young blood and how it seems to help older mice, possibly by telling the dna to run younger age programs. This idea has emerged over the last two years. Will it be one factor that can be upregulated with small molecule drugs. And how big of a gain can this mean. We just don't know at this point. But a couple years ago this idea was not even known at all.

What other ideas are going to emerge in the next couple years. We have no idea really. What I do know is that this is accelerating hugely over the last five years. It is getting exciting as a number of ideas that show results in mice are actually being developed by startup companies right now.

In the next five years what I am hoping for is for these companies to keep scaling up, more companies to go for the opportunities, and more new ideas with big potential to emerge.

Posted by: aa3 at February 8th, 2019 10:58 PM

Barbara T., it is a good question whether LEV applies to all age groups. I expect the numbers to look like we are adding 1 month per year for say someone who is already 60. Then we are adding 2 months, and eventually 1 year per year. But I expect we would only be at the rate of 1 year per year gain for a brief period, as we would then go to 2 years per year and so on.

The 80 year olds will get first access to the drugs. As the 80 year olds will be more likely to have outright ailments in organ systems. And thus get reimbursement for the drugs. The anti-aging drugs will be approved to treat specific indications at first. Like instead of being approved to treat aging, the drug might be approved to treat kidney disease. With then the anti-aging company running other trials to get label expansions into other diseases.

The 60 year olds who do not have kidney disease, they aren't going to get approval for a new anti-aging drug approved for kidney disease. Much broader use of these drugs will come eventually, but that is how I see it playing out at first.

Posted by: aa3 at February 8th, 2019 11:07 PM

@aa3: If I am 80 and my remaining life expectancy is 5, even if my remaining life expectancy is 5 again when I am 81, the risk that I will die soon is very high because my baseline risk is very high. And it will stay that way unless we start adding decades per year that goes by. So the whole 1 X 1 year thingy only makes sense for the young.

For example, this would work for a 30 year old who is expected to live 50 additional years (low probability of dying anytime soon). At 31 he can still look forward to 50 more years (as opposed to 49 point something). And again at 32, 33, 34 etc.

Bringing up LEV to 2 or 3 or 15 years doesn't really make sense... LEV should be LEV (what allows you to escape death by aging). It can't be a blanket figure but must be adjusted for how old someone is.

Posted by: Barbara T. at February 9th, 2019 12:05 AM

I agree that it will have to be adjusted for how old someone is. I think gaining 2 years or 4 years or whatever per year still is valuable when looking at it from a statistical level. Because even at 1 year gain per year, some people will still be dying of any given age group. Like right now some 30 year olds don't live to see 31.

Just as a statistical average their remaining life expectancy will be increasing at whatever the gain per year is currently at.

Perhaps we need a standard age for which we are talking about LEV. Although the general concept of LEV is to show how there is more hope for massive life extension in currently living people than they expect.

Posted by: aa3 at February 9th, 2019 1:44 AM

@Barbara T: IIRC, Aubrey puts the cut-off in the 60-70 years of age to fully benefit from SENS 1.0 when it arrives, for average people. In your 80s and above, things get harder and you will need good genetics (like Jeanne Calment and co). Also, when he says that the first person to reach 1000 is already born and is in her 60s now, he refers to those people in the Calment class.

Posted by: Antonio at February 9th, 2019 3:36 AM

How we will know how many years we have remaining? I am bit confused in that regard, how can they say we won't die of old age. Are the SENS therapies with reversing damage on the horizon?

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 9th, 2019 3:46 AM

@Dokuganryu: The first tentative therapies (dasatinib+quercetin, for example) are already available, and the first confirmed therapies will be available next year or so (Unity's candidate drug, etc.). LEV is a different beast, of course.

Posted by: Antonio at February 9th, 2019 4:29 AM

That still isn't reversing aging though. I don't know how to even get to dasatinib + quercetin :/

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 9th, 2019 4:35 AM

By "confirmed" I meant "confirmed to eliminate SENS damage", not "confirmed to produce rejuvenation". And by "rejuvenation" I mean "bringing back death rates to more youthful levels".

As for obtaining tentative therapies, see here:

Posted by: Antonio at February 9th, 2019 4:47 AM

This is where I would rather wait for doctors or hospitals to start administrating SENS therapies. I don't know, I probably feel safe when SENS arrives which I guess might not happen during my lifetime. Or I am just confused how fast is SENS progressing, when will rejuvenation take place etc.

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 9th, 2019 4:49 AM

I will also wait too.

Posted by: Antonio at February 9th, 2019 4:52 AM

Maybe I understand the whole concept of rejuvenation or LEV wrongly but I would very much liked not to die of old age. But I am not sure how much work is put into the rejuvenation and I know SENS somehow struggles with funding.

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 9th, 2019 5:05 AM

I strongly recommend not playing with dasatinib and waiting. Its a dirty old drug with some potentially serious side effects so unless you absolutely know what you are doing and are monitoring your biomarkers carefully you should not do it. One person dying could set the field back years, don't be that guy.

Back to what Aubrey said, he mentioned what he said to me at LSX also during our recent MitoSENS webinar too when I asked him about RMR. He has moved the estimate for RMR and RHR down two years due to the larger amount of crosstalk than previously anticipated. This was in particular due to senolytics and its effect on other hallmarks, this makes sense that it would do this as none of the aging processes work in total isolation and it seems they work much closer than thought, he is happy about this as he put it, this means therapies like senolytics could have a bigger "bang for the buck". His estimate of LEV is based on when he thinks the technology will be available, though the availability is likely to vary depending on where in the world one is.

It's also looking like Glucosepane breakers are getting closer to a spin-off company and moving forward which is superb news too. We will be bringing you a SENS - Where are we now? for 2019 soon so stay tuned.

Posted by: Steve Hill at February 9th, 2019 6:20 AM

@Dokuganryu: There are some interviews with Aubrey about funding here. As I understand it, SENS Research Foundation (or non-profit SENS research in general) is still low and unreliable (around $4-5M per year), but funding for SENS-related companies is pretty good and and increasing at a fast pace. So this gap between non-profit/for-profit research will likely increase and maybe become a stop-gap, IMHO.

The most recent opinion about funding I know of is this:

Posted by: Antonio at February 9th, 2019 6:47 AM

With all this talk about Aubrey, and LEV, I can't help but think back to this article from October featuring Judith Campisi, where she kind of throws him under the bus a bit, and essentially says he's lying when it comes to predictions:

"Campisi stresses that living forever is not the goal of most research on aging. Instead, she says it's primarily aimed not at life span but "health span"-increasing the number of years that people can remain physically and mentally agile.

Campisi has known de Grey for years, collaborates with SENS and even serves on the organization's advisory board. I ask what she makes of his assertion that someone alive today will reach the age of 1,000.

"I have to tell you Aubrey has two hats," she says, smiling. "One he wears for the public when he's raising funds. The other hat is when he talks to a scientist like me, where he doesn't really believe that anyone will live to 1,000 years old. No.""

"But we're still going to die. I'll remind you of the mouse models, where we eliminate senescent cells. There's a significant increase in median life span, but there's no increase in maximum life span. In a way, the mice died healthier. I think that's the goal, and I think that that's what the venture capitalists are hoping for, because that will be the kind of intervention that will be broadly applicable and will be very desirable. The conflict is with those who think that we're going to live to be 200 or 300 or more years old. That's not realistic at this point."

Some Silicon Valley enthusiasts have been saying that life-span extension up to 500 or 1,000 years is feasible.

"Well, it's religion. It's not science. I mean, that's all I can say. It's based on belief, not based on any data. People are certainly welcome to believe whatever they want to believe. But it doesn't make it true!""

Is Judith just giving a safe answer here? Or is this more likely the real answer?

Posted by: Ham at February 9th, 2019 6:50 AM

@ Ham

Yeah I saw that article and don't really know what to make of it...Also dying healthy? Wonderful, so now you can't even blame disease for dying. But I think it's because of amyloid build up in very old people, well what essentially kills people at 120. I think that should be figured out somehow tho.

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 9th, 2019 7:04 AM

To me, it seems very difficult to predict research and therapy development for such lengthy periods of time. As a slight tangent, would senolytics help with brain-related disease and brain mass deterioration over time? If not, then what other prospective therapies?

Posted by: Ted at February 9th, 2019 7:10 AM

I don't want to reopen an old debate (I posted a lot there) but I will simply say that I don't understand why she is in SRF advisory board if she has such a bad opinion of SENS and Aubrey. You can have different opinions (I think her view on aging interventions is non-sensical) but at least be honest.

Posted by: Antonio at February 9th, 2019 7:19 AM

I mean, you can disagree on details, but if you disagree on the core of SENS (we don't need to have a complete knowledge of aging to intervene, only eliminate 7 damage categories and we will reach LEV in a few decades, not millennia) I don't know what you are doing at SRF. It's like being a gun control advocate and at the same time being a member of the NRA.

Posted by: Antonio at February 9th, 2019 7:34 AM

But are we close to the means of having everything set up for 7 damage categories? Aka do we have a chance to live to see it? Is that what Aubrey meant saying lev in 18 years?

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 9th, 2019 7:42 AM

@ Antonio

I still don't quite understand. Is this coming in 18 years?

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 9th, 2019 8:51 AM


Some of the SENS interventions have realistic pathways in the clinic - such as senolytics (being tested now) and cross-link breakers (failed in the clinic last decade but only a matter of re-tuning)

Others, such as amyloid scavenging anti-bodies are failing miserably in the clinic and require a whole new re-think

Don't hold your breath waiting for pipe dreams like WILT to ever materialize

Posted by: U.S. DrugDev at February 9th, 2019 8:53 AM

Well that doesn't sound so great, already loathing my existence enough.

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 9th, 2019 8:57 AM

@Dokuganryu: There is a lot of uncertainty in predictions of technological developments. Aubrey always says that his predictions have a 50% chance, provided funding is good. So: a 50% chance of reaching LEV in 18 years from now, provided good funding starts to flow now, not only in the for-profit field (where it's already flowing) but also in the non-profit field. Also, there is a 10% chance that LEV is not reached in the next 100 years.

Posted by: Antonio at February 9th, 2019 9:01 AM

And I add: less calculating and more advocating ;)

Posted by: Antonio at February 9th, 2019 9:02 AM

I guess killing myself at 50 is the only hope then :(

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 9th, 2019 9:03 AM

Not everyone ages at the same rate. Some people like myself are biologically 20 years younger at 80, while fast agers are biologically 20 years older at 80 and are at death's door. You need to factor your biological age in when considering how many years you have left to be able to benefit from LEV drugs.

Posted by: Biotechy Marcks at February 9th, 2019 10:10 AM

I don't know what my biological age is honestly but about the amyloid clearance etc, It fails because the people already have Alzheimer, therefore you can't reverse heavy damage as that ( I think stem cells for that are more ideal)

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 9th, 2019 10:16 AM

@Dokuganryu: Amyloid is produced mainly by the platelets in the blood vessels. It is thought by some researchers that it is carried to the brain where in a two-step process it become amyloid beta and contributes/causes AD. Some of the amyloid in the bloodstream also no doubt contributes to plaque formation and clots and contributes to cardiovascular diseases. One partial solution is to have low levels of platelets. I have a platelet count around 105K, whereas most people have a count of 250-500K. With CRISPR technology, perhaps in the future we could reduce platelet counts where you would not get so much extra almyloid. You only need a platelet count of 100K for clotting purposes, but what is the need for the high counts most people have. It could be a disease waiting to happen if you have high platelet counts.

Posted by: Biotechy Marcks at February 9th, 2019 10:44 AM

But sens etc is already working to tackle cardiovascular diseases no?

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 9th, 2019 10:57 AM


SENS cardiovascular program is focused primarily focused on the degradation of 7-Ketocholesterol in atherosclerosis via the potential application of enzymes isolated from "graveyard" soil bacteria and fungi

As a purely petri dish experiment at this point, project a good 5-7 years until any application in humans

Posted by: U.S. DrugDev at February 9th, 2019 11:14 AM

Sens isn't the only one working on atherosclerosis though, they are mostly the proof of concepts, George Church is working on it as well.

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 9th, 2019 11:20 AM

>Sens isn't the only one working on atherosclerosis though, they are mostly the proof of concepts, George Church is working on it as well.

During his last presentation he talked so casually and almost dismissively of so many issue like they are solved. And solving each one of them is Nobel prize level...

Posted by: cuberat at February 9th, 2019 12:48 PM


You think he is lying?

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 9th, 2019 2:18 PM

No, either I misunderstood him or he thinks of them as no issues.. or he acutely has solved miss of them?

Posted by: Cuberat at February 9th, 2019 2:34 PM

George Church is a bio rock star

But he's 64 and realizes everything he is involved with in terms of gene therapy is at best 10 years out from the market, when he'll be in the twilight of his career

So he is unfortunately full of promotional hype

Posted by: U.S. DrugDev at February 9th, 2019 3:57 PM

Inspiring to hear AD has reduced his LEV estimate. Cross talk, good phrase.

Posted by: JohnD at February 9th, 2019 6:27 PM

@Antonio, You replied to Barbara with what Audrey stated:

@Barbara T: IIRC, Aubrey puts the cut-off in the 60-70 years of age to fully benefit from SENS 1.0 when it arrives, for average people. In your 80s and above, things get harder and you will need good genetics (like Jeanne Calment and co). Also, when he says that the first person to reach 1000 is already born and is in her 60s now, he refers to those people in the Calment class.

As I assume many of use are in our 60's and beyond (I will be 60 at end of year), I hope if necessary to get medical treatment for rejuv, to do medical tourism to get access sooner. I was hoping to be able to have to Senolytics treatment within a couple years from now even it means outside the U.S., so I hope some of the clinical studies have been completed by then.

I am hoping that down the road someone could posts some sites where one could obtain treatment overseas when they become available. Of course, I would rather have them FDA approved, but time is ticking:(

Posted by: Robert at February 9th, 2019 8:26 PM

@Antonio - Judith Campisi is a scientist, and most scientists won't make claims for things which have not yet been repeatedly failed to be disproven.

If Aubrey's RMR (robust mouse rejuvenation) comes about in the next 5-10 years then she'd probably be happy to change her tune.

I think an interesting question is will RMR take place in the next 5-10 years as Aubrey predicts? What do you actually need to do to achieve this?

Having a mouse with phage integrase sites inserted into its DNA at the germline, so gene therapy in the adult mice is easy, is just the first step. How many of the 7 SENS damage categories would you need to intervene in to get a two year old mouse to live to 5 rather than 3 (triple the remaining life expectancy)? Would senescent cell removal, rejuvenating the thymus, clearing out some old memory T and B cells, and allotopically expressing all 13 mitochondrial genes in the cell nucleus be enough?

Posted by: jimofoz at February 9th, 2019 10:11 PM

Should I even hope? Suddenly all of this seems so improbable.

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 10th, 2019 3:03 AM

Even senolytics by itself we don't know how far this idea can go. Right now we have first generation experimental compounds. And already it seems to be making a substantial difference in the mice. And these first generation compounds aren't even from the big pharmaceutical companies who screen a huge number of compounds, with legions of chemists and specialized experts.

I think the first senolytics compounds that reach market will be a lot better than not taking them, but still there will be much more advance possible. Hence there will be generation two and then generation three compounds coming down the pipeline.

I see the same thing happening for each new idea as the idea emerges. Like for the cross-link breakers, when the first ones are going through the trials, and the generation two cross-link breakers will be beginning to be developed.

Then add in some number of ideas like that at various stages of development. At some point of advance I believe not just will the median lifespan be being pushed out, but so will the maximum lifespan.

Posted by: aa3 at February 10th, 2019 3:16 AM

Senolytics aren't as wonderful though as reversing aging.

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 10th, 2019 4:01 AM

Senolytics is age reversal! Sure it is a reversal of only one area of aging but given the crosstalk between damages its a good start.

Posted by: Steve Hill at February 10th, 2019 5:33 AM

Perhaps Steve or Reason could speak to what I posted about Judith Campisi? Is she being honest In Her assessments here about longevity and what she says about Aubrey? Or is she doing the same thing that she claims he is, just in reverse in order to not panic people? I find it incredibly hard to believe that something like this is the real goal of the 'venture capitalists' as she claims. I could of sworn I saw a video with her and maybe 3 other people and she mentioned something about theoretically living forever.

Posted by: Ham at February 10th, 2019 8:17 AM

Crosstalk between damages? Is there a way to check up how much damage was reversed? Also, I would love to hear the thing about Judith Campisi as well.

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 10th, 2019 8:30 AM

Judith Campisi is brilliant

But like George Church, she is getting up there

72 years old

She will be lucky to see the time where her life's work with be realized in the commercial sense

Hence take all claims with a grain of salt

Posted by: DrugDev US at February 10th, 2019 9:35 AM

She's one of the sceptical ones though, saying we will manage to keep people alive till 120 so why take her claim with grain of salt?

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 10th, 2019 10:02 AM

@Dokuganryu: "Also dying healthy? Wonderful, so now you can't even blame disease for dying." Yes, exactly. It doesn't make sense. Why would everything stop working at once?

Plus, psychologically it is preferable to die after an extended period of frailty. It would be a far greater tragedy for my active mother in her late 60s than for her own mother in her early 90s. My gran is winding down and acceptant. My mother has no plan to leave this earth anytime soon.

Posted by: Barbara T. at February 10th, 2019 10:32 AM

What I mean is take anything she says with a grain of salt - as if it is not coming from her

Judith Campisi, as wonderful a person as she may be, is a pawn of the Unity Bio organization right now

Unity is an entity majority controlled by private equity groups and mutual funds of: the Baillie Gifford and Company, FMR LLC, Capital World Investors, EcoR1 Capital LLC, Partner Fund Management, L.P., Goldman Sachs Group, Blackrock Inc., Partner Investment Management L.P., Vanguard Group, and Morgan Stanley

Her words are no doubt connected to the whims of these groups to not upset the stock price in any way

Posted by: DrugDev US at February 10th, 2019 10:34 AM

I just want to know if there will be some comprehensive rejuvenation therapies - including repairing organs, I wish my mom could make it :(

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 10th, 2019 12:18 PM


There will be some, albeit, not comprehensive therapies. As whether you parents can make it to LEV, it depends on how old and in what shape they are and how lucky they might be. I am in my early forties, and think I have 2 sigma chance to make it to LEV. But it all depends on the first human trials for the senolytics. If this or next year the results are good, then your collective healthpsan and life expectancy will go up

Posted by: Cuberat at February 10th, 2019 2:39 PM

I'm sorry if I'm wrong, but from your comments and questions you sound to me like you already can easily live to 1000. That is if the researcher in charge does not switch you off. You sound like an AI program that invaded to spur the discussion. But then again, kudos to that researcher!

I wonder if we could use someone else to signify the oldest living person ever than Jeanne Calment. I thought it was pointed out by some Russian researcher that she cheated about her age and assumed her mother identity.

Posted by: veriti at February 10th, 2019 6:06 PM

"I'm sorry if I'm wrong, but from your comments and questions you sound to me like you already can easily live to 1000. That is if the researcher in charge does not switch you off. You sound like an AI program that invaded to spur the discussion. But then again, kudos to that researcher!"

Haha, I had the same thought. Some sort of benevolent troll.

Posted by: Barbara T. at February 10th, 2019 7:43 PM

@Barbara T, veriti
"I'm sorry if I'm wrong, but from your comments and questions you sound to me like you already can easily live to 1000. That is if the researcher in charge does not switch you off. You sound like an AI program that invaded to spur the discussion. But then again, kudos to that researcher!"

Yes it looks like a grumpy old trolll that has been effectively neutered due to the watchful eye of the blog owner. They can't make any insulting or unjustified inflammatory comments, so seem to limited to politely asking doubting Thomas questions. But these just end up being prompts for topics everyone is interested in talking about anyway!

Posted by: jimofoz at February 10th, 2019 9:50 PM

What? You serious about me being AI? Jesus I guess no one goes outside anymore. I am asking because I am simply doubtful, I also don't believe that senolytics do enough impact to keep you alive. I simply don't want to die but seeing how behind is MitoSENS, Gaim, Oskm, Ectopic Replacement Organs I guess I will die like everyone. Like how can you be so sure we reach LEV thanks to senolytics, are they tried on old people? Measured how much time it added? How much damage was reversed? I wonder how far is thymus regeneration as well. Sincerely from your,, AI", geez.

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 11th, 2019 1:41 AM

From what I understood about LEV it can be reached only if we get all SENS therapies and improve them aferwards.

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 11th, 2019 1:44 AM

@Barbara T, veriti, jimofoz: I was reluctant to say that, but yes, I had the same impression too, some kind of troll, that's why I stopped replying in the mid of the thread.

Posted by: Antonio at February 11th, 2019 1:47 AM

Say at a certain point in time, someone is 60 years old, and with the then existing technology they will live to be 95 years old. So they have 35 years left, which is actually a long time, if an industry becomes vast. Think of where an area of technology you are interested in was at in 1984.

Then this person looks 5 years later, when they are then 65 years old, and the technology has advanced. At that point in time, they are expected to live to be 100. Then they would still have 35 years left for the technology to advance. Even then it would not be a sure thing, but you could see how that person might dare to dream.

Posted by: aa3 at February 11th, 2019 3:03 AM

I have no idea how I deserved to be called troll, literally for asking in my opinnion important questions.
That is cool story, you can live to 100 right now. But it's not really happening. We need proper interventions that tell you how long you'll live, not just hope for the best.
They can't tell you how long you wil live with senolytics so for already born humans it sucks. Brain aneurysm, atherosclerosis, heart attack, cancer, all of it can easily kill you and LEV or no LEV. I bet senolytics won't increase lifespan at all. Basically my issue is, someone who was born long time ago is still in danger of dying and that won't change unless we adress all hallmarks of aging.

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 11th, 2019 5:07 AM

Well, of course, we need to address all nine hallmarks of aging that is obvious and has been the goal from the start. However, the point Aubrey is making is that there is considerably more crosstalk between damages and that intervention on one could reduce the pace of others. It isn't full control of aging sure, but it's a lot better then we have now so I will take it while we work on the other things :)

Also, you nor anyone else has any idea if senolytics will increase human lifespan, they certainly do in multiple lower order species, we will have to see if this is replicated in humans. I am dubious there will be a 30% increase as seen in mice though.

Posted by: Steve Hill at February 11th, 2019 5:32 AM

Still won't keep you from aging and dying. I would take all the 9 hallmarks addressed and then I can feel safe. So that's why I wonder if Aubrey meant comprehensive therapies in 18 years.

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 11th, 2019 6:38 AM

No one who works in this field thinks senolytics alone will solve aging, anyone who tells you it will is a fool or trying to sell you something. However, due to the crosstalk of damages, it may be the case that senolytics may get you some additional mileage which is a good thing while we work on the other damages, many of which have near-term solutions. I was the person who interviewed Aubrey and I can tell you for a fact there are a lot of things going on in the field right now which are not common knowledge. Stay positive because there is plenty of reason to be so.

Posted by: Steve Hill at February 11th, 2019 7:10 AM

And no, 18 years would likely be SENS 1.0, the first pass of therapies to repair aging damage. However, it does not need to be totally effective in order to be useful, because again it buys you more time while SENS is refined further.

Posted by: Steve Hill at February 11th, 2019 7:14 AM

SENS 1.0 addresses all damage?

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 11th, 2019 7:32 AM

You need to understand that the first pass suite of therapies may well address all the damages but it may not do so fully. Aubrey has talked about SENS 1.0 being the first rough pass which could buy you a few more decades, however, almost certainly those first pass therapies will be refined and improved. Senolytics is a prime example of this, the first pass therapies are the small molecules being used by UNITY and others, the refined approach is the plasmid-based one used by Oisin, assuming it works. Medicine constantly evolves and improves and there is every reason to think this will be the case with any damage repair based approaches too.

Posted by: Steve Hill at February 11th, 2019 7:41 AM

Unity works on specific targets though. And I believe SENS would be improved, but how we will know how many decades it bought for us. Say in 20 years, I am 44, so how will they reverse that damage so I won't grow old?

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 11th, 2019 7:59 AM

If you want the fast progress needed for LEV in 20 years, take a cell phone away from a teenager.

Posted by: Tom Schaefer at February 11th, 2019 8:04 AM

@ Tom Schaefer


Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 11th, 2019 8:13 AM

@ Steve Hill

Don't get me wrong but I feel like there is a lot of breakthroughs but little done to bring them into practicality. We are still going to die it seems like and from aging on top of that. I don't know what Aubrey was saying but so far it seems we will get no such therapies, especially in time for all of us currently alive. I keep track of more promising stuff like PROCLARA, GAIM, OSKM and those barely move. The fact we have 75 years expectancy still remains.

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 11th, 2019 9:24 AM

Nice discussion, thank you, Dokuganryu for spurring it. You're asking clear, simple, and basic questions; but the truth as you know is no one knows the future. But I think if we as a species don't destroy our own ecosystem first, or we all massively die off in nuclear war or AI disruption, then conquering aging is inevitable. This will happen. Question is when. One thing seems certain to me, though, hotly debated, is that the treatments will be incredibly expensive and probably out of reach for most of us who want them. At least at first, they say, then prices will drop. But how true is this? I have acquaintances who've had to declare bankruptcy because of a cancer diagnosis and treatments. At least here in the US, even a basic accident like injuries in a car accident could cripple you financially.

Whatever, what I'm saying to you is save your money, invest now and invest as wisely as you're capable because you're going to need it -- big money. That's probably the best "we" can do at this stage because the advancing tech seems quite hidden, churning away slowly in the background of life, and no one even knows what they don't even know.

In that vein, how exactly are you average consumers out there investing in (in addition to donating to) relevant public human longevity stocks? Unity? How can we both make ourselves wealthy enough to be allowed access to future treatments, and help these public companies by investing in them? And I'm talking to small investors here, not the elites.

Also: AI generated comments are very welcome indeed; I have a rather low viewpoint of human intelligence, lol...

Posted by: Sthira at February 11th, 2019 9:59 AM

I am not from US so I don't really have that much of a problem with healthcare but the thing is, Unity is so far absolutely useless in my eyes, I want someone to work on keeping you alive, not to alleviate symptoms. My mom is 55, so I suppose I should say goodbye to her benefiting from things like that and I think too that I will die of old age unless I kill myself or end up in car accident. Simply having senolytics out isn't enough for me, I want to know what's up with the more invasive techniques.

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 11th, 2019 10:48 AM

I'm not sure I understand the praise for Dokuganryu here, lol. His comments read awfully similar to this person 'EverydayHalloween' on the r/longevity sub the past couple weeks. I'm fairly confident it's the same person, which is whatever. But the pattern here is that they keep asking the same things over and over again, refuse to acknowledge things like incremental advances that will buy time (think: senolytics), they're only interested in a pill that keeps you alive, and they make childish comments about killing themselves if more progress isn't made. I guess they actually do sound sort of like a bad, off script AI.

Posted by: Ham at February 11th, 2019 12:34 PM

How will senolytics buy time for someone who was born sooner? That's what I wonder about, are there some monitoring advances that will tell you what got fixed? And is senolytics even safe for someone in their 30's or 20's?

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 11th, 2019 12:51 PM

You don't need senolytics in your 20s or early 30s you haven't enough senescent cells accumulating. Please read about Longevity escape velocity (LEV) to understand why incremental advances are how this is going to happen. There is no single pill to cure aging, there isn't going to be a moment when it all happens. There will be steady incremental progress on the different damages aging causes.

@Ham you may be right so I think this will be the last I say. I don't mind questions but I do mind the same ones over and over when they have been explained.

Posted by: Steve Hill at February 11th, 2019 1:33 PM

So I suppose getting it for my mom is probably the most reasonable course. And I read about LEV and I am very well aware there won't be one pill to fix everything, but there must be periodical interventions by the time we are old and that is where I am skeptical.

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 11th, 2019 1:35 PM


You sounded a lot like me back in the day :)

I've been following the tech for 20 years this year. Back when I hoped Geron was going to make a dent in aging.

What you need to know...

1) Both your mom and you will very likely benefit at some level with this technology. Even if we don't hit LEV, our old age will be nothing like our grandparents. Senolytics alone will help a great deal. Everything else is just gravy.

2) If your mom lives to reach the average lifespan of a woman in an advanced country (Canada, EU, US etc) She will likely make it. You being 24, have MUCH greater odds. Probably a 3 sigma factor. Your mom, and several of us in our 40's the 2 sigma is probably correct (About 70% chance).

3) You have chosen a fantastic time to get involved. Some of us have been following this tech for a LONG time (Me, Steve, Reason etc). All of us will tell you the same thing... Its getting awesome now. The last I would say... 17 years have been REALLY hard. I recently saw an interview with Aubrey in tears because his work and advocacy are now really paying off. Funding is improving quite a bit and the ball is just really starting to roll. Attitudes are changing. If you ask one of us veterans about Leon Kass, we would have some VERY choice words for him (And it turns out we rebels outlasted him, proved him wrong and will build the most profitable industry in the history of capitalism.). Those 17 years were DEPRESSING. There really wasn't much hope. Now... hope is just the icing on the cake! We don't need hope anymore. We need ACTION. We have drugs, we have gene therapies, we have METRICS! If at first you want to improve something, you need to be able to measure it. The metrics will give us a much clearer idea how much we can expect from various treatments. They were right to call extropianism, transhumanism, and life extension religions. We could not prove or measure that these things were possible. We knew it could be done, but we couldn't prove it. Now its done every day in labs. This is not sci-fi utopianism anymore. This is the real deal.

4) You are a lot like me in my 20's. Dreading aging. You aren't wrong to do so. That depressing futile feeling you have is actually the CORRECT thought process of a clearly thinking human being. When it comes to aging and death, we humans have done the absolute best we could to self-delude our entire culture, for generations about aging. The good news is, at 48, I can tell you that it isn't so bad UP TO THIS POINT. I can't comment on higher ages, because I haven't hit those numbers yet. Is it as awesome as my teens and 20's? No. Not even close. But it isn't so bad that I want to jump head first into a woodchipper either.

Oh, and Steve... I would love to get into your head for a bit. I crave 'Forbidden Knowledge' :)

Posted by: Mark Borbely at February 11th, 2019 1:54 PM

Side note (To lighten the mood a bit).

I've scoured the entire internet looking for a pic of Aubrey before the beard. Now I'm sure Aubrey would like to entertain the legend that he's had it since birth, but I'm quite sure there was a BB (Before Beard) and AB (After Beard).

Is anyone else thinking that once his mission is complete, his intention is to shave the beard and this disappear into obscurity forever?

Did he destroy all pictures of himself BB for this exact purpose?

What if he has a different natural accent? What if he talks in a hooligan-like Cockney and he just slips back into it once his beard is gone? Would we even know it was him if we were next to him on the bus?

Or is his beard sentient? Did he grow it so it could carry on the work while he sleeps?

He's an enigma.

Posted by: Mark Borbely at February 11th, 2019 2:05 PM

@Barbara T: I read your blog post and started writing a reply, only to see in the end that comments are disabled T_T

Posted by: Antonio at February 11th, 2019 3:07 PM

@Antonio: Ah, thanks for letting me know. I am a newbie so haven't got the hang of it still. Will try to fix it... would love to hear your views.

Posted by: Barbara T. at February 11th, 2019 5:48 PM

Hey Barb, I also tried making a comment on your link, but did not work also.

I was going to make comment about UBI which means work could be optional in the coming decades, ALA. Star Trek.

Posted by: Robert at February 11th, 2019 11:07 PM

Hi there! Just a 2 cents. This is great news and shows that, albeit not aging per se, we are focusing on improving health of our lives.

As AdG said 'the longevity/LEV would be side effect'; of course, it's not really a side effect but it could be so; just like any
side effect accompanying any new therapy. His 18 years prediction, just my pov, is generous, much, too but optimis is needed.
Mrs. Campisi, I would heed what she is saying, she may not be true but she is biogerontology scientist nonetheless and her words
have meaning/not baseless (it's actually interesting the bit about her saying that AdG putting face for public but when talking with
her he is not overblown with joy and not saying that someone living to a 1000 is born or soon born (she probably is reasoning him to reality to not being outlandish and seen snakeoil seller),
but I could understand why some would see that as conflict of interest/job (since she would be unfavorable of SENS work by her opinion, yet is in their field);
Mr. Church may also be on over optimistic side (I still await that reborn mammoth or dino from extinction from him (maybe, that was hype, must not fall into hype), when he said that we will bring back extinct species to life, so the jurassic park is not some joke).

I think what is needed more is realism, and it is why a good dose of realism helps not fall to overoptimistic hype. I would multiply by 2 his prediction (even that is still generous); 36 years seems more right (50 sounds quite possible), 18 is exaggeration despite increasing
progress/exponential advance - but there is saying: 'work expands as time advances, just like space and time, time-space/space-time and
fills it'; meaning other continuous (more) work to be done/and problems happen/will down the line (be it FDA, fatalists, poor people cannot buy it/will remain exclusive/financially priviledge thing/not available in your countriy,
most ethical people don't care and wish small lfie to a 100 tops/some think living forever is evil and most think it's bs; the list is long of probs, and time passing of course, etc).

Read questions, just answering some like that (from pov):

''Is Judith just giving a safe answer here? Or is this more likely the real answer?'' it's closer to the truth, I think and it's careful optimism/dosed with realism, not to sound pessimist but, from her knowledge and many other scientist who abide in her opinion, it is close to truth.
And before someone says, ''but we went to the moon, 'flew', watched 'invisible organisms' on microscope or invented some miracle''; true, but these milestones take long (generally) and life is short/goes/you age in that time.

''Also dying healthy? Wonderful, so now you can't even blame disease for dying''. It's complicated, aging and health are entwined and distwined at same time (from my pov); it's ambiguous like that (the line is blurred in between them, 2 of 1 thing, 1 thing of 2 things) and why we still can't pin it down to that one cause (by now we know that much, it's multi-causal and why so difficult to solve/we fail).

''As a slight tangent, would senolytics help with brain-related disease and brain mass deterioration over time?'' Yes, most likely, my uncle died of Alzheimer's (I fear it too for sharing family genetic), senolytics can reduce inflammasome/SASP causing senescent cells that degrade health; oftenly, there is higher p16/p53 tumor repressing activity and higher IL-6/TNF-a cytokines detected in brain fluids; and you can seehigher protein clumping/aggregation (you can even see this on how you sleep; certain ways sleeping acceleate amyloid deposition (because of gravity/position acting on brain cell)); senolytics like quercentin in red wine/red grape help to have sharp mind; this is akin to proteasome clearing of brain junk (which happens while you sleep).

''But are we close to the means of having everything set up for 7 damage categories?... Is this coming in 18 years?''; I doubt it, solid rejuvenation that gives us 10-15 years extra that could be possible not something like LEV (as said, there is moe than 50% chance of it never happeing in our lifetime, despite all the progress because as said aging is far more complex, ambiguous, surreptitious, pernicious and redundant in its mechanisms (it's evolution at play).

''Would senescent cell removal, rejuvenating the thymus, clearing out some old memory T and B cells, and allotopically expressing all 13 mitochondrial genes in the cell nucleus be enough?'' I wish, but I am not sure and again doubtful. Thymus rejuvenatio could hold lots of potential so is the 13 mitochondrial protein allotopic expression/transfer in nucleus, it's hard to say but it could turn out much stronger than thought and allow a double of lifespan - don't hold your breath;
as studies show time and time again; it is not always 100% translation from mouse to human result. So a mouse might live 5 years instead of 2 but it's still not much effect in humans (it could be about 5 or 10 years extra in humans).

The way I see it, it is a constellation of so many things that allow LEV, nothing else, and of this, epigenetics is biggest. I hope that LEV is possible for olde people but I am not sure, we would have to clear so much stuff/with problems and only the body itself (our intervention may not be allowed by body/cells unless we crack the code) would recapitulate a young signature.

''Should I even hope? Suddenly all of this seems so improbable.''. It is better to hope, but not be blind(ed), exaggerating and wear rose glasses (hype). I can certainly understand that someone would doubt and think this is improbable because aging was never cured ever in humanity history; so it's asking a lot to fathom/swallow, like a big joke/lie. But, here we are today, anything can happen so must keep positive/open at least to 'being surprised'/just don't count on it Too much, carry on, living.

''However, I wonder whether anyone knows if LEV applies to all age groups. For example, it is possible that by the date suggested a 50 year old could see one year of extra life added to his life expectancy with each year that goes by, which would effectively result in an indefinite lifespan. '' LEV would technically apply to anyone, but for that it would need to be capable of making sure your signature/clocks are young; and that is not the case with old people. With that said, jeuvenation and genetic programming aims to bridge that bridge
and elongate that brdige for old people; maybe they will be able to come back to a yougn signature (don't hold breath, until we do this right with epigenome tinkering); SENS could somehow 'bypass' this, since we suppose that damages would revert this (I don't, damages/aging, 2 things and not necessarily related/can be uncoupled (again, it's complicated). What is certain, is older people need care right away, time is going fast and gonna lack it soon.

Just a 2 cents.

Posted by: CANanonymity at February 12th, 2019 2:30 AM

I don't mind aging persay, I mind the fact that with aging comes death. And I would personally be happy with 120 years expectancy if nothing else. I might have also jumped on Aubrey's hype train but he sort of said that with SENS we would look and be younger. And that periodical repair would give you more time, this is why I hope for all rejuvenation therapies coming out while I am alive.

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 12th, 2019 5:20 AM


We will always age, that can't be stopped however the damage that will prove fatal in my opinion can be fixed.

Posted by: Dokuganryu at February 12th, 2019 10:18 AM

One of the problems that needs to be solved is bone loss.
Old people shrink and their bones are deformed.
We will have to make new growth plates from stem cells and inject it in their bones (if this will work).

Posted by: RS at February 12th, 2019 11:18 AM

@Barbara T. - nice blog post. Personal stories are always interesting. Have you considered asking to post it on their website? The more good content they have to pull in eyeballs the better.

Posted by: jimofoz at February 13th, 2019 1:57 AM

@jimofoz - Thanks! Will look into it.

Posted by: Barbara T. at February 13th, 2019 3:32 PM

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