The Longevity Escape Velocity (LEV) Foundation was founded by Aubrey de Grey to address an important missing aspect of the ongoing work to produce treatments that target the underlying mechanisms of aging. While the research and development community has made sizable strides in the past decade, and the first rejuvenation therapies now exist in at least prototype form, it remains the case that next to no-one is conducting combination studies that use two or more of these interventions. When considering therapies that can repair forms of the cell and tissue damage that cause aging, it seems plausible that two different therapies will be additive, producing larger results than either alone.
The LEV Foundation is presently conducting the Robust Mouse Rejuvenation 1 Study, and is raising funds for the next study in line, Robust Mouse Rejuvenation 2, testing other promising interventions to prove that there is synergy between very different forms of repair therapy. These studies, and the many more like them that should be running throughout the research community and industry, but are not, will form the first foundation for the next few decades of medical practice. It has always been apparent that there would be a toolkit of many rejuvenation therapies, each addressing some aspect of aging, and that these therapies would be used in combination. But that conjecture still requires concrete proof to convince the industry and the medical community.
Many of the Fight Aging! audience have in the past supported the SENS Research Foundation annual fundraisers, some of you by offering matching donations to encourage others to donate. It worked well, and collectively our community has raised a great deal of funding over the past decade to support the growth of rejuvenation biotechnology research under the SENS umbrella, helping to fund many promising research programs that went on to spawn biotech startups. All those who have done so in the past, I encourage you to reach out and offer your support again to the LEV Foundation in their present important work, and help make the Robust Mouse Rejuvenation 2 study a reality.
Below, see Aubrey de Grey's comments on current efforts at the LEV Foundation, and a call for matching donors to help with the soon to be launched fundraiser:
A decade ago, five indisputably mainstream luminaries of geroscience published a paper that remains, by far, the most highly-cited publication in the entire field this century: "The Hallmarks of Aging". It had its roots in a paper that I and my collaborators published more than a decade earlier: "Time to talk SENS: Critiquing the Immutability of Human Aging", and laid to rest the debate as to whether the divide-and-conquer, damage-repair approach that the earlier paper introduced was feasible. What remained was to implement it.
Inevitably, some of the component interventions in the SENS rejuvenation biotechnology program are much more challenging to implement than others. That is why, while the field has mostly focused on the lower-hanging fruit, SENS Research Foundation has focused on filling that vacuum by targeting the hardest types of damage to repair, since no divide-and-conquer approach can succeed otherwise.
Now, however, the field has reached a new phase of implementing the SENS program. While the themes that SRF have pursued remain relevant, and are now much better funded as a result of Richard Heart's admirable initiative of 2021 that added $27 million to SRF coffers, it has also become possible to move to the final phase of the implementation of divide-and-conquer, namely the combining - in mice, for now - of interventions that individually show considerable promise.
That is why my new organisation, LEV Foundation, is focusing on combination studies as its flagship research program. I continue to provide regular updates on social media regarding the first such study, which we at LEVF are terming "Robust Mouse Rejuvenation 1", as the study progresses towards the point at which interesting differences emerge in the mortality of the cohorts.
Importantly, there is a long list of promising interventions not included in our current study, and which I and the LEVF team are eager to incorporate into a second study: Robust Mouse Rejuvenation 2. We are now focused on raising the funds for this new project, which like our first study will continue to identify the best combinations, antagonistic interactions, and sex and age differences in the degree to which each intervention can impact aging.
The specifics of the second study are being finalized, and we have conducted extensive work to narrow the options down, as I outlined in my presentation at LEVF's Dublin conference. Many of the remaining decisions, both between these options and concerning their details, come down to cost. Thus it continues to be the nature of our work that every offer of financial support counts. We are immensely grateful to those who have made our past work possible, and those who continue to make our future plans possible. Please reach out if you can help to make a difference!