In­tro­du­cing the Longev­ity Re­search Institute

I’ve just foun­ded a non­profit, the Longev­ity Re­search In­sti­tute — you can check it out here.

The ba­sic premise is: we know there are more than 50 com­pounds that have been re­por­ted to ex­tend healthy lifespan in mam­mals, but most of these have never been tested in­de­pend­ently, and in many cases the ex­per­i­mental meth­od­o­logy is poor.

In other words, there seems to be a lot of low-hanging fruit in aging. There are many long-lived mutant strains of mice (and in­ver­teb­rates), there are many can­did­ate anti-aging drugs, but very few of these drugs have ac­tu­ally been tested rig­or­ously.

Why? It’s an in­cent­ives prob­lem. Lifespan stud­ies for mice take 2-4 years, which don’t play well with the fast pace of pub­lic­a­tion that aca­dem­ics want; and the FDA doesn’t con­sider aging a dis­ease, so test­ing lifespan isn’t on bi­otech com­pan­ies’ crit­ical path to get­ting a drug ap­proved. Mam­malian lifespan stud­ies are an un­der­fun­ded area — which is where we come in.

We write grants to aca­demic re­search­ers and com­mis­sion stud­ies from con­tract re­search or­gan­iz­a­tions. Our first planned stud­ies are on epi­talon (a pep­tide de­rived from the pineal gland, which has been re­por­ted to ex­tend life in mice, rats, and hu­mans, but only in Rus­sian stud­ies) and C3 carboxy­fullerene (yes, a mod­i­fied bucky­ball, which pre­vents Par­kin­son­ism in prim­ate mod­els and has been re­por­ted to ex­tend life in mice). I’m also work­ing on a pa­per with Vium about some of their long-lived mice, and a quant­it­at­ive net­work ana­lysis of aging reg­u­lat­ory path­ways that might turn up some drug tar­gets.

We’re cur­rently fun­drais­ing, so if this sounds in­ter­est­ing, please con­sider donat­ing. The more stud­ies that can be launched in par­al­lel, the sooner we can get res­ults.