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Regenerative Medicine: The Future of Gene Therapy

“Ageing is the major modifiable risk factor for most chronic diseases.” Founder and CEO of Bioviva USA Inc, Liz Parrish, spoke to us at the Creating The Future conference about the future of drug development in tackling ageing.
 

What is ageing?
 

Ageing is regarded as a normal, degenerative process which all cells undertake during a natural lifecycle, but one which is not seen as a disease in itself. Scientists have identified that the cellular ageing processes exhibited by healthy cells in various different chronic diseases (such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes and cancer) are similar. As such, Liz Parrish believes that if we can successfully treat the process of ageing at a celluar level we can radically prolong average human life expectancy by tackling all chronic diseases simultaneously.

BioViva focuses on gene therapy to achieve this by working on making cells healthier and creating an organism that remains in homeostasis for longer.

Liz believes so strongly in her work and research that she has become “Patient Zero” in her own anti-ageing experiment.


She receives two different injections in her role as n=1. Firstly, a telomerase gene therapy which is expected to increase the length of telomeres at the ends of chromosomes.


Telomeres are segments of DNA whose shortening is associated with ageing and degenerative diseases.

Secondly, she also receives a myostatin inhibitor which BioViva believes will prevent age-associated muscle loss.

Initial results from March 2016 have shown that her telomeres have lengthened by approximately 20 years, from 6.1kb to 7.33kb implying that Parrish’s leukocytes (white blood cells) have become biologically younger.

 

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