In September 2015, then 44 year-old CEO of BioViva USA Inc. Elizabeth Parrish received two of her own company’s experimental gene therapies: one to protect against loss of muscle mass with age, another to battle stem cell depletion responsible for diverse age-related diseases and infirmities.
The treatment was originally intended to demonstrate the safety of the latest generation of the therapies.
But if early data is accurate, it is already the world’s first successful example of telomere lengthening via gene therapy in a human individual.
Gene therapy has been used to lengthen telomeres before in cultured cells and in mice, but never in a human patient.
Reactions to the BioViva Announcement of Human Telomere Lengthening via Gene Therapy
Of course, with every potential breakthrough comes both excitement and skepticism. It happened with the introduction of the internet, the Apple iPhone, self-driving cars, and nearly every other novel technology that has been integrated into society.
Indeed, this announcement by BioViva is about extremely early stage data on a sample size of one person.
Nonetheless, the importance of this announcement by BioViva is that it indicates further exploration should be done in the area of telomere lengthering via gene therapy approaches.
Interestingly, when I posted the BioViva announcement on Twitter, it got 30 reshares and 25 likes in approximately 24 hours, suggesting there is a lot of excitement surrounding the news.
The tweet also got extremely high levels of engagement with 2,612 people seeing the tweet in 24 hours and a nearly 5% engagement rate, as shown in the image below.
- The first column in the image below is the number of Impressions since the tweet was posted: 2,612 in 24 hours
- The second column is the number of Engagements with the tweet: 124 clicks, retweets, follows, and likes in 24 hours
- The third column is the Engagement Rate for the tweet, which is the total number of clicks, retweets, follows, and likes in 24 hours, divided by the total number of impressions: 4.7% of users engaged with the tweet during the first 24 hours it was posted.
Of course, the tweet also got this skeptical comment, which is fully merited as well.
I completely agree with this user that there are a great deal of unknowns and risks associated with this approach and its probability of success is limited by those factors.
What is clear from this BioViva announcement is that there is growing progress with gene therapy approaches and increasing interest in aging-related issues. While progress with gene therapy for reversing human aging is is controversial and unknowable, this statement is fact.
To read the original Science Magazine article, visit: https://scienmag.com/first-gene-therapy-successful-against-human-aging/
What do you think about the announcement? Put you comments in the section below.
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