Why is Peter Thiel so interested in young blood?


Most of all, Peter Thiel , a billionaire investor and founder of PayPal, is interested in finding a way to avoid death. He invests millions in startups working on anti-aging drugs, spends a lot of money and time on experimental therapy for personal use, and believes that the community should be sensitive to even life extension methods that look weird or nasty.

By the way, about this - most of all Tilyh is happy about the possibility of pumping the blood of young people into their veins.

This practice is known as parabiosis, and, according to Til, it can potentially become a biological “ fountain of youth ” - the best that science has been able to make on the way to an anti-aging panacea. Studies of parabiosis began in the 1950s with rough experiments with rats, when they were dissected and sewn the blood systems of different organisms . After decades of working in the shadows, these studies suddenly began to attract the attention of more serious researchers, human clinical trials in the USA began, and even more advanced research in China and Korea.

Given the fantastic promises of the benefits of parabiosis, these studies are very poorly covered. But Thiel kept a close eye on them.

Thiel and Ambrosia

Ambrosia recently conducted one of its tests in Monterey, California, 180 km from San Francisco. The title “ Plasma Transfusion of Young Donors and Biomarkers of Aging ” was a simple experiment: healthy participants aged 35 years received blood donations from donors up to 25 years old, and the researchers tracked their blood for the next two years, looking for molecular indicators for health and age. Patients paid for the study. Subjects, whose age ranged from 35 to 80 years, had to pay $ 8,000 for participation, and live near Monterey or go there for surveys.

Ambrosia ’s founder, Jessie Karmazin, a physician who studied at Stanford, has been studying aging for over a decade. He became interested in launching a parabiosis company, after studying the impressive data obtained in experiments with animals, as well as in foreign experiments with people. Time after time, the subjects felt that the symptoms of aging in all major organs were reversed. And although the mechanisms of these processes are not fully understood, he said, the blood of young organisms is not only full of different proteins that improve the functioning of cells; in some way, it forces the patient's body to produce more of these proteins on its own.

“The effect looks almost permanent,” he says. “It's as if a reboot of gene expression is happening.”

And although Ambrosia advertised the study to draw attention to him, she did not seek much publicity. Therefore, Karmazin was surprised to receive a message from Jason Kamm, chief medical officer of Thiel Capital, who expressed his interest in the company.

Although Kamm’s LinkedIn profile states that he is a “business angel,” this is not his main job. Cam was an osteopath, he treated the best athletes, and now he is “personal health director for Peter Thiel and many other prominent businessmen and investors in Silicon Valley,” as his profile says. “He helps his clients achieve radical breakthroughs in health issues, cognitive functions and physical abilities - and all this increases their health and longevity.”

Among his classes at Thiel Capital is “communicating with the best doctors in the world, health professionals and researchers from the United States, Europe and the Middle East on how to extend life, optimize blood markers and new technologies to improve health.”

We are too prejudiced

When I interviewed Til a year ago about his investments in biotechnology and life-saving drugs, I asked him what methods of health he could use in his life.

“There is something I'm going to do. But I haven’t started yet, ”he said to me, adding:“ I usually feel uncomfortable trying to make recommendations on this issue. ” “I suspect that I have always been too biased about the use of these things in society,” he told me.

After a brief discussion of the pros and cons of restricting calorie intake, growth hormone and medication for diabetics metformin , Thiel said the following:

I am not yet convinced that we have found a working panacea. It is possible that there are some things that could work. I study parabiosis, and it seems to me quite interesting. This is where they transfused the young blood of an old mouse and found a powerful rejuvenating effect. This is one of those weird things that people explored in the 1950s and then completely stopped. I think that there are many such topics that, by a strange coincidence, have remained under-researched.

I asked if he thought the parabiosis was “very interesting” in terms of business or maintaining his own health.

He made it clear that he was talking about the second version. “This is the case when it is not clear whether the method works from a scientific point of view. In such cases, it is not clear whether the company built on the basis of this method will work well. Perhaps it can not be patented. Also, for parabiosis, it is not necessary to obtain a license from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), since this is just a blood transfusion. "

In Silicon Valley, where research on life extension is the passion of many, myths are very popular that various rich people in the technology field are already practicing parabiosis, and spend tens of thousands of dollars on the procedure and the blood of young people, and repeat these procedures several times year. In an interview in April 2015, Thiel seemed to have made it clear that he had not yet begun to use parabiosis. A spokesman for Thiel Capital said that nothing had changed since that time.

Unlabeled Blood and FDA

Anyone who wants to privately organize parabiosis will quickly face the issue of obtaining enough blood for young people. But not everyone can buy human blood.

An FDA spokesperson said that the management "regulates the collection and manufacture of blood and its components in order to maintain the health of donors and ensure the safety, purity and effectiveness of collected blood." And although blood is not officially used to prevent aging, it can be prescribed for the so-called “off-label” use that is not provided for by the FDA drug lists - unless it gives any advertising or claims about the effectiveness of the drugs.

For clinical trials such as Ambrosia, blood from blood banks is fairly easy to obtain, but Ambrosia is a commercial organization. So that she can start selling blood transfusions as a service to clients like Til, she needs to somehow organize a source of blood that is different from non-commercial blood banks.

Karmazin recognizes the possibility of supply problems, but notes that there is a lot of plasma in general, and it can be stored for up to two years. He estimates that a surge in attention to parabiosis can affect the increase in the number of young donors, whose use of blood in therapeutic transfusions usually has more benefits.

But Till cannot wait for the day when parabiosis will not only be clinically proven, but also accepted by society. After all, he is not getting younger.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/405323/

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