George Church is a Harvard Professor -serial entrepreneur of many multi-million dollar and even billion dollar biotech companies.
This article (interview with George Church) originally appeared in Endpoints. An excerpt is included below, and the complete story can be found here. The interview with George Church at Endpoints is the source of the next three paragraphs in italics, which are statements from George Church.
George Church describes the roadmap for to human aging reversal treatments
We will see the first aging reversal test in dog trials in the next year or two. If that works, human trials are another two years away, and eight years before they’re done. Once you get a few going and succeeding it’s a positive feedback loop.
His company Rejuvenate Bio is actually working on the dog trial now.
The particular dog model we’re using has a heart disease issue. Rejuvenate Bio is still semi-stealth mode, incubator mode, but the trial is not a secret. Dogs are a market in and of themselves. It’s not just a big organism close to humans. It’s something people will pay for. And the FDA process is much faster for dogs than for humans — a little over a year versus nine years or so. We’ll do dog trials and that’ll be a product, and that’ll pay for scaling up in human trials.
FDA does not need to classify aging as a disease in order for them to treat it
The FDA does not need to classify aging as a disease. If you actually have something that causes aging reversal, [the FDA] will approve it. You’ll frame it in conventional terms, but it can have additional benefits. In other words If you have something that fixes one disease problem and happens to fix a bunch of others, you don’t need to put them all on the label. The FDA doesn’t stop you for using things off label or curing two things at once.
Background of George Church – all the companies he has founded or advises
George Church is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Director of PersonalGenomes.org, which provides the world’s only open-access information on human Genomic, Environmental & Trait data (GET). His 1984 Harvard PhD included the first methods for direct genome sequencing, molecular multiplexing & barcoding. These led to the first genome sequence (pathogen, Helicobacter pylori) in 1994. His innovations have contributed to nearly all “next generation” DNA sequencing methods and companies (CGI-BGI, Life, Illumina, Nanopore). This plus his lab’s work on chip-DNA-synthesis, gene editing and stem cell engineering resulted in founding additional application-based companies spanning fields of medical diagnostics ( Knome/PierianDx, Alacris, AbVitro/Juno, Genos, Veritas Genetics ) & synthetic biology / therapeutics ( Joule, Gen9, Editas, Egenesis, enEvolv, WarpDrive ). He has also pioneered new privacy, biosafety, ELSI, environmental & biosecurity policies. He is director of an IARPA BRAIN Project and NIH Center for Excellence in Genomic Science. His honors include election to NAS & NAE & Franklin Bower Laureate for Achievement in Science. He has coauthored 453 papers, 105 patent publications & one book (Regenesis).
Editas has a $1.05 billion valuation and George was cofounder. Note : Brian Wang of Nextbigfuture owns some shares of Editas.
George M. Church’s Tech Transfer, Advisory Roles, and Funding Sources (short url for this page: v.ht/PHNc)
The first date on each line indicates the year of company founding. (In parentheses are the dates & focus of my involvement.) Founder = F.
Genome Sequencing: (see also Next-gen overview and current genome prices)
Complete Genomics Sunnyvale CA 2006 BGI (2006-present; Next-gen sequencing services)
Danaher-Dover-Polonator Salem NH 2007 (2007-present; sequencing instrument)
Genapsys Redwood City CA 2010 (2010-present) label-free nanosensor array sequencing.
Genia Mountain View, CA (2011-present; then Roche; nanopores)
IBM Yorktown Heights, NY 1911 (2009-2012; DNA Sequencing).
IntelligentBioSystems (IBS, Qiagen) Waltham MA 2006 (2006-2012; Sequencing by Polymerase on beads)
Ion Torrent Guilford, CT 2008 (2009-2013; then LifeTech then Thermo Fisher ; electronic sequencing)
LightSpeed Genomics Sunnyvale CA 2007 (2007-present; high-speed DNA sequencing)
Lynx – Solexa – Illumina Hayward CA 1992; San Diego 1998 (2000-present; multiplex tags)
NABsys Providence, RI 2005 (2010-present) SbH with nanopores.
Noblegen Biosciences Boston MA 2010 (2010-2014; optipore sequencing)
Roswell Biotechnologies San Diego CA 2016 (2016-present; Biomolecular sensors)
Xgenomes Cambridge MA 2014 (2014-present; Analytical optical instruments)
Clinical and Consumer Genomic Diagnostics:
Alacris Pharmaceuticals (Qiagen) Berlin 2008 (2008-present,F; Cancer genomics & systems biology)
Androcyte Florida 2011 (2011-present; Supercentenarians)
AOBiome Cambridge MA 2013 (2013-present; Skin Microbes)
Arivale Seattle, WA 2015 (2015-present; omics and wellness)
CloudHealth Genomics Shanghai 2017 (2017-present; pan-omics)
GPBio Shanghai 2017 (2017-present; DNA chip diagnostics)
Ecoeos San Francisco 2013 (2013-present; Environmental chemicals and omics)
Fitbiomics Boston MA 2015 (2015-present,F; Wellness genomics)
GenePeeks New York NY & Cambridge MA 2014 (2014-present; pre-conception human genetics)
Good Start Genetics Cambridge 2009 (2009-present; Molecular Diagnostics)
Genomera San Francisco 2010 (2010-present; Crowd-sourced Health Insight)
Genos San Francisco, 2016 (2016-present; Personal Genomics)
Logic.Ink San Francisco CA 2015 (2015-present; Data collecting temporary tattoos)
Singlera Genomics La Jolla, CA 2015 (2017-present; Genetic diagnostics)
Twoporeguys Santa Cruz CA 2016 (2016-present; nanopore diagnostics)
Knome, Inc. (then Tute) Cambridge MA 2007 (2007-present,F; Human Genome Sequencing)
Med Data Quest (MDQ) San Diego CA 2015 (2015-present; Clinical genomics)
Pathway Genomics San Diego CA 2008 (2013-present; Personal Genomics)
ReadCoor Boston MA 2014 (2014-present,F; In situ Sequencing)
Searna Boston MA 2015 (2015-present; DNA enrichment diagnostics)
SolveBio New York NY 2012 (2016-present; Computational genomics)
uBiome San Francisco CA 2012 (2016-present; microbiome analysis)
Veritas Genetics Danvers MA 2015 (2015-present,F; Clinical Genomics)
23andme Mountain View CA 2006 (2006-present; personal genomics)
Synthetic Biology, Nucleic Acid Memory, BCI
64-x Boston MA 2017 (2017-present,F; Virus resistant cells)
Alibaba DAMO Academy Hangzhou 2017 (2017-present; DAMO)
Centrillion 2017 (2017-present; DNA synthesis)
EnEvolv Cambridge MA 2011 (2011-present,F; genome engineering)
Enzymatics Beverly MA 2006 (2006-2015; Qiagen Large-scale, high quality enzymes)
Gen9 Cambridge MA 2009 (2009-present,F; Ginkgo, Synthetic Biology)
Genomatica San Diego CA 2001 (2001-present; microbial metabolic models)
Genome Compiler Corp San Francisco CA 2011 (2011-present; Twist, Genome CAD)
GlottaTech 2017 (2017-present,F; DNA synthesis)
GRO Biosciences Cambridge, MA 2016 (2016-present,F; expanded genetic code)
Inari Medford MA 2016 (2016-present,F; agriculture)
INanoBio Tempe AZ 2007 (2017-present; Sensors & sequencing)
Joule Unlimited Cambridge MA 2007 (2007-2015,F, Redrock; SolarFuels)
Memphis Meats New York NY 2015 (2016-present; tissue culture foods)
Nuclera Nucleics Cambridge UK 2014 (2017-present; DNA synthesis)
Synthego Redwood City CA 2016 (2017-present; RNA synthesis)
Synvitrobio San Francisco CA (2015-present,F; In vitro proten synthesis)
Cellinobiotech Cambridge MA 2017 (2017-present; ex vivo protein therapeutic delivery)
The ODIN, Castro Valley CA 2013 (2016-present; Consumer SynBio)
Stem Cells & Therapeutics
AbVitro (then Juno) Boston MA 2010 (2010-present,F; Immunomes).
BioViva Seattle WA 2015 (2015-present; anti-aging gene therapies)
Caribou Biosciences Berkeley CA 2012 (2013-present; Cas9 tools) & Intellia 2014
Celemics Korea 2011 (2011-present; Genome engineering.)
Editas Cambridge MA 2013 (2013-present,F; Cas9 gene therapy)
Egenesis Bio Boston MA 2013 (2013-present,F; Cas9 non-human applications)
Elysium Health New York, NY 2014 (2015-present; Aging & genomic nutritional supplements)
GenEdit Berkeley CA 2015 (2016-present; CRISPR delivery)
HelixNano Cambridge MA 2013 (2016-present; non-viral gene delivery)
Transposagen Lexington KY 2003 (2014-present; Poseida Therapeutics, Hera Testing; Mammalian genome engineering)
Pronutria Cambridge, MA 2011 (2011-2016; Axcella, nutritional synbio)
Recombinetics St. Paul, MN 2008 (2016-present; animal genome engineering)
Rejuvenatebio Boston MA 2015 (2015-present,F; aging-reversal gene therapies)
SeresHealth Cambridge MA 2012 (2012-present; microbiome therapeutics)
Single Cell Technology San Jose CA 2013 (2013-present; Therapeutic antibodies)
Skinome Santa Clara CA 2016 (2016-present; personalized skin care)
Technicolor SA Issy-les-Moulineaux, France 1914 (2012-present; Nucleic Acid Memory)
Verge San Francisco CA 2015 (2015-present; Neurotherapeutics)
Warp Drive Biosynthetics Boston MA 2011 (2011-present,F; Natural product therapeutics)
Publishing and non-profit groups:
Arc Boston MA 2014 (2014-present; Biomed + IT fusion)
BioWeatherMap.org Boston MA 2009 (2009-present,F; DIYbio)
Centre for Study of Existential Risk (CSER) Cambridge UK 2013 (2013-present; Risk)
Epstein Foundation St. Thomas, VI 2000 (2005-present; cutting edge science & education)
Edge Foundation 1988 (2005-present; science communication)
Future of Life Institute (FLI) Cambridge MA 2014 (2014-present; technology risk management)
Genspace Brooklyn NY 2009 (2011-present; DIY Bio)
MindFirst Foundation Boston MA 2014 (2014-present,F; mental illnesses)
Nature Publishing Group (NPG) 1869 (2005-present; senior editor, MSB)
Open Humans Boston MA 2016 (2016-present,F; open-access human bio-data)
PersonalGenomes.org Boston MA 2004 (2004-present,F; open-access genome & trait data)
pgEd Boston MA 2006 (2013-present; personal genetics education)
Station for Natural Studies CT,MA 1986 (1986-present,F; genetics)
Scientific American 1845 (2008-present; editorial advisor)
X-prize.org Playa Vista CA 1996 (2005-2014; sequencing & energy)
Financial, Investment, Legal Consulting:
ACLU, Supreme Court, Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics (2009; DNA diagnostics)
Amrita GP LLC New York NY 2016 (2016-present; biomedical investment)
Crestwood Advisors LLC Boston MA (Investing)
DeMatteo Monness LLC 1997 (2011-2013; DNA Sequencing)
evalueSCIENCE 2011 (2011-2013; Science and policy advising)
Flagship Ventures Cambridge MA 2000 (2000-present; genomics & informatics)
Georgarage LLC Delaware 2014 (2014-present; tech & biotech)
Guidepoint Global (2009-2013; Genomics technologies)
Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG) (2007-2013; Genomics technologies)
US Supreme Court –Susman Godfrey LLP Amici Curiae Ebay & Half.com vs MercExchange LLC (2006; Intellectual Property)
Companies licensing Church lab patents or software:
Agilent Technologies Palo Alto 1999 (2001-present; nucleic acid nanopore sensors)
Affymetrix (Affymax) Palo Alto CA 1993 (1990-2003; Oligonucleotide arrays)
Agencourt (then Beckman Coulter) Beverly MA 2000 (2003-2006; Polony bead sequencing by ligation)
Applied Biosystems Foster City CA 19 81 (2003-2006; via Agencourt, polony bead sequencing by ligation)
Codon Devices (then Gen9) Cambridge MA 2005 (2005-2009,F; Constructive Biology)
Millipore Bedford,MA (1989-1990; multiplex sequencing) and 2009-2013 via EMD
Mosaic Technologies (then Apogent, Illumina) Boston MA 1994 (1993-94 & 2000-2001; DNA diagnostics)
Oxford NanoPore Technologies Kidlington UK 2005 (2008)
Pyrosequencing (also Biotage – 454) Stockholm 2000 (2001-2005; modified dNTPs for array sequenc
SOURCE- George Church, Elysium Health, Rejuvenate Bio
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.
21 thoughts on “Aging Reversal tests in dogs by 2019 and then in human tests by 2022 if that works”
In 2012 I saw a documentary with Morgan Freeman as the host. It was based on reverse ageing . I was really enthused about the idea of being 26 again for years and years to come but now it’s 2019 and I’m getting old. This sucks. I am still interested in the idea and have even done research on the subject learning about telomeres and how DNA comes unraveled over time and how cells slow down and stop replicating. If you guys need a test subject I might be interested in giving it a shot as my life will probably be short anyway. I had a crazy idea that if we could inject thousands of nano bots specifically programed to unzip DNA stands one at a time and fix them and then zip them back up we might have something. Also they would be programmed to do other things like removing blockage in arteries and working on telomeres to function properly again. When bots are done they would go to the colon and simply exit the body.
We shouldn’t want to live forever. If our science had any interest in real knowledge we would have understood reincarnation by now. We are meant to die after we have completed our mission here and reborn again for another one. We already have eternity and our evolution should not be hindered because we don’t have understanding of our true nature!
What we have here is actually a very good example of a psychological coping mechanism in action. =)
Brett, please note that although your knee jerk reactions of “What about the pensions” or “Anti aging only for the rich” or “Overpopulation” are not nearly as silly as believing in a magical afterlife, they are springing from the same psychological coping mechanism:
Jim, you’ve completely misunderstood my comment about pensions. Perhaps you should look at the last paragraph again.
I’m well aware of this coping mechanism you’re talking about, I’ve got a copy of The Immortalist” in my library. It’s time, it’s been time for a long while, to “hunt down death like a dog”. You don’t have to persuade ME on that point.
I was pointing out a dynamic I expect we’ll have to fight, not endorsing the reasoning as valid.
Next time on Next Big Afterlife!
72 Virgins! Nintendo for everyone! White fluffy clouds and sunshine on an endless beach! Why stick around here continuing this miserable existence?!
Aging reversal does nothing to stop dying, sooner or later.
Not reversing aging for multi-century (and beyond) life is stupid because we have no data points for arguing for/against it. No one, neither individual nor social groups, has lived that long. Until it happens there’s no telling what it’s like.
One of the only probable things is that something new will come of it. Good or bad. One of the only sure things is that not reversing aging for longer lives is robbing hundreds of thousands of people from their most basic human right.
“We already have eternity and our evolution should not be hindered because we don’t have understanding of our true nature!”
*hundreds of thousands of people, per day.
My, aren’t you mystical…. for the rest of us that really want to live a longer life we’ll take the science based approach and not cross our fingers and leap into oblivion.
“The FDA doesn’t stop you for using things off label or curing two things at once.”
Not generally, no. But the government stands a good chance of being covertly opposed to life extension. On the one hand, the government is controlled by people who are mostly too old to plausibly benefit from it. Heck, if things go well it will be a near thing for me, and I’m 58, a spring chicken compared to most members of Congress.
On the other hand, life extension poses severe political problems in terms of the demographics of pensions. The government is going to have a choice of people dying, or messing with pensions, and people dying will be easier.
But, yeah, maybe those of us who stand to benefit will have enough political clout that the FDA won’t kill it.
A couple of points:
1. Where does it say that there is an age cutoff at which the treatment doesn’t help?
2. Does this mean that research should concentrate on those treatments that DO work on older people?
3. “Government is controlled by….” is not as clear a statement as it seems. Yes, the senior ministers/senators/president types are generally above their mid 50s. But their staff, the people who summarize complex technical issues for them, who write up the position papers and do all the background stuff? They tend to be a fair bit younger.
Sure, a position that is directly opposed to the senior guy’s principles isn’t going to sneak past them, but a position where there isn’t a direct reason to oppose it, but instead an indirect motivation? That’s the sort of thing that depends on how it’s presented.
4. Governments have a demographic pension problem with long life… but only because the current system assumes you become “old” by your mid 60s. If that problem goes away, there is no conflict. In fact it makes things better.
Yep. 100 years of active life + 20 of being cared for is much easier on pensions than 40 + 20.
As long as life-extension technology advances at a faster pace than your aging does, then you can hope for immortality. The problem that brings is overpopulation/overcrowding. That would then force us to go out into space to alleviate the overcrowding – and maybe even impose stricter birth control measures, like being neutered at birth or prior to puberty. Reproduction would be regulated, so that couples would need a license to have offspring.
There’s plenty of room physically on this planet to house people. People have shown they don’t mind living at extremely high densities (Manhattan, Tokyo, etc.), Have you seen how empty Montana is? Plus we could build floating cities since the oceans make up 2/3 of the planet surface.
The real problem is in feeding all these people and building the gadgets and vehicles that they want, without destroying the oxygen-making and climate-protecting forests. Some options there are asteroid mining, lab-grown meat (we’ve got to come up with a better name as it will move out of the labs soon) and oil from algae. It is possible for many more people to live on Earth, but it will take some doing. Moving into space isn’t a bad option either. Regulating reproduction makes some sense – there’s too many abusive/incompetent parents, but you need a decent ratio of young child-bearing people or there’s going to be economic and social problems down the road. And as people urbanize, they tend to have fewer kids anyway.
One idea I’ve seen somewhere in sci-fi is that life-extension drugs are only available in space, so if you want to be sure to live past 90 years, you need to move to space, freeing up room on Earth. Of course, this opens up drug smuggling and claims of ethnic euthanasia.
Sanman: “stricter birth control measures, like being neutered at birth”
It doesn’t need to be *quite* that strict.
Nobody allowed more than 1 child would result in the population leveling off at under double the population at the time the rule was imposed.
Brett, these fears have been debunked multiple times:
But these fears keep popping into people’s heads when confronted with the idea of life extension as people employ psychological ‘coping mechanisms’ to deal with the idea of awful and apparently inevitable things that will happen. A big part of these coping mechanisms is not pay attention to the awful thing and to quickly find ways to dismiss any ideas challenging the current state of affairs, rather than think rationally about them.
We are human beings, not Dr Spock.
I don’t think Brett is making the argument that you think he is.
Which do you think would be more politically popular: increasing the retirement age because people live longer, or keeping the retirement age low by making sure most people get sick and die before too long?
You might get away with the latter if people don’t know any better, but that won’t work if their dogs are living thirty years.
Aside from that, degenerative diseases in old age are extremely expensive. Anti-aging treatments could save more in Medicare than they cost in Social Security.
We’ll have robots to do the heavy lifting for us, so why can’t we be more productive into our old age? There needs to be more focus on protecting against mental degeneration in old age, because it’s the mind which is most necessary to keep us productive, useful, and self-reliant.
An older workforce is also a more experienced workforce.
Just start cycling retirements. You can use the time off to relax and then off to higher learning for a new career.
Say, 20 yrs off then back to work.
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