Antiaging expert Aubrey de Grey says there is a 50% chance that we reach longevity escape velocity by 2035.
I now think there is a 50% chance that we will reach longevity escape velocity by 2036. After that point (the "Methuselarity"), those who regularly receive the latest rejuvenation therapies will never suffer from age-related ill-health at any age.
— Aubrey de Grey (@aubreydegrey) March 14, 2021
This means that the aging damage repair thesis is broadly correct. It also means that the most advanced aging reversal treatments are highly promising. Some treatments will not work and some antiaging companies will fail. However, Aubrey must believe that the current hot antiaging treatments must be highly promising. Having risks of getting a major setback in the theoretical foundation of antiaging and aging reversal would cause multi-decade setbacks in the timeline.
An antiaging funding winter must also have a very low probability.
This would also mean that there would need to be an antiaging funding boom in the next 0-5 years triggered by the first moderately effective antiaging treatments. The broad antiaging scientific community would need to be confident in saying publicly that escape velocity antiaging had a reasonable chance of being achieved with Manhattan Project funding or a COVID vaccine warp speed program. Funding would need to explode from a couple of billion in private funding to tens of billions and then hundreds of billions every year. We would need to get a partial combination treatment or a very effective single treatment deployed within 3-7 years to be remotely on track for longevity escape velocity by 2035.
A broad shift in public perception would need to happen within 3-7 years. Delays in creating multiple antiaging warp speed programs would reduce the odds of a broad and meaningfully comprehensive result by 2035.
Huge achievements and huge shifts would need to start happening on a fairly regular and timely basis to achieve this difficult challenge and transformation on a large population scale.
Aubrey co-founded the Methuselah Foundation in 2001. The Foundation’s mission? is to make 90 the new 50 by 2030. Reaching longevity escape velocity by 2035 means broadly creating the science and medicine to make 90 the new 50 by 2030 and then getting it approved in various jurisdictions around the world.
The Methuselah Mouse prize would need to be won in the next few years. This would be to begin aging reversal treatments on middle-aged mice and have them live to over 5 years on average. This would be equivalent to human ages of 180.
The antiaging and aging reversal treatments could not be the weak equivalent of proper oil changes and tire rotations on a car. Given the wide variation in human health, the treatments would need to broadly rejuvenate immune systems and clear out high levels of aging damage.
Some version of combination Senolytics and Stem cells would need to have a significant effect. More treatments could be needed but there has to be a belief that getting rid of most bad cells and have the means to replace them with young healthy cells is likely foundational to a broad regimen of rejuvenation.
Another potential problem is tissue atrophy, resulting from a massive removal of senescent cells by senolytic drugs. Accumulation of senescent cells varies between tissues during normal aging, being 2% to 5% on average for most tissues, yet up to 25% in the fat tissue. Senescent cells play a role at least in part to support the structure of old tissues and thus their abrupt removal may lead to atrophy, depending on the levels of senescent cells that reside in the tissue.
Recent rapid progress in senolytics revolutionizes the field of aging research and makes it realistic to develop therapeutic strategies for delaying human aging. Although our current understanding of senotherapy is not complete yet, it is a matter of time to improve it through the development of new senolytic and senostatic approaches. With more weapons in our hands, one day it might be possible to treat many age-related diseases as a manner of ‘one-size-fits-all’ and eventually enhance healthy human lifespan.
Just dialing back the aging damage from 90 to 70 would not reduce the chance of dying enough. If you are 70, you currently have between a 1.5% and 2.2% chance of dying every year. Someone who has the health and aging profile of a 50-year-old would have a 0.3 to 0.5% chance of dying every year. If someone had aging repair procedures every decade to restore to 50-year old damage levels then they would have 4-6% chance of dying every decade. This would be about 20-35% chance of dying over 50 years.
This would make 70 the new 35 or 40. This would be 0.15 to 0.25% chance of dying every year or 2-3% every decade. This would be 10-18% over 50 years.
Details of Longevity Escape Velocity – Repairing Damage to Pull Away from Frailty and Death
Frailty is common for people over the age of 70. Frailty basically is where you have about half of the lean muscle mass that you had when you were about 25. Frailty also involves weak bones and diminished lung capacity and reduced organ functions.
Any broadly successful antiaging-aging reversal treatment would have to remove most people from a state of frailty. If this could not be done then it would have no chance of getting close to longevity escape velocity.
There is an antiaging paper that describes 37 health factors that need to be maintained at a non-frail level.
There is a 76-page Methuselah Foundation study of the physical and biological tests to determine what success would mean for someone who is 90 years old to be as healthy as someone who is 50.
The study looks at 37 medical tests or assessments.
Some People Trying Early Versions of Treatments in These Categories
There are a few hundred to few thousand people who are early adopters of early versions of senolytic treatments. The early versions of treatments even if they are in the right category may not work or may not be effective at a truly useful level. The hope is that health would be improved for those at more advanced ages to improve longevity and healthspan while waiting for the hopefully better versions.
The early adopters will in theory continue to upgrade as better treatments become available. This could improve access times by 5-10 years or more versus the general public.
SOURCES- SENS, Aubrey de Grey
Written by Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
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.
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