[ExI] Anti-aging young blood clinical trial

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Thu Aug 4 07:52:15 UTC 2016

It reads like the clichéd plot of a horror novel: by ingesting the
blood of a younger person, you become younger yourself.

Incredibly, this more or less describes a clinical trial approved by
the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For $8,000, you can buy a
place in the trial which, over two days, infuses you with 1.5 liters
(about 3 pints) of a young person’s blood. Then, blood samples taken
before the infusion and one month later will be tested for 100
biomarkers to see if you show any signs of reversing the aging



The FDA has good reason to approve a trial for what seems like a
somewhat bonkers idea. A remarkable experiment in 2014 rejuvenated the
old idea of parabiosis, or giving young blood to an old person.
However, instead of just transfering blood, Tony Wyss-Coray of
Stanford University transfused young mice’s plasma—which is the
yellowish part of the blood that remains after removing platelets and
both red and white blood cells—into their older counterparts.

The tests showed that the older mice subsequently had better brain
connections and stronger muscles in their hearts and other organs.
Wyss-Coray is advancing this work with a company he founded called
Alkahest. The company has an ongoing trial involving infusions of
young blood into 18 Alzheimer’s patients.

The new trial, planned by a different company called Ambrosia, is
piggybacking on Wyss-Coray’s success. However, unlike Alkahest’s
trial, Ambrosia’s is open to anyone over the age of 35. It aims to
recruit around 600 people, who will each pay to receive blood from a
person younger than 25 to study the effects.
Ambrosia has already attracted investment from tech billionaire Peter
Thiel, who is, as Inc. put it “very, very interested in young people’s


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