The new goal is to reverse aging, not only in animals, but in humans. And age reversal is essential, as significant age-related disruption has already occurred in most people due to changes in our gene expression profiles.
Gene expression patterns change with age. This influences the rate at which an individual ages, and also determines what senile disorders they are likely to contract. But innovative gene-editing methods based on a unique technology called CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) are now being successfully harnessed for use as an age-reversal therapy for humans.
In response to these breakthroughs, Life Extension® magazine sent biogerontologist Dr. Gregory M. Fahy to Harvard University to interview Dr. George Church, who is a leading developer of cutting-edge CRISPR techniques. Here, Dr. Church explains remarkable opportunities for transforming human aging that may begin to unfold sooner than most have imagined.
The first phase I aging reversal human trials could be in a year or two
Fahy: Using your most favorable pathway for intervention, how long will it take before a human trial might be possible?
Church: I think it can happen very quickly. It may take years to get full approval, but it could take as little as a year to get approval for phase one trials. Trials of GDF11, myostatin, and others are already underway in animals, as are a large number of CRISPR trials. I think we’ll be seeing the first human trials in a year or two.