George Church on Gene Therapies and Longevity
\”I clearly state, balancing that, that my goal isn’t longevity, even modest longevity. It’s only reversing diseases of aging. This is really classic medicine. Q: This leads me to my next question: Do we know how to even aim for life extension? I don’t believe we do. I think we can improve aging reversal if we are serious about it, just as we did with transportation, from the first wheel up to rocket ships.\” I’ll be honest. I disagree. We have seen some improvements in humans from TRIM, TAME, and plasma filtering. Church’s work, however, is extremely important.
George Church, Professor of Genetics and one of the world’s most prominent geroscientists works on gene therapy that could reverse age-related illnesses. We were able to interview George Church, a prolific researcher and entrepreneur who has been involved in dozens startups, on a variety of topics, including the current state in gene therapy, to his recent attempts to auction his genome as he was one of the first human genomes to be sequenced in the world.
What are the recent successes and failures in gene therapy? What are your expectations for the next few decades?
Most of the failures in gene therapy occurred at the beginning, around 2000, nearly two decades ago. A couple of people died of an LMO2 cancerous oncogene and another person died of an immune response to an adenovirus. That was around 20 years ago. Fast forward 20 years and the majority of gene therapies have succeeded. Hundreds are currently in clinical trials. You have dozens approved by FDA.