The first attempt at using gene therapy to prevent regular aging allegedly happened last month in what could spell the beginning of a new era in do-it-yourself genetic modification.
CEO and founder of BioViva Sciences USA Inc, Liz Parrish, claims she underwent gene therapy at an undisclosed location in Latin America where she received two forms of treatment, including muscle mass enhancement and therapy to increase the length of the telomeres, the DNA caps which protect the chromosome from deterioration and are associated with longer life span.
Parrish announced in a Reddit AMA that she had gone through the therapy and if successful she plans to roll out a public offering in three to five years despite neither treatment being FDA approved. The results of the therapy are yet unknown and she says she feels no different so far but believes it will be months before any changes occur. If successful her body, in theory, should begin to de-age.
In a recent interview Parrish said BioViva is a gene therapy company that targets aging as a disease by focussing on research and procedures that reverse aging such as epigenetic changes, muscle mass changes, cleaning up of DNA damage and misfolded proteins.
“I am patient zero. I will be 45 in January. I have aging as a disease” she said on Reddit.
MIT Technology Review, which first reported the announcement, has attempted to verify the accuracy of Parrish’s claims but so far has only received confirmation from her company. The article claims the procedure was filmed however so it’s likely a documentary style video of Parrish receiving the treatment will be released in due course.
Is this the beginning of a new era in health and longevity or another foiled attempt at defeating the inevitable sands of time? Through Parrish’s somewhat brave and somewhat irresponsible actions we will find out. I wish her well.