Bioviva: Helping reduce the burden of chronic ageing11 July 2018
What BioViva does as a company is vitally important. Throughout our lifetime, it is possible to achieve amazing things, but time is always a limiting factor. Disease affects us throughout our lives affecting our ability to perform and eventually tragically ends our lives and destroying this opportunity altogether. By investing time, money and effort into finding cures for disease, the team at BioViva is creating time and quality life for humanity.
It was this prospect which prompted Elizabeth Parrish, a tech entrepreneur, to start up her own company, BioViva. Her son was diagnosed with type one diabetes. A chronic auto immune disease causing the pancreas to not be able to create insulin. As well as risk of coma and even death. The only remedy for the condition is daily insulin injections. While looking for a cure, Parrish learned about regenerative medicine and aging. The bodies ability to re-generate and modulate damage appears to be of great benefit to mankind, young or old.
What are the effects of ageing?
You may have witnessed the effects of aging in your grandparents, your parents, or even yourself. Ageing causes around 100,000 people to die every day and will be the biggest killer worldwide by 2050. Aging drives disease and is the number one risk factor for death. One in six people over the age of sixty will experience kidney failure, and one in ten over the age of sixty-five will have Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Heart disease and cancer take the largest percentage of lives yearly.
Where have we been? Where are we now?
In 1900, 53% of the population died from infectious diseases. However, lifespan began to improve rapidly. Specifically thanks to the introduction of antibiotics and immunisations. Now, only 3% of the population dies as a result of these diseases. The current big killers are chronic diseases of aging which can last between ten to fifteen years of a persons life. Despite diet and exercise we age, diseases develop. Once we reach sixty, 40% of the population has at least one disease, this number increases to 85% by the age of 85, with many people having over two diseases.
Increased burden is placed on younger generations when society begins to age
By 2050, there will be over two billion people over the age of 65. As people retire and no longer work the burden of care falls on the working class. In some countries there are only 3 workers per one retiree. Diseases such as dementia, cardiovascular disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes cost society a trillion-dollars each. Potential financial savings of reducing the effects of ageing can be huge.
What is the current state of medicine?
When looking through newspapers, it is almost impossible not to come across research or cures for common diseases. Such as the eradication of cancer in mice. Or dementia/heart disease in other animals. Disappointingly however, is the fact that many investors won’t invest in biotech due to its risky nature. Although initial research into disease is high in frequency, the number of drugs launched to market is minimal which in its self can cost over a billion dollars. Furthermore, not all drugs are guaranteed to work for all patients. Specifically, these drugs can even have harmful side effects.
How can medicine be revolutionised for the future?
Today, there is significant research into the causes of ageing. Some companies are beginning to develop gene and cell technologies which help reverse cell ageing. Resultantly, conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and cancer may soon have a cure. Over the past 30 years, significant effors has been made to try to cure these conditions. However, these have been largely unsuccessful. Because such conditions need to be tackled at the cellular level. Which target aging itself. If such research was successful, we could see lifespans for those with certain illnesses increase and more importantly we will see an increase in health span, the time in which we are more productive and active. If we cured heart disease alone, a person would add four more years to their life. Whereas a cure for cancer, diabetes and heart disease together would gain a person 16 years. Ultimately however, slowing the biological process of aging would add 33 years to someones life, a significant benefit.
What does BioViva do?
For a biotech company who has a promising drug with a safety profile, BioViva can provide a platform of care. By giving patients consensual early access to drug development BioViva helps patients with no other options get access to drugs that can potentially help, and biotech companies understand how their drugs perform, increasing investment opportunities and faster therapeutic development.
By using a unique diagnostic and prognostics process BioViva takes pre and post therapy biomarkers of a patient to determine the health benefits produced.
There are multiple benefits to the platform. For those that can afford it, it is a good option for someone at end of life stage, with no further options. BioViva can offer risk free investments by indicating that the drugs work before commitment. Finally, the BioViva platform helps biotech companies make drugs that will help society live better longer lives.