BioViva is paving the way for the creation of next generation anti-aging therapeutics to bring a future of healthy human longevity for all.
Our mission is to extend healthspan and, eventually, lifespan, to new levels. We want to constantly push beyond what is possible and deliver sophisticated technologies in record time.
Liz Parrish, the founder and CEO of BioViva, is patient zero of a gene therapy that rejuvenated her telomeres up to 33 years. Why do telomeres matter?
Liz Parrish received a dual gene therapy composed of follistatin and telomerase in 2015.
Telomeres are the caps at the ends of our chromosomes. When our cells divide they sacrifice themselves to protect our DNA. When they become critically short, cells stop dividing and become senescent.
Over the last ten years telomeres have received a lot of attention from researchers and the general public for good reason. There are few markers of good health that are not directly or indirectly affected by telomere length.
If you want to learn more about telomeres and telomerase, please read this wonderful article from Integrated Health Systems.
Do you consider yourself primarily an anti-aging company? If not, how would you describe your mission?
When our CEO, Liz Parrish, began her journey she was first interested in childhood illnesses. However, she eventually realized that the vast majority of diseases are related to processes associated with aging. Processes like telomere shortening, mitochondrial dysfunction, stem cell depletion, and muscle underpin issues like heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and diabetes.
BioViva was founded to combat the diseases caused by aging by addressing the problem at its root. While this remains true, our vision has broadened with time. The BioViva BioVault™ is a versatile platform that can be used by researchers of all stripes. BioViva’s mission is to continuously improve human health, but its primary focus is on designing and refining upon anti-aging therapeutics.
As measured by SpectraCell™ and Life Length™, Liz’s telomeres have de-aged by 33 years since she undertook the dual gene therapy in September, 2015. Her thigh muscles, as shown by this fMRI image, have changed dramatically. She lost fat and gained muscle. However, no change in her overall body weight took place.
“Feeling” is somewhat subjective, but she is constantly traveling and indefatigably spreading the message of healthy longevity for all - so she must be feeling alright. :-)
Our media section has a few videos where Liz talks about her experience as Patient Zero. Check them out!
One of the major misconceptions about aging research is that it diverts energy from dementia, diabetes, cancer, and other terrible but all-too-familiar diseases. However, all of the diseases mentioned, and many more that would take too much space to list here, are the direct result of biological aging. Aging is the root cause. Effective methods to prevent, treat, or reverse these infirmities will undoubtedly come from biogerontology.
Understanding how to address these problems entails first understanding the aging process and its underpinning molecular drivers.
Imagine being physically fit, sharp, and energetic well into what is now considered old age. Healthspan is how long you remain youthful, how long you retain the vim and vigor of someone at or near the prime of their life. There are negligibly senescent animals, like the Naked Mole Rat, that age in this way - that only are “old” for a small fraction of their total lifespan. But there’s no need to look to other species.
People age at vastly different rates. Many people, when they think of longevity, imagine someone being kept alive in a hospital. This is not the future BioViva envisions. The goals of prolonging healthspan and lifespan are not opposed to one another; they are inextricably intertwined.
It is impossible to significantly lengthen lifespan without first improving healthspan.
DNA is information. It can be analyzed and understood in the same way you are parsing this sentence. However, billions of pairs of A, T, G, and C are not exactly easy reading.
This is why the BioViva BioVault is utilizing sophisticated statistical methods backed by the enormous power of modern computers to begin unraveling the mysteries of human healthspan and lifespan
This will help us discover novel biomarkers (more on that later), diagnose disease, make health predictions, make personalized lifestyle recommendations, and lay the foundations for precision medicine.
The BioVault™, as an actively curated data set, can be leveraged by medical researchers to expedite new discoveries in the areas of longevity science and gene therapy.
Longevity enthusiasts are ultimately agnostic about how to improve healthspan. Gene therapy, like the sorts offered by our exclusive partner, Integrated Health Systems, at this time appears to be the most promising approach in terms of safety, versatility, and efficacy.
Your doctor uses a number of tests to gauge how you’re doing, like your cholesterol, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose. These are all biomarkers. The BioViva BioVault is utilizing a vast array of biomarkers, some familiar and some not, to refine gene therapy and give researchers of all stripes an organized, large, searchable, and detailed atlas of human health.
The genome, proteome, metabolome, epigenome, microbiome, and others all play critical roles in keeping you at your best. Figuring out how they relate to wellness and disease, as well as how they relate to one another, is integral to the mission of BioViva and the BioVault.
TimeKeeper is BioViva’s proprietary epigenetic clock. It is a set of biomarkers (where epigenetic modifications have been made to parts of the genome) that are analyzed by a carefully designed statistical framework.
TimeKeeper is among the most advanced DTC kits on the market. Horvath’s epigenetic clock has been shown time and time again to be an accurate gauge of how quickly someone is truly aging.
This is one of the most common objections to longevity research. Have you ever taken antibiotics? Have your children?
Then you’ve already artificially prolonged your life far beyond the “natural” age for most of human history - most folks died of viral or bacterial infections before they were 35.
Moreover, we don’t believe the elderly should be viewed as disposable or unimportant.
We understand that overpopulation is a problem. Yet many countries are experiencing negative population growth. While this may look good at first glance, the ramifications of shifting demographics are anything but desirable. As the average age continues to climb, the world faces severe labor shortages.
While automation may pick up some of the slack, it does not seem prudent to put too much faith in machines - at least in the next half century - occupying all of the jobs normally done by people. While computers have done an excellent job at brute calculations, it’s not clear when or if they will have the capacity to satisfactorily fill positions that require creative thinking and soft skills.
In light of these figures, it seems that the developed world has two options: either increase the fertility rate or begin helping people remain productive for longer periods of time. The former, besides being logistically unfeasible, is what would aggravate overpopulation.