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A Harvard startup is using gene therapy to reverse ageing in dogs, humans are next

Posted on: 14 May 2018, source: Moneycontrol.com
In order to achieve the objective to “have the body and mind of a 22-year-old but the experience of a 130-year-old,” a Harvard professor backed startup is planning to rejuvenate dogs using gene therapy. And, if results are positive, the same approach could be used in humans. Rejuvenate Bio, co-founded by George Church of Harvard Medical School, has already carried out age-defying tests on beagles and claims it will make animals “younger" by adding new DNA instructions to their bodies.


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The clues from past research have shown promising results in simple organisms like worms and flies. Tweaks in their genes it has been found that their lifespans could be increased by double or better. The company just want to bring the same technology to dogs, MIT Technology Review reports. The company, however, keeps itself away from the gaze of the press. Their website consists of a single page with no information whatsoever. Therefore, it has been unclear how many dogs have been tested.

“We have already done a bunch of trials in mice and we are doing some in dogs, and then we’ll move on to humans,” Church told the podcaster Rob Reid earlier this year. The company’s plan to using reverse ageing technology on canines also has a commercial angle. The startup wants to tap the $72-billion-a-year US pet industry. “Dogs are a market in and of themselves,” Church said during an event in Boston. “It’s not just a big organism close to humans. It’s something people will pay for, and the FDA process is much faster. We’ll do dog trials, and that’ll be a product, and that’ll pay for scaling up in human trials.”

The idea of treating animals first came as getting an approval for similar treatment in humans may not be quick. Church said that if they went to FDA saying they are able to extend life by 20 years, the authority would ask them wait for 20 years and come back with data to prove the claim. However, Church said, if they get approval anytime, he would volunteer to be the first one to be treated.

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Posted on: 14 May 2018, source: Moneycontrol.com
In order to achieve the objective to “have the body and mind of a 22-year-old but the experience of a 130-year-old,” a Harvard professor backed startup is planning to rejuvenate dogs using gene therapy. And, if results are positive, the same approach could be used in humans. Rejuvenate Bio, co-founded by George Church of Harvard Medical School, has already carried out age-defying tests on beagles and claims it will make animals “younger" by adding new DNA instructions to their bodies.
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