Interview with Liz Parrish, CEO of BioViva
Liz Parrish, CEO of BioViva
What is aging? We can define it as a process of accumulation of molecular and cellular lesions, which are a consequence of normal metabolism. While researchers still do not understand how metabolic processes cause accumulation of damage, and how the accumulated damage causes pathologies, the lesions themselves - structural differences between old and young tissue - are classified and studied very well. Correcting the damage and restoring the old - intact - the young state of the body, we will really rejuvenate it! It sounds very promising, and so it is. And for some types of damage (for example, for senescent cells) it is shown that it works!
BioViva , is a humanist and entrepreneur, an innovator and an important voice in the field of gene therapy. As an unconditional supporter of progress and education in order to promote regenerative medicine, she acts as a speaker, telling the general public about the life sciences. She actively participates in international media outreach and is one of the founders of International Alliance of Longevity (ILA). Liz is an affiliated member of Alliance of Complex Biological Systems (CBSA), a unique platform for talented people - members of Mensa , which promote science and engineering.
The mission of CBSA is to further scientific understanding of the biological complexity, nature and origin of human diseases. Liz is the founder of BioTrove Investments LLC and BioTrove Podcasts, helping to educate the public and fund research in the field of regenerative medicine.
Any investment in new methods is risky. No risk - no benefits. Medicine can not develop if no one is willing to risk it. This applies to both investors and patients.
Ariel Finerman : Hello, Miss Liz Parrish!
Liz Parrish : Hello, Ariel Fainerman!
Ariel Finerman : Honestly, I planned to offer you the idea of creating a medical infrastructure parallel to the current one, in which new drugs would go straight to the patients without any unnecessary checks. We really need such an infrastructure! And when I looked at the BioViva web page, I noticed that you already did it! Well, at least they started. Very pleasant surprise! Can you tell when and why you realized that it is not enough just to make a good therapy to build a viable alternative to the current regulatory pathway? We need an independent platform and a whole parallel infrastructure!
Liz Parrish : I realized this very early, but we needed time to get the right team and start cooperation with different companies.
Ariel Finerman : How optimistic are you that other companies will follow your example?
Liz Parrish : Very. We believe that in five years CAGR the market for the anti-aging and regenerative industry will amount to more than 8.4%, and the total market valuation will be approximately $ 500 billion by 2022. We have no doubt that this will prompt many companies to search for innovative ways to seize the market, providing customers with unique opportunities. We hope that these companies will use our platform, and we will be able to use our many years of experience to help them.
Ariel Finerman : We already have many important results in the laboratory that can save human lives right now, but a lack of funding and an overly regulated medical system do not give them the opportunity to get into clinics in the near future. At the current pace of progress, they will become obsolete before clinical trials. Do you think that translational medicine is becoming a bottleneck?
Liz Parrish : Yes and no. Many parts of the translation process need to be accelerated, while other parts need improved supervision and regulation, and some generally need to start from scratch. BioViva cooperates with biotechnology companies, researchers, clinicians and regulators to collect all these parts of the translation puzzle at the right place and at the right time so that patients receive the best treatment.
Ariel Finerman : What therapies do you currently offer?
Liz Parrish : BioViva does not offer any therapies. We cooperate with clinics and other companies, including Integrated Health Systems (IHS), which offer treatment to patients in different parts of the world. Please contact IHS for information about treatment.
Ariel Finerman : As far as I remember, BioViva used to work on telomerase. Does your company now work on any therapy?
Liz Parrish : Our company began working with Integrated Health Systems (IHS) earlier this year. Our partner company offers treatment in different parts of the world, and BioViva collects and analyzes patient data.
Ariel Finerman : What are your requirements for a bioengineering company that want to use your program? How do you ensure that their therapy is safe and effective?
Liz Parrish : We are not biohackers and not bioengineers. We collect data on the treatment offered in the clinics selected by our partners. IHS requires that clinics meet the requirements of their countries, and medical personnel have excellent training, as well as high standards of hygiene and equipment. IHS only works with clinics with an excellent reputation. US scientists also regularly check clinics working in IHS to ensure compliance with standards.
Ariel Finerman : How does your platform work?
Liz Parrish : Our company works under the contract. Unfortunately, I can not elaborate on it, because it is not public information. Our goal in creating our platform is to speed up the regulation by obtaining as much of the early data on the person as possible, which, we hope, will make the latest technology available to those who need them as soon as possible. Aging kills 10?000 people a day, so we can not afford to relax, we have to deliver treatment to patients as it appears.
Ariel Finerman : Investors are usually afraid of the uncertainty surrounding the company, choosing any alternative to the current regulatory process. Is the situation improving? How do you solve this problem? Do you help bioengineering companies to look for loyal investors?
Liz Parrish : Any investment in new methods is risky. No risk - no benefits. Medicine can not develop if no one is willing to risk it. This applies to both investors and patients. However, recently we have noted a trend in favor of investments, which five years ago would have been considered a high risk, but today they are viewed more as an average risk. The main reason is the increase in processing power, which, in turn, allows you to get more information and better analyze it. When it comes to information, "more" is synonymous with "better". More information allows investors to better predict the profitability of their investments, so more funds are invested in things related to a lot of information.
Ariel Finerman : Aubrey de Gray said : "I think the main thing that we should do is to better use those who decided to go abroad to be treated: we should simplify their lives as much as possible so that they inform about the treatment received, and how well it worked, side effects and so on, in for a long time after treatment so that such information can be analyzed and used in planning by future research. People who provide experimental therapy have no incentive to collect such data, so they are usually never collected. "
Do you or your partner clinics collect this information?
Liz Parrish : As I said above, the task of BioViva is just the collection and processing of data. This is what we do. We collect data before and during treatment. Then at different times after treatment. We hope to gather a lot of information about each patient we are treating and collect a lot of data from many, many patients. This is the only way to assess whether the treatment works, who it works for, how long, how many times, and so on.
Ariel Finerman : Some people are concerned that many types of treatment through medical tourism will be available only to a small group. Because of the lack of information, the need to go abroad, the lack of a sane network of clinics and so on. What do you say? How do you plan to solve the problem?
Liz Parrish : All new methods of treatment are expensive, because their development is still ongoing. A small group of people who can afford them, benefits from the fact that at the time of their treatment is the most modern medicine, but they simultaneously fund research and development that will improve these therapies, and then make them available to a larger number. This applies to organ transplantation or coronary bypass, now routine, but once inaccessible to most, and to gene therapy.
The fact that treatment takes place abroad does not necessarily mean lack of information. All clinics offered by IHS have web pages with detailed information. IHS is a network of clinics that has not yet had a tool to link patients in need of treatment with clinics around the world, only one or two of whom may have the treatment that is appropriate for a particular patient.
Of course, information about clinical trials of some of their therapies is less, and how could it be otherwise? These therapies are new, their tests - the path that has not yet been traversed in the new territory. This new territory requires patients to examine it, provide information to us for analysis and thus make new therapies available to more people.
Ariel Finerman : Thank you very much for your answers, I hope to meet you again!
Liz Parrish : Thank you for being invited.
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