2015 ORGANIZATIONAL REVIEW
In 2015, the International Longevity Alliance (ILA) made significant progress. A new website was constructed for organizational, membership and fundraising needs. The ILA now has an opportunity to provide technical support to ILA affiliated activist groups by providing subdomains compatible with supportive content management systems.
As part of the upgraded website, the ILA’s new site has a membership application form that addresses multiple types of members such as Federated members, Honorary (individual) members, as well as ILA Branches, which have the status of ILA members and represent the ILA at the national level in their distinctive countries. With this advance, the ILA membership recruitment campaign has begun and has been busy with new applicants.
Of special note, the website also comes equipped with a *Donate* option for supporters who want to financially contribute to projects aimed at combating aging.
The site development was provided by the Council for Public Health and the Problems of Demography and Longevite and Sante, and the project was lead by Elena Milova and Alexandr Kamosko.
After the announcement of the new ILA website several non-governmental organizations and experts applied for ILA membership. The new Federated members whose applications have been processed include, but are not limited to, the Georgia Longevity Alliance (GLA), and the NGO “Committee of Public Health of Medeusky District”, Kazakhstan, lead by the former Minister of Health of Kazakhstan Dr.Talapkali Izmukhambetov. Also, the India Future Society reinstated its status, as a federated member of the ILA, in 2015.
A number of Honorary members were adopted from different countries including Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Israel, Italy, and the United Kingdom. More applications will be processed in 2016 and ILA leadership hopes to see growing number of Federated and Honorary members from around the world in the near future.
Advocating the World Health Organization
The ILA promoted health research as a major policy point in the draft – Global Strategy and Action Plan on Ageing and Health to the World Health Organization (WHO)
The ILA initiated a campaign to promote longevity research in the Draft – Global Strategy and Action Plan on Aging and Health to the World Health Organization. We welcome more positive input within the revision of the Revised Draft on Global Strategy and Action Plan…
To advocate the World Health Organization in 2015 the ILA promoted research into health as a major policy point in the draft – Global Strategy and Action Plan on Ageing and Health to the World Health Organization (WHO) and initiated a campaign to promote longevity research within same document aforementioned. We welcome more positive input within the revision of the Revised Draft on Global Strategy and Action Plan.
There is clear evidence that the longevity community is having a decisive impact. This includes the work done by the Russian and Kazakhstan delegations and, of course, the ILA letter writing campaign. The Russian delegation included Prof. Vladimir Anisimov, President of the Gerontological Society of the Russian Academy of Science, as well as Daria Khaltourina, (Board Member of the ILA) and Viktor Zykov, who represented the Institute of Preventive Medicine by the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation. The Kazakhstani delegation was chaired by Dr. Ayash Baisultanova, the President of the Gerontological Association. Direct advocacy by longevity research proponents and scientists yielded some positive results.
Interventions in favor of longevity and biomedical research were seen in 2015 being promoted by many delegations including experts from Algeria, Belarus, Brazil, Finland, Germany, India, Nigeria, Norway, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
This common action resulted in the following changes in the Revised Draft:
- The WHO Strategy Vision has been reworded at 25 “The strategy’s vision is a world in which everyone can live a long and healthy life” instead of “A world in which everyone experiences Healthy Aging” as per the initial Zero draft;
- The destructive and complex nature of the biological aging process is described, perhaps for the first time at the UN level (paragraph 15 of the Revised Draft);
- The Strategic Objective 5.2 is reworded to a more positive sounding: “Strengthen research capacities and incentives for innovation” instead of “Improve research understanding of the gaps between intrinsic capacity and functional ability in specific contexts”;
- Interventions to prevent age-related diseases are highlighted (paragraph 105 of the Revised Draft).
For more details, please check the article by Paul Vincent & Steve Hill.
Didier Coeurnelle, Co-President of the Healthy Life Extension Society (Heales), co-chaired a workshop and made a presentation entitled: “Advantages and dangers of a world with or without life extension. A longer, healthier and ethical life for everybody?” at the 11th World Conference of Unesco Bioethics in Naples, Italy.
Experts of Heales, as well as of the Russian Longevity Alliance (RLA), took part in a number of events at the European Union level, and are working at the strategies for better access to decision making processes.
Major Mouse Testing Program
In 2015, ILA built a consortium of researchers and activists to initiate lifespan intervention tests in mice. Partner laboratories have been identified in Germany, Canada and other countries. A list of potential gero-protectors to test in mice has been developed and the priority interventions have been chosen.
Due to the strategy of the European Commission to fund clinical trials rather than preclinical research, other funding strategies have been developed. A Major Mouse Testing Program website has been developed to serve the fundraising needs. The ILA is grateful to the supporters who already donated to the project. http://majormouse.org/. The ILA gives special thanks to the website development team: Alejandro del Parra, Steve Hill, Paul Vincent, Elena Milova, Alexander Sychkov, and to Dr. Alexandra Stolzing for scientific support of the team and all other activists who took part in the site development and content management. A Promotion video has been produced by Adam Alonzi, and the ILA local activists helped to translate it into various languages.
Mouse Testing in Ukraine
- The researchers from State Institute of Gerontology of the National Academy of Medical Sciences and the Ukraine continue their life extension experiments on mice. International Longevity Alliance is grateful to all the activists who crowdfunded these tests coordinated by Anton Kulaga and Edouard Debouneuil.
- The 10 most promising geroprotectors were selected for testing: aspirin, rapamycin, simvastatin, metformin, ramipril, Metoprolol Tartrate, Hydrochlorothiazide, Losartan Potassium, and Amlodipine besylate. 3 combinations of these drugs were used:
- А − Aspirin, Everolimus, Metoprolol Tartrate, Metformin Hydrochloride, Simvastatin, Ramipril;
- В − Simvastatin, Hydrochlorothiazide, Losartan Potassium, Amlodipine besylate;
- С − Aspirin, Everolimus, Metformin Hydrochloride.
There were two new key results in 2015:
- Regular administration of all three drug combinations to the 23 month old mice (equivalent to 60-70 years for humans) decrease lifespan in mice, which might indicate low effectiveness of these therapies at older ages.
- Regular administration of various drug combinations to 16-18 month old mice (equivalent to 50-60 years for humans) tends to increase lifespan in mice. Combination A tends to increase the median life expectancy for males C57BL/6; Combination С tends to increase the both median and maximal life expectancy for females C57BL/6.
As a result, the research group lead by Dr. Irina Pishel finalized the screening of the geroprotectors and identified 2 drug combinations which had positive effects on average lifespan of С57BL/6 mice.
Two new research directions were started in 2015:
- Geroprotector combination tests on С57Вl/6 mice
- the number of animals which receive combinations A and C from 16th month increased;
- new control groups were added, including i) Aspirin; ii) Metformin iii) Aspirin, Metformin; iv) Aspirin, Metformin, Simvastatin;
- the research was designed to explore how geroprotectors work together, whether they work each by itself, in synergy, or as antagonists.
All mice had their health indicators checked including complete blood count, glucose tolerance test, muscle strength evaluation, rotarod test, open field test.
Table 1.Total number of animals that are in the current experiment.
|А (Aspirin, Everolimus, Metoprolol Tartrate, Metformin Hydrochloride, Simvastatin, Ramipril)||25||–|
|С (Aspirin, Everolimus, Metformin Hydrochloride)||–||31|
|D (Aspirin, Metformin, Simvastatin)||10||20|
|E (Aspirin, Metformin)||11||20|
Note. Number of animals will be increased to 30 in all groups.
- Study of olive oil with С60 effect on lifespan of mice CBA/Ca
- C60 in olive oil was kindly provided by Fathi Moussa
- Mice – CBA/Ca, both male and female
- Start of oral drug treatment – 11-12 months (approximately 40 years for a human).
- C60 dosage – 3.4 mg/kg, first week – daily, 2-8 weeks – weekly, 5 next months – once every two weeks, total – 25 administrations (or 1,, 78 mg of C60 per course of treatment/per mice).
Table 2. Preliminary data of C60 treatment.
|C60||Olive Oil||Water||C60||Olive Oil||Water|
|Alive mice number (December 2015)||32||33||33||27||27||28|
|% of death||13,5||8,3||8,3||22,9||12,9||17,6|
Those numbers indicate a trend that is not favorable about C60. However at this stage we are only typically comparing 5 versus 8 mice died so at this stage it is not significant.
Mouse Testing in Russia
The Council for Public Health and the Problems of Demography, ILA’s Federated Member in Russia, started a test of the complex of geroprotector effects on the lifespan of old mice.
The test is being done in the St. Petersburg State Chemical Pharmaceutical Academy, by a dedicated researcher Nadezhda Pechnikova, with the scientific advice of Prof. Aleksey Moskalev.
Fundraising campaign for this project was lead by Elena Milova, ILA’s Honorary member and Adviser for organizational tools, and Alexander Fedintsev, a bioinformatics specialist from Antibacterial Chemotherapy Research Center of Smolensk State Medical Academy (Russia), who also suggested the initial list of the compounds to test.
The following candidate geroprotectors are being administered to C57BL/6j mice:
- Vitamin D3
- Nicotinamide riboside
- Vitamin K1
- Thiamine pyrophosphate (cocarboxylase).
The team hopes that the complex of compounds that are known to slow down aging processes will produce a synergetic effect and will extend life of old mice. We are grateful to all the activists who contributed to this project, and especially to the major sponsorship partner of this project, entrepreneur Aleksey Petikov and his wife.
Testing The Safety Of Potential Life Extending Gene Therapies
Elizabeth Parrish, a Board Member of the International Longevity Alliance, and of the American Longevity Alliance (ALA) courageously volunteered to become the the first patient to undergo a genetic treatment which was designed to reverse the damage in biologically old cells.
While the ILA remains a non-profit organization, the team greatly supports the work doen by Mrs. Parrish and her company Bioviva Inc.. BioViva has attracted a professional team and Scientific Advisory Board to develop breakthroughs therapies in biomedical technologies to address the degenerative aging processes as well as aging-related diseases, such as atherosclerosis, sarcopenia, Alzheimer’s disease, skin conditions and more.
Mrs. Parrish appointed herself as zero patient, in an announcement on Reddit in October of 2015. Parrish took the therapeutics due to ethical reasons and to avoid risks to other people, yet enabling desperately needed information about these technologies to be research in a human body.
This first of a kind test attracted significant media attention globally, with an especially strong positive reaction in Russia. Elena Milova was integral in organizing an interview with one of the biggest Russian newspapers, Komsomolskaya Pravda, for Liz Parrish. Two detailed articles written by Anna Dobrukha, together with a documentary initiated a wave of reprints and additional articles containing the different opinions of the scientific community and of public figures. Many ILA activists took part in public discussion on this exceptional experiment. Now the public waits for new information and the long-term results of the test. Additionally, the experiment was promoted on the Open Innovations Forum in Moscow on October, 30, where Aubrey de Grey gave his comments on this important experiment during the debates after his speech. The speech was recorded and placed on the Youtube channel of the Forum, the information about the experiment will keep spreading over the next months (4800 views so far). Parrish gave many presentations in 2015 on her company’s work and to promote using gene therapies today in the terminally ill and in compassionate use scenarios.
Developing Evidence Based Advice
Two books were developed in 2015 by ILA community members to provide evidence based medical and lifestyle advice on preventing age-related health loss.
1. The team at Council for Public Health and Development developed a monograph which is being translated into other languages. The book was presented to NGOs and medical community in Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan and Volgograd.
Gil A., Milova E., Khaltourina D. (2015). Aging Prevention for All. V. Anisimov Ed. Moscow, Russia: Uchitel. ISBN: 978-5-7057-4557-9.
2. Kris Verburg, Healthy Life Extension Society, Heales member, published a monograph in Dutch:
Verburg, K. (2015). Veroudering vertragen. Amsterdam: Prometheus Bert Bakker. ISBN: 978-9-0351-4398-2.
Cancer Baseline Project
Edouard Debonneuil, the Board Member of the International Longevity Alliance, initiated the Cancer Baseline Project, within the framework of EPIDEMIUM Challenge4Cancer. This initiative is aimed to validate epidemiology on aggregate data, to Initiate a robust database for the scientific community, to discover new risk factors with this baseline model and to produce a reference table to determine if a random patient entering a doctor’s office is more or less at risk of cancer than an average patient. It is also aimed at producing evidence based work to advise patients about “good” cancer-coping behaviours, groups of patients on adequate therapies, and countries on health policies.
The Longevity Reporter
The Longevity Reporter continues to be successfully published weekly and expands its readership monthly due to hard work under the lead of Avi Roy, Robert Powell, Sven Beulterijs and Victor Bjoerk. There are nearly 2,000 followers on the Facebook page to date. The team plans to run a Longevity Podcast on 2016.
Newsletter in French “La mort de la mort”
Healthy Life Extension Society (Heales) publishes a monthly electronic newsletter in French “La mort de la mort“. Each month has a specific theme as well as information concerning the important longevity news of the month.
“Longevity For All” Documentary Competition
In the Fall of 2015, the ILA with the lead of Didier Couernelle and Healthy Life Extension Society (Heales), organized a documentary competition to choose the best submitted films promoting biomedical research and a longer and healthier life. Sven Buternijs, Daria Khaltourina, Alexander Tieltz, and Peter Wicks served as jury members.
A number of impressive documentaries were submitted, and the winners of the competition are as follows:
• Longevity for all (Adam Alonzi, first prize ex-aequo)
• Kids and Life Extension (Tim Maupin,first prize ex-aequo)
• It’s all about dreams (Tom Pasek, third prize)
Celebrating Longevity on the UN International Day of Older Persons
As a tradition, the ILA celebrated longevity on October 1st which is officially considered the International Day of Older Persons by the United Nations. ILA members and activist organized events and festivities in many countries including; Australia, France, India, Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the USA.
Celebrating the 170-th anniversary of Ilya Mechnikov
Similarly, ILA members took part in the worldwide campaign to celebrate the 170th Anniversary of Ilya Mechnikov, one of the founders of gerontology.
NATIONAL AND REGIONAL ACTIVITIES
The European Union
Healthy Life Extension Society (Heales), ILA’s federated member and the largest European non-profit organization dedicated to promoting longevity research, undertook a wide range of activities. For years it has organized monthly meetings in Brussels to encourage discussions on scientific and political news concerning longevity.
Heales publishes a monthly electronic newsletter in French “La mort de la mort”. Each month has a specific theme as well as information concerning the important longevity news of the month. The group participates in a lot of media activities year round, the members are active, especially Kris Verburg, a Member of the Board, and Didier Coeurnelle, it’s co-President.
In 2015, Healthy Life Extension Society (Heales) organized two residential meetings of its members and activists in Belgium, in the locations of Spa, Wallonia and Ostend, Flanders. During these meetings, the members spoke about the perspectives of longevity research. Johan Vande Lanotte, the Mayor of Ostend, the oldest city mayor in Belgium, attended the meeting.
In January, 2015 Didier Coeurnelle and Edouard Debonneuil spoke at the seminar organized by the FPS Brussels (Belgian Federal Ministry) Social security: Vivre et être actif –beaucoup- plus longtemps. Perspectives sociales, démographiques et de santé.
In June, the Trends Business Magazine (Belgian weekly) made its cover with the headline “Your children will live 200 years.” Didier Coeurnelle was interviewed.
In July, a press conference was organized in Brussels about longevity and also about the risks of new technologies. The book by Professor Charles Susanne “Transhumanism at the limit of human values” the activities of the Association Heales and 8 journalists were present.
Also in July, Didier Van Bruyneel and Didier Coeurnelle both spoke during a program of RTL (French speaking Belgian TV): For or Against Taking Hormones to Live Longer? Didier Coeurnelle was interviewed that month by Véronique Thyberghien for the radio RTBF (Belgium) during the show Question-clef.
In 2015 a video was released hosting ILA member Adrian Correa’s interview at a local radio show in Bogota Colombia, speaking about longevity. It was produced to be an advocacy tool for all Spanish speaking countries.
Georgia Longevity Alliance (GLA) was registered as a non-profit organization in Georgia and officially joined the ILA. The group of dedicated longevity activists, which includes researchers and artists among other people, decided to register on October 1, in celebration of the UN International Day of the Older Persons.
In 2015, Dr. Jaba Tkemaladze, GLA Chair, gave an interview to the most popular local newspaper “Asaval Dasavali”, on longevity research, including prospective clinical trials of gero-protectors, such as dasa