Translational Medicine, A Tale of Mice and Men
by Paul Vincent
The MMTP has a mission to research treatments and interventions to alleviate human suffering, brought on by the processes of biological aging.
Aging brings with it an ever increasing burden on the body of almost any organism, a cascade of biological assaults and failures, which eventually overwhelm our tolerance for damage and dysfunction, leading to a whole slew of diseases, these are often called the diseases of old age. These include Cancer, Heart disease, Sarcopenia, type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimer’s to name but a few.
These diseases debilitate us, reducing the quality of our lives and eventually lead to death itself.
After millennia of seeking answers, and the relatively short history of evidence based medicine, heralded by the advent of proper scientific method and inquiry, we are on the cusp of a revolution in healthcare and longevity, that will truly change for all time what it means to be human!
The diseases I have mentioned have plagued us since our beginnings, but with the modern era of greater lifespans we are experiencing them to unprecedented levels. This is because they are inextricably linked to the aging process itself. The more of us that are fortunate to live to an old age, the more of us will develop these diseases, this is the price we pay for our faustian bargain. Or that is what we have had to accept up until very recently.
While investigating therapies to alleviate these diseases, we have gone looking for answers in the animal kingdom, and have discovered that aging is synonymous with diseases, but that both aging and disease can be treated in tandem. Aging can be restored to youthful levels and associated diseases can be reversed and or prevented.
There are perhaps half a dozen different methods for deriving reversal of the symptoms and pathologies of aging, in a very real biological sense. We at the MMTP seek to explore the best of these exhaustively, to help facilitate a new era of true restorative and preventative medicine. These therapies, when mastered, will rejuvenate the human body completely, bringing it back to full, youthful health.
Because of the comparatively long lifespan of humans and the fact that it is just not ethical or legal to trial medical interventions initially on humans, we must test on animals first, and more specifically on mice. This, when implemented with proper protocols, will deliver these new therapies by the quickest and safest route that can then be translated to humans.
By appreciating the differences between mice and men and embracing the similarities, we can investigate those things with the highest probability of translating directly to humans, saving time, effort, money and hopefully human lives and suffering.
Let's be clear, the position of regulatory bodies in most countries, is that animal testing is indeed necessary and furthermore required for new medical interventions.
Although alternatives are in development, nothing is recognised by the FDA, EMA or WHO as being currently suitable to replace animal testing. The final test of longevity research success, is the change in overall lifespan of an organism, literally how long it has survived. This is not reproducible in by any other means currently, such as organs on chips, for instance. Only a complex organism can prove beyond doubt that an intervention can extend lifespan. So animal testing is a prerequisite before human testing, unless the researchers want to sidestep the authorities, which would make their activities illegal.
Until and unless this situation changes, it is wise to follow this framework towards clinical delivery of such interventions. Whilst this may be perceived as the slower road to some it is the path that will allow therapies and new drugs to reach the mass majority and not risk becoming only being available to the rich or for those willing to risk medical tourism outside of regulatory climes.
By carefully selecting the most promising approaches to restoring youth and function, we will expedite matters greatly. Too often promising studies have been marred by poor scientific method, which has made the results of those studies questionable.
We will learn from those mistakes and conduct our research, in a manner seeking excellence as standard. Furthermore, we propose to publish our results online, open source, for the benefit of the greater scientific community and interested parties worldwide. Scientific research should be freely available and shared without restrictions, if it is to deliver on its promise to spare mankind further suffering. No more locking the fruits of human endeavours behind paywalls for the benefit of just a few.