For the first time in human history extending healthy human lifespan is rapidly becoming a realistic proposition.
Some drugs tested have been found to increase mouse lifespan such as Metformin and Rapamycin for example and are some are even being considered for human longevity testing. Many more substances have never been tested and we do not know if they might extend healthy lifespan.
More studies are needed before we can move onto human tests - and ultimately medicines that people can use. What happens next depends on how much more quality research is being done by scientists – and that research needs funding. The International Longevity Alliance is launching an ambitious international project, called the Major Mouse Testing Program (MMTP) via a crowdfunding campaign to support this important work.
Right now very few high impact studies investigating lifespan are initiated each year - and with only around one in ten promising substances tested so far found to actually make mice live longer, this is painfully slow progress. We are working to redress this situation and with an international team of dedicated lead researchers, we are hoping to make a real contribution to the field of regenerative medicine.
The Major Mouse Testing Programme is a project that aims to speed up the pace of progress up by rapidly testing longevity interventions – meaning research which would have taken 100 years at today’s rate can be done in five. It is also plausible that some interventions, when combined could have a synergy where the effects are greater than the individual compounds, this has certainly been the case with Dasatinib & Quercetin. It is likely there are more synergies to be discovered and this is where the MMTP plans to push forward, not only testing single interventions but also combinations to seek out these powerful combinations.
We have opted to test with mice partly due to the costs involved and mouse studies are also considerably easier to organize and are the usual starting point prior to moving into higher animals such as rabbits, dogs and ultimately humans. Organisations such as the FDA for example also usually require substantial animal data prior to approving any clinical trials involving people so this is another reason for choosing to begin here.
The initial phase of the project has a limited number of substances to be tested, but importantly it will demonstrate that the team is able to conduct the large scale intervention studies testing more complicated and expensive interventions demand.In addition we have two very talented scientists on board to help us with innovative statistical evaluation enabling us to use smaller groups of mice and combine data coming from different concentrations used. The MMTP is an international project and ultimately will include a number of participating labs and researchers, however, our initial phase of testing will be directed by Dr Alexandra Stolzing and her team at Leipzig University, Germany.