The Centre will develop an integrative pre-clinical laboratory model and clinical human research pipeline that focuses on identifying, and treating biological hallmarks of disease.
Lien Foundation gifts S$5 million to the Centre’s research partner, the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore (NUS Medicine), for these research efforts.
The centre’s mission is to enhance healthspan by three to five years in the Singapore population by slowing biological ageing.
“In three to five years, healthy longevity will not only exist as a lab-proven concept, but also become part of everyone’s life,” said Prof Maier.
Global societies are experiencing a sharp rise in the number of older adults relative to the rest of the population. Singapore is among the fastest aging country by 2025, with 25% of its population estimated to be above 65 years old by 2030. Although medical advancement has improved life expectancy among Singaporeans by 8.7 years to 84.8 years, one of the longest in the world; our healthy life expectancy, or healthspan, increased by only 7.2 years to 74.2 years. The grim reality is that Singaporeans are spending about 10 years of their twilight years in poor health. As the gap between life expectancy and health adjusted life expectancy increases, healthcare and caregiving costs will represent an unsustainable socioeconomic burden for society.
NUHS CHL has one clear mission: to enhance healthspan by five years in the Singapore population by slowing biological aging.
Nextbigfuture recently interviewed antiaging expert Aubrey de Grey.
The South-East Asian population has been traditionally understudied in clinical research. With the three major races, Chinese, Malay and Indian, numbering about 2.5 billion people and accounting for more than a quarter of humanity, results gleaned from the CHL’s research will have significant global impact, particularly in Asia.
In the interview above, Brian Kennedy indicates he agrees with the Aubrey dr Grey / SENS analysis of seven kinds of aging damage.
The first research theme funded under the ‘Hacking Aging’ initiative is a series of clinical studies to test novel nutritional supplements and repurposed drugs to slow ageing in middle-aged adults (40-60 years).
At least 15 biomarker studies are ongoing, including Project Abios (Ageing Biomarker Study in Singaporeans) which is looking at several hundred biomarkers in 420 to 450 participants.
The second research theme is to use deep omics data to personalize these supplements and repurposed drugs and other interventions for optimal healthspan extension in middle-aged participants.
One of the supplements is alpha-ketoglutarate, which has been shown to increase the healthspan – the period of life spent in good health – and lifespan in mice. The centre will be investigating whether six months of daily supplementation can slow biological ageing and initial results are estimated to be available in a year’s time, said Professor Andrea Maier, the centre’s co-director. Repurposed drugs include metformin, a well-known drug used to treat Type 2 diabetes, that may be able to slow ageing.
The third research theme focuses on extending healthspan in older adults through strength training exercise, harnessing the Foundation’s Gym Tonic community of seniors.
Professor Brian Kennedy, internationally recognized for his research into the biology of aging and for his work to translate research discoveries into new ways of delaying, detecting, and preventing human aging and its associated diseases, is helming the Centre with co-director, Professor Andrea Maier, an internal medicine specialist renowned for translational research in ageing and age-related diseases diagnostics and pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions in aging humans.
The 1,600 square feet Centre for Healthy Longevity (CHL) located at Alexandra Hospital, will conduct trials and execute validation studies with healthy participants from the age of 30 years. The Centre will also develop and test these interventions using newly identified biomarkers of human aging. Once approaches are validated, the Centre will develop strategies that integrate a combination of nutritional and exercise approaches together with supplements and (repurposed) drugs for personalized adoption in the Singapore population. The ultimate goal is to bring the individual closer to his/her state of optimal
peak performance during the entire lifespan (e.g. screening to start from 30 years of age).
CHL will be looking at blood-based biomarkers, probably the most investigated group due to the large amount of data accumulated in clinical trials.
Many Well Funded Efforts
There are many well funded antiaging efforts. Saudi Arabia has the Hevolution fund which invests $1 billion every year into antiaging.
There are over 158 companies working on antiaging. There are over 340 clinical trials. They have a market cap of over $6 billion. They have over $10 billion in funding. There are over 5000 employees at the antiaging companies.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.