Interview with Liz Parrish, CEO BioViva
Liz Parrish, BioViva CEO
What is aging? We can define it as the process of accumulation of molecular and cellular damage resulting from normal metabolism. While researchers still poorly understand how metabolic processes cause damage accumulation, and how accumulated damage causes pathology, the damage itself — the structural differences between old and young tissue — is classified and studied very well. Correcting the damage and restoring the old - intact - young state of the body, we 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!
Today in our virtual studio somewhere between St. Petersburg and Seattle, we meet a famous person! Liz Parrish, CEO of 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 life sciences. She is actively involved in international media education and is one of the founders of the International Longevity Alliance (ILA). Liz is an affiliate member of the Comprehensive Biological Systems Alliance (CBSA), a unique platform for talented people - members of Mensa who promote science and engineering.
The mission of CBSA is to further the scientific understanding of the biological complexity, nature and origin of human diseases. Liz is the founder of BioTrove Investments LLC and BioTrove Podcasts, who help educate the public and finance research in the field of regenerative medicine.
Any investment in new methods is risky. No risk, no profit. Medicine cannot develop if no one is willing to take the risk. This applies to both investors and patients.
Ariel Faynerman : Hello Miss Liz Parrish!
Liz Parrish : Hello, Ariel Finerman!
Ariel Faynerman : To be honest, I planned to offer you the idea of creating a parallel current medical infrastructure in which new medicines without unnecessary checks would go to the clinics to patients. We really need such an infrastructure! And when I looked at the BioViva webpage, 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 was not enough just to make a good therapy to build a viable alternative to the current regulatory path? We need an independent platform and a whole parallel infrastructure!
Liz parrish: I understood it quite early, but we needed time to recruit the right team and start working with different companies.
Ariel Faynerman : How optimistic are you that other companies will follow your example?
Liz Parrish : Extremely. We believe that in five years the CAGR market of the anti-aging and regenerative industry will be more than 8.4%, and the total market valuation will be approximately $ 500 billion by 2022. We have no doubt that this will encourage many companies to search for innovative ways to capture 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 Faynerman: We already have a lot of important results in the laboratory that can save human lives right now, but the lack of funding and an overly regulated medical system make it impossible for them to go to clinics anytime soon. At current rates of progress, they will become obsolete even 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 oversight and regulation, and some need to start from scratch. BioViva works with biotech companies, researchers, clinicians, and regulators to assemble all of these pieces of the translation puzzle in the right place at the right time so that patients can get the best treatment.
Ariel Faynerman : What treatments are you currently offering?
Liz Parrish : BioViva does not offer any therapies. We work with clinics and other companies, including Integrated Health Systems (IHS), which offer treatment for patients in different parts of the world. Please contact IHS for treatment information.
Ariel Faynerman : As I recall, BioViva used to work on telomerase. Is your company currently working on any therapy?
Liz Parrish : Our company began working with Integrated Health Systems (IHS) at the beginning of this year. Our partner company offers treatment in different parts of the world, and BioViva collects and analyzes patient data.
Ariel Faynerman: What are your requirements for a bioengineering company that wants to use your program? How do you ensure that their therapy is safe and effective?
Liz Parrish : We are not biohackers or bioengineers. We collect treatment data from clinics selected by our partners. IHS requires clinics to meet the requirements of their countries, and medical personnel have excellent training as well as high standards of hygiene and equipment. IHS works only with reputable clinics. Scientists from the United States also regularly check the IHS clinics to ensure compliance with the standards.
Ariel Faynerman : How does your platform work?
Liz parrishA: Our company works under a contract. Unfortunately, I can not elaborate on it, because it is not public information. Our goal in creating our platform is to speed up regulation, having obtained as much early data on a person as possible, which we hope will make the most up-to-date technologies available to those who need them as soon as possible. Aging kills 100,000 people a day, so we cannot afford to relax, we are obliged to deliver treatment to patients as it appears.
Ariel Faynerman : Investors usually fear the uncertainty surrounding companies choosing any alternative to the current regulatory process. Is the situation improving? How do you solve this problem? Do you help bioengineering companies look for loyal investors?
Liz parrish: Any investment in new methods is risky. No risk, no profit. Medicine cannot develop if no one is willing to take the risk. This applies to both investors and patients. Recently, however, we have noted a tendency in favor of investments, which five years ago would have been considered high risk, but today they are considered rather as an average risk. The main reason is the increase in computing power, which, in turn, allows to obtain more information and analyze it better. When it comes to information, “more” is synonymous with “better.” More information allows investors to better predict the profitability of their investments; therefore, more funds are invested in things associated with more 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 make their lives as simple as possible for them to report on the treatment received, and how well it worked, side effects and stuff, long after treatment so that such information can be analyzed and used in planning by future studies. 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 such information?
Liz parrish: As I said above, BioViva's goal is to collect and process data. This is what we do. We collect data before and during treatment. Then at different times after treatment. We hope to collect a lot of information about each patient we treat and collect a lot of data from many, many patients. This is the only way to evaluate whether treatment works, for whom it works, for how long, how many times and so on.
Ariel Faynerman : Some people are concerned that many types of treatment through medical tourism will only be available to a small group. Due to 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 treatment methods 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 both fund research and development that will improve these treatments, and then make them available to a larger number. This applies to organ transplantation or coronary artery bypass graft surgery, now routine, but once inaccessible to the majority, and to gene therapy.
The fact that treatment takes place abroad does not necessarily mean a 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 connect patients in need of treatment with clinics all over the world, only one or two of which can have the treatment needed by a particular patient.
Of course, there is less information about the clinical trials of some of the therapies they offer, and how could it be otherwise? These therapies are new, their trials are not yet traversed in a new territory. This new territory requires that patients explore it, provide us with information for analysis and thus make new therapies available to more people.
Ariel Faynerman: Thank you very much for your answers, I hope to meet you again!
Liz Parrish : Thank you for inviting me.