Interview with Gary Hudson, CEO of Oisin Biotechnologies
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 Gary Hudson, the head of Oisin Biotechnologies!
He has been developing private space flights for over 40 years. Hudson is best known as the founder of the Rotary Rocket Company, who spent ~ $ 30 million trying to build a unique single-stage launch vehicle into orbit, known as Roton . He helped found Transformational Space T / Space in 2004 and AirLaunch LLC, which was awarded the DARPA / USAF FALCON project in 2003.
Previous projects included Phoenix SSTO, Percheron and other missiles, Pacific American Launch Systems and various consulting projects. He is currently the president and manager of the Space Studies Institute .
Now Hudson decided to apply his excellent engineering skills in anti-aging biotechnology! He is one of the founders of Oisin Biotechnologies , developing liposomal gene therapy to remove senescent cells from the body. Hudson provided an initial donation to the Methuselah and SENS Research Foundation .
Ariel Faynerman : Good afternoon, Mr. Gary Hudson!
Gary Hudson : Thank you for inviting us for an interview!
Ariel Faynerman : You recently attended the 2018 Undoing Aging conference , which took place in Berlin from March 15-17, where your colleague Matthew Scholz spoke. What is your impression?
Gary Hudson : It was a great conference with some important presentations. She reminded me of the early SENS conferences in Cambridge, which I helped sponsor. I realized it will become an annual event. Our CSO, John Lewis, also made an important summary of our work for today.
Ariel Faynerman : Will Oisin presentations be available to the general public?
Gary HudsonA: I think SENS will post them, but I have no information on the timing.
Ariel Faynerman : Your last interview was in July 2017, more than six months ago. What was done during this time?
Gary Hudson : We have done a lot of preclinical experiments with mice on how to destroy cancer and senescent cells. All were successful and showed excellent results. We also conducted an experimental toxicity and safety test on non-human primates. The results of this trial were also successful and prompted us to proceed to human security trials as soon as the regulatory authorities approved them. We also identified a cancer-oriented company, Oisin Oncology, and collected the first investments.
Ariel Faynerman: Wonderful! But when will we see the publications? People usually trust them more than interviews or press releases. Of course, publications require a lot of effort, not related to research, but they will attract more attention from the general public, researchers and investors.
Gary Hudson : Publications are being prepared for submission to major journals, but this process takes time, especially their peer review. Now most of our data is available only to investors and partners in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries.
Ariel Faynerman : You planned clinical trials in humans, did you conduct them?
Gary Hudson: It takes a long time to organize a test on a person and approve it. Before we can do it, we have to create the so-called GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) production of our therapeutic drug, and then we need to conduct GLP (Good Laboratory Practice) Tox research on two different types. Once this is completed at the end of this year, we will be able to start a person safety test or a trial Phase 1. All this takes time, but we hope that the first safety tests in oncology can start this year or early 2019.
Ariel Faynerman : Does this mean the existence of a race between Unity Biotechnology and Oisin? And you have every chance to win the race!
Gary Hudson: I do not see the race or competition. I believe that different approaches are needed for the future treatment of aging.
Ariel Faynerman : When will your therapy be available at the clinic?
Gary Hudson : Hard to say. I believe that the treatment of cancer in the first place goes to the clinic, and this can happen in less than five years. Since the FDA does not consider aging as a disease, it may take longer for our SENSOlytic ™ because the regulatory environment must change.
Ariel Faynerman : As Michael Rae said , we do not need to wait for aging to be recognized as a disease. You can register your senolysis as a therapy for a specific age-related pathology, such as fibrosis or chronic inflammation, just as Unity did.
Gary Hudson : This is certainly true and is part of our strategy, but many of them are harder to obtain permission than in oncology. In addition, after obtaining cancer licenses, it is quicker and easier to get to the clinic. But we will move forward in several directions as far as funding is concerned.
Ariel Faynerman : In the previous interview you said that you made changes both in the promoter and in the effector of your design, which would provide even more interesting and useful extensions of the basic capabilities, but you could not discuss them because of intellectual property. Can you tell about them now?
Gary Hudson: I still can't say too much about them, but we tested some of these changes on animals and they work quite well. Their disadvantage is that each change requires new tests, and our goal is to get something at the clinic as soon as possible, so we will have to wait a little with many of these improvements. Of course, progress is limited by available finance and personnel, but we will move as soon as possible.
Ariel Faynerman : Do you use any programs in the design of your structures? Are you going to make them publicly available so that independent engineers can help you find new useful pairs of promoters and effectors? Your technology is so powerful that an open source approach would be quite useful!
Gary HudsonA: No, the design of current designs is very simple and clear. As our patents are released, their design will become publicly available. If people want to create their own designs for specific applications, they can contact us for cooperation, although now we have several joint projects, and we may already be working on similar ideas.
Ariel Faynerman : What do you think of aiming your therapy at cells with abnormal telomerase activity to kill cancer? Can you use several conditions - as in programming - several promoters, for example, to make your therapy more specific?
Gary Hudson: If we aim at telomerase, we will kill stem cells, as in much of classical chemotherapy. This is probably not a good idea. But to achieve the goals of killing only cancer cells, several promoters or synthetic promoters can be used. Our initial therapy will most likely use the p53 promoter , since we have a lot of information on it.
Ariel Faynerman : Yes, the same problem when we remove or violate the telomerase gene: it would be good to do this only in diseased tissue, but, as scientists say, it is very difficult to make the removal selective. However, this is not a problem with the ALT genes , which cause 15-20% of cancer. Are you going to collaborate with the OncoSENS laboratory? More therapies that kill cells actively expressing telomerase will be very helpful in implementing WILT .
Gary Hudson : We talked with the SENS Research Foundation about OncoSENS and collaborated on a preliminary basis, but I do not think that this is currently an important direction for them. And we are loaded with different projects for a long time!
Ariel Faynerman : Now you use only suicidal genes as an effector, do you plan to use other genes? For example, to improve cells, enable them to produce new enzymes, or temporarily block telomerase to help anti-cancer therapies be more effective.
Gary Hudson: We believe that we can express any gene under the control of any promoter that we want to use, so the possibilities are almost endless.
Ariel Faynerman : Now we know that epigenetic changes (shift) play an important role in aging. Despite the lack of consensus among researchers, whether they are a cause or a consequence of aging, experiments show that the transient expression of OSKM transient factors can be useful by restoring "young" epigenetic profiles. For example, you can remember the workBelmonte. However, the problem with their work is that they used transgenic mice and expressed OSKM in each of their cages. If you temporarily express OSKM in an “old” normal cell, you can “rejuvenate” it. But if you express OSKM in stem cells that are still biologically “young,” you can get iPSC , which can lead to cancer. Using your therapy, we can only target cells with “old” expression profiles, and using normal mice! Such work will be much cleaner and safer than the work of Belmonte.
Gary HudsonA: Regarding your comments on reprogramming, Oisin is currently working with the university group in this particular area, but I cannot say more yet. We also believe that we first need to remove the senescent cells, after which we can successfully reprogram.
Ariel Faynerman : What is the biodistribution of your LNPs?
Gary Hudson : Unlike small molecules, our LNP therapy will not penetrate into every tissue of the body with the same effectiveness. As a rule, in the liver, kidneys and lungs (among other organs) the highest transfection efficiency is, while in muscles and bones it is less, and in the brain - the least (without direct injection into CSF). Some tissues require multiple injections.
Ariel Faynerman: Can we use your therapy not only to treat cancer, but also to prevent it? If people have pre-cancer cells, applying your therapy will be very helpful!
Gary Hudson : We believe that our p53-based treatment will be useful in order to prevent malignant neoplasms, but we have not shown this in vivo yet .
Ariel Faynerman : How many resources, finances and personnel do you need to work as soon as possible? Do you have open vacancies? Perhaps some of our readers have enough finance or experience.
Gary Hudson: We could effectively spend tens of millions of dollars or more, it is very easy, but it is unrealistic to assume that we could collect this amount - and if we collected it, we would lose control over Oisin, because investors most likely would want a quick recoil. Nevertheless, we are always interested in talking with “goal-oriented” investors. As for hiring, we have to do it slowly and intelligently, because the staff is one of the biggest costs in a start-up company, and over-hiring can quickly sink a project. We already have more potential engineers than we can hire.
Ariel Faynerman: Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies allowed fundamentally new and effective ways to invest. Before our eyes, various no-name companies easily collect tens of millions of dollars through an ICO into clearly questionable projects. While the really important areas such as regenerative medicine, anti-aging biotechnology and bionics are constantly in dire need of funding.
Are you planning an ICO? Oisin shows real progress and can easily collect large sums! People say they will be happy to buy your tokens if you release them. You said that you prefer to work with “goal-oriented” investors. There are thousands of people who can invest from $ 1000 to $ 100,000 in cryptocurrency and who believe that radical rejuvenation is possible!
If you are worried about legal issues, you can use various investment funds acting as proxies between cryptocurrency owners and companies.
Gary Hudson : We studied some of the financing options, but we are not experts in this area, so we are not in a hurry. We continue to negotiate with different parties. However, there is a big regulatory uncertainty regarding ICO, so we have to move smoothly.
Ariel Faynerman : Now we know enough about aging to defeat our main enemy. Do you agree with the fact that the first comprehensive anti-aging panel is not a scientific problem or even an engineering problem, but an engineering management problem?
Gary Hudson: I would not say that all scientific problems have been solved, but as an engineer, I agree that the best forces in engineering management should be thrown at solving the problem of aging.
Ariel Faynerman : One intelligent man said, we get what we ask. Can we set the bar high and publicly declare that our main goal is not the extra five years of life, and LEV is Longevity Escape Velocity and unlimited healthy life?
Gary Hudson: This is a complex "public" problem. Most investors, the scientific community and the public are not yet ready to accept the concept of Longevity Escape Velocity. Thus, in Oisin, we place the main emphasis on health. But personally, I do not believe that we can achieve better health without making significant progress towards LEV. Therefore, in the end, I think we will get LEV, improving health, and so we will remove the contradiction.
Ariel Faynerman : Many people ask me how to buy your shares or invest in Oisin. What do you say?
Gary Hudson: We have several private investors (angels) who are “mission oriented” or “committed to the goal,” and we welcome negotiations with qualified investors and companies who share our vision of the fight against aging and cancer. Accredited investors can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ariel Faynerman : David Gobel says that “by promoting tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, we want to create a world in 2030, in which 90-year-olds will be as healthy as the current 50- summer " . And I secretly hope that 40 will become new 30 or even 20 by 2030! Can we achieve this - in principle?
Gary Hudson: I hope so! In 2030 I will be 80, so I look forward to when I will be 40 again ...
Ariel Faynerman : Thank you very much for your wonderful interview! It was interesting for me to talk to a great man like you. I hope we all succeed in our goal and get hundreds, thousands and ... who knows? - possibly millions of years of healthy life!
Gary Hudson: Thank you for your words, but I believe that I am very fortunate to work with really wonderful men and women from the anti-aging community who do real work. I am only trying to ease their efforts and bring treatment to the clinics as soon as possible. I do not know what will be possible in the long term, but any changes will be better than letting nature go its own way, causing illness and diminishing functional health.