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PEARL Is Funded, Rapamycin Longevity Clinical Trials Begin

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#1 Steve H

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Posted 18 June 2021 - 01:07 PM

Today is a doubly important day: it marks the final day of the PEARL campaign and it is a celebration of another victory for the life extension community.

PEARL smashed its initial fundraising goal and sailed through its two stretch goals, raising just under $183k thanks to the generous support of the community.

What is PEARL?

The Participatory Evaluation (of) Aging (with) Rapamycin (for) Longevity Study, or PEARL, will launch the first large-scale placebo-controlled clinical trial to determine the effects of rapamycin on human aging. The principal investigator is Dr. James P. Watson based at UCLA.

What is rapamycin?

Rapamycin is a naturally occurring antifungal antibiotic produced by soil bacteria originally discovered on Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui.

While most people know it as a drug used in high doses for organ rejection during transplants, it has potential as a drug to slow down aging in far lower doses. It was the first drug proven to extend the lifespan of mice, even when given late in life, and has been shown to reliably increase the lifespan of yeast, worms, and rats.

Rapamycin works through the mTOR signaling pathway, a master regulator of cellular and energy metabolism, and a potent trigger of autophagy, the ultimate cellular recycling mechanism.

Recent research shows that it also improves how our DNA is stored which helps combat genomic instability resulting from DNA damage and harmful epigenetic alterations to gene expression which drive the aging process.

Until now, there has not been a proper clinical trial to evaluate if rapamycin can slow down aging in humans. PEARL is going to change that thanks to our supporters.

Why PEARL is an important milestone for life extension

This large-scale clinical trial will allow the researchers to find out if the effects of rapamycin will translate to people. If that were to happen, then the potential impact could be massive. Having a drug that demonstrably slows down human aging confirmed by large-scale clinical trial data would really open doors. The data could help garner wider public support for life extension therapies as well as support dialogue with policymakers and healthcare regulatory bodies.

Also, rapamycin is a relatively cheap, off-patent, generic drug and widely available. It has been a registered drug for decades with a well-known safety profile and characteristics. If longevity benefits are confirmed, then it could potentially start being used in healthcare to address aging almost immediately.

The community should be proud of what it has achieved today

This has been the most successful crowdfunding campaign we have ever hosted on Lifespan.io, and it is all thanks to you, our amazing life extension community.

Thank you to everyone who has supported PEARL!

Over 409 of you have donated just under $183k to the campaign since its launch on May 17th, helping to make this one of the largest, if not the largest, crowdfunded aging focused biology projects in the world.

This successful fundraising really showcases the growing power of the life extension community, and part of this power comes from the cryptocurrency community. In the last few years, thanks to people like Vitalik Buterin, there has been an increasing level of support from the cryptocurrency community, which is greatly appreciated.

Special thanks

The PEARL team and Lifespan.io are incredibly grateful to everyone who donated to PEARL and would like to give special thanks to Vitalik Buterin, Tom Moya Schau, Micah Zoltu, and Brad Armstrong, who contributed to the campaign with large donations. Thank you so much for your wonderful support; you have really helped to drive this project to success!

What is next?

Due to the huge success of the crowdfunding campaign, the PEARL team wanted to let you all know how the additional funds would be used. The extra money will allow the researchers to measure additional important biomarkers, which will further strengthen the data.

The original planned biomarkers:

  • IGF-1 (fasting)
  • Lipid Panel, Standard
  • TNFa
  • IL-6
  • VLDL
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel*
  • HgAC1
  • Uric Acid
  • CBC & DIFF
  • CD4/CD8
  • CMV IgG titers
  • hs-CRP
  • Vitamin D, 25-OH Total  (VIT D,25-OH,TOTAL,IA)
  • sirolimus level

The extra funds will be used to measure these additional biomarkers:

  • Cystatin C
  • GDF 15
  • Adiponectin
  • Leptin

Once again from the PEARL team and Lifespan.io, thank you to everyone who has helped make this project possible!

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Thank You!

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