Great Project Underfunded

Drugs tested 2011

Here’s a great project that needs more funding – Interventions Testing Program – a multi-institutional study investigating treatments with the potential to extend lifespan and delay disease and dysfunction in mice. The idea is simple and elegant: let’s test different kinds of drugs, chemicals, diets, etc. on mice and see whether they live longer and healthier. The study is carried out in three independent labs at the University of Michigan, the Jackson Laboratories, and the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio.

One might think this kind of project should allow testing of dozens of different interventions every year for all the humanity to benefit from the results. Hell no! Guess how many compounds are tested early. 4-6, and not more. But we need 3000 minimum! Here’s the list for years 2004 – 2011. The grant description for 2013 states that

It is anticipated that 3-5 compounds will be accepted for study in 2014.

This means that there is very little money available at the NIA for this program. Direct costs of each application may not exceed $500,000 per year and applications may not request more than 5 years of funding. This is so sad, it’s one of the best and meaningful ways of how NIA spends its funding. I wish there will be more attention to the Intervention Testing Program, also more outside sponsors, because the more money there is for these experiments, the closer we are to drugs that slow aging down.


Filed under Geroprotectors

2 responses to “Great Project Underfunded

  1. It sounds like the compounds tested by this program are only the most promising, and that the testing is then somewhat exhausting. In other words, they aren’t looking for a needle in a haystack, they are double-checking and qualifying needle candidates that have already been found.

    Frankly, I think genetic research and stem cell treatments are more promising avenues for extensive funding. Furthermore, there is some interesting work being done on mechanization (being a trans-humanist, that doesn’t turn me off, since I predict some “compromises” will have to be made until we can eventually take advantage of extreme longevity treatments down the line).

    Remember, the vast majority of people don’t want to live an abnormally long time (by my reckoning around 1% of the population). A lot of minds will have to be changed.

  2. That’s correct, the purpose of this program the way it is today is to test whether the previously found candidates actually work in mammals.

    As for the people – well, we don’t know for sure how many mindsets need to changed exactly. Maybe several thousand is enough, whose of decision makers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s