Liz Parrish is the Founder and CEO of BioViva Sciences USA Inc. BioViva is committed to extending healthy lifespans using gene therapy. Liz is known as “the woman who wants to genetically engineer you,” she is a humanitarian, entrepreneur, author and innovator and a leading voice for genetic cures. As a strong proponent of progress and education for the advancement of gene therapy, she serves as a motivational speaker to the public at large for the life sciences. She is actively involved in international educational media outreach and is a founding member of the International Longevity Alliance (ILA). She is the founder of BioTrove Investments LLC and the BioTrove Podcasts, found at iTunes, which is committed to offering a meaningful way for people to learn about current technologies.
PlanetTech News recently interviewed her on her vision for the future of biotechnology:
Please describe your work and your vision for the future?
Medicine today is advancing at an exponential pace thanks to progress in AI and molecular cell biology. Hence we are becoming increasingly able to understand, locate, and treat disease at the cellular and molecular level. AI is enabling us to do so at an ever more rapid pace. Hence we can, and must, address disease at the level where it happens. One of these levels is that of a person’s DNA. My vision and work is to make gene therapy available to the masses as soon as possible to treat and reverse the diseases of aging, because aging is the master disease underlying the chronic diseases incurred with time.
Describe how you took the gene therapies on yourself and what lead to that decision?
If you wish to offer a therapy, you must first ensure that it is safe in humans. In order to bypass lengthy FDA regulatory procedures, I tried the therapy on myself. At least, my own body belongs to me and I test therapies on it if I want to! I travelled to Colombia where I was given two gene therapies that had proven safe in animals. A myostatin inhibitor therapy, to prevent muscle loss, and a telomerase inducing therapy, to lengthen telomeres, a therapy that had proven beneficial (rejuvenating) in mice. Since I survived, and have had no adverse consequences since 2015, I believe I can safely encourage others to try these same first rejuvenation therapis.
Tell me about the gene therapies you use on yourself, are you measuring the effects? To what extent are they working? What has happened since you took the gene therapies?
I took the above therapies once, and have not taken them since 2015. The ratio of muscle to fat increased, I have less fat now in my muscles, and more muscles. I feel physically stronger.
My telomeres were shorter than normal for my age, and this therapy lengthened them to longer than normal. It has not led to cancer as some feared it might. However I cannot yet say if it has made me “younger”. Health benefits cannot be assessed with only one, healthy patient.
When will the muscle boosting gene therapy be available to the public? What about the telomerase gene therapy?
These two therapies are available to patients at our partner company, Integrated Health Systems. Contact them or fill in their form at https://www.integrated-health-systems.com for further information
What is plan for the next 5 and 10 years, what do you hope will be your first big product to market?
The plan is 1/ to collect as much data as possible from clinical trials 2/ to make more gene therapies available 3/ to make prices come down
We are currently funding a research project at Rutger’s University which we hope will help develop next generation age reversal treatment. We cannot say more about it at this stage.
What has your entrepreneurial journey been like so far?
Fascinating! I have travelled widely, spoken to many people involved in cutting edge research, and learned a lot about how to found and run a company in the 21st century.
What are your biggest challenges for the future of your work?
That R&D takes time, the right people, the necessary cooperation among these people, an eye on competition, and keeping up with the advances in technology that quickly make the equipment you have invested in obsolete.
Do you encounter much resistance from the public to your vision, whether that be your vision for anti aging tech or human genetic engineering in general?
I encounter less resistance than I had thought I would. Around 2016 the world suddenly looked at aging with new eyes, as a disease that can be cured, or at least managed. So now I meet a lot of enthusiasts, and very few, though some, critics and sceptics.
What is your relationship like with the rest of the anti-aging world, are you working closely with the other big names in the anti-aging business or are you mostly going alone?
We have some very big names on our advisory board, like George Church. At the moment however we are a very small startup going alone, even though we expect that as we grow other small startups with their own point of view and product will join our efforts. We will open up as we grow bigger. These are early days.
What recommendations would you give to someone looking to increase their remaining life expectancy -beyond the usual advice of healthy living?
KEEP UP WITH THE LATEST R&D! Be aware of new products, of clinical trials, and of the latest trends. Know who the people who matter are e g Aubrey de Grey, David Sinclair, George Church, and follow them on Twitter etc, read their blogs, keep up with their progress. KEEP INFORMED.
How do other people get involved in your world of genetic engineering?
Read our blog, website and social media pages.