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Saudi Arabia plans to spend $1 billion a yr discovering remedies to gradual getting older


The Saudi royal household has began a not-for-profit group known as the Hevolution Foundation that plans to spend as much as $1 billion a yr of its oil wealth supporting fundamental analysis on the biology of getting older and discovering methods to increase the variety of years folks stay in good well being, an idea referred to as “health span.”

The sum, if the Saudis can spend it, may make the Gulf state the most important single sponsor of researchers trying to know the underlying causes of getting older—and the way it may be slowed down with medication.

The basis hasn’t but made a proper announcement, however the scope of its effort has been outlined at scientific conferences and is the topic of excited chatter amongst getting older researchers, who hope it’s going to underwrite giant human research of potential anti-aging medication.

The fund is managed by Mehmood Khan, a former Mayo Clinic endocrinologist and the onetime chief scientist at PespsiCo, who was recruited to the CEO job in 2020. ““Our primary goal is to extend the period of healthy lifespan,” Khan stated in an interview. “There is just not a much bigger medical drawback on the planet than this one.”

MS TECH | GETTY

The thought, standard amongst some longevity scientists, is that when you can gradual the physique’s getting older course of, you possibly can delay the onset of a number of illnesses and lengthen the wholesome years persons are capable of take pleasure in as they get older. Khan says the fund goes to present grants for fundamental scientific analysis on what causes getting older, simply as others have achieved, but it surely additionally plans to go a step additional by supporting drug research, together with trials of “treatments that are patent expired or never got commercialized.”

“We need to translate that biology to progress towards human clinical research. Ultimately, it won’t make a difference until something appears in the market that actually benefits patients,” Khan says.

Khan says the fund is allowed to spend as much as $1 billion per yr indefinitely. By comparability, the division of the US National Institute on Aging that helps fundamental analysis on the biology of getting older spends about $325 million a yr.

Hevolution hasn’t introduced what tasks it’s going to again, however folks conversant in the group say it checked out funding a $100 million X Prize for age reversal expertise and has reached a preliminary settlement to fund a take a look at of the diabetes drug metformin in a number of thousand aged folks.

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