On rare instances I blog about medical issues that are either unrelated to hair loss or perhaps/potentially related to hair loss. This post is an example of the latter, since gene therapy could end up also being the ultimate solution for hair loss and be safe enough to be used regularly for cosmetic purposes...although I would never go through it for such reasons.
Update: Liz Parrish updates us in this October 15 video, and she is not pleased at some of the negative coverage she has received.
Update: This story is now getting more coverage. The best new articles as of October 14 are from MIT Technology Review: "A Tale of Do-It-Yourself Gene Therapy" and from IEET: "Ethics in Treatment With Telomerase."
BioViva CEO Elizabeth (Liz) Parrish has been in the news a lot lately and I highly recommend viewing three of her recent videos and a podcast interview from this year that I have embedded all the way at the bottom of this post. BioViva seems to be a legitimate and respectable company based on its stellar advisory board. Ms. Parrish herself is extremely intelligent and well spoken as you will be able to see in the videos at the end of this post. I also find her to be very sincere. Her 20 years of being a vegetarian and her initial interest in childhood diseases are further positives in the compassion department in my opinion. Hopefully that translate to her really meaning what she says when it comes to gene therapy being available for all at a low cost or for free in the future.
Earlier today, Ms. Parrish participated in a very interesting AMA on Reddit that is worth a thorough browse. I was watching/reading the Ask Me Anything (AMA) live, and got a major shock when Ms. Parrish announced that she recently became the first patient (“patient zero”) to get gene therapy to reverse aging using her company’s proprietary technology. She underwent this therapy several weeks ago (at least based on the date of the initial press release from September 30) , and announced on Reddit for the first time today that she herself was “patient zero.” Apparently her whole procedure was filmed by a professional film crew and I am hoping that it turns into a documentary that airs on national tv.
Below is the initial announcement from Ms. Parrish in response to a set of four questions from a Redditor. She answered many other questions about the exact nature of her treatment during the AMA.
Liz Parrish Reddit AMA.
I was surprised that Liz Parrish was the first patient to undergo this treatment, especially since she is only 44 years old and can perhaps afford to wait for a few years prior to getting gene therapy. After all, BioViva has a lab in Colombia and has received interest from clinics in the Bahamas and Mexico per the third video below. I assumed that BioVia would initially be testing their anti-aging gene therapy on Colombians or on aging/sick people from around the world who were willing to fly to Colombia/Bahamas/Mexico and so on. Ms. Parish claims that she felt it was the ethical thing to do to get herself treated first before trying this on other people.
From a hair loss perspective, Ms. Parish mentions that hair loss and gray hair are a sign of aging in the Reddit and in one of the below videos if I recall correctly. Perhaps this genetic treatment when perfected as much as possible will lead to a reversal in gray hair and regrowth of lost hair? Even if this particular gene therapy does nothing for hair, it will represent a watershed moment in the use of genetic modification in humans. Many hair loss researchers have stated that gene therapy is the ultimate solution to hair loss.
It should be noted that there are already many gene therapy treatments undergoing clinical trials on humans, but this one was the first one that was done to reverse aging and probably the first one that was filmed and will hopefully be shown on tv some day soon. Moreover, Ms. Parrish is going to update us on her overall health and condition on a regular basis. She claims that she feels more energetic and sleeps better at the moment in comparison to prior to getting injected, but it is too early to make any conclusions. We are finally moving from mice and rats to humans (frustrated mice and rat hating long time hair loss forum members and blog readers really have to see the cartoon at 19:15 in the first video and Liz Parrish’s comments immediately thereafter).
From July 2015:
From August 2015:
And finally, below is a great podcast interview in which I love the fact that she is highly critical of the patent-minded and money-minded modern pharmaceutical/medical industry complex.