You don’t have to drink the blood of children to reclaim the vigor of your lost youth. You can mainline it. For $8,000 a liter.
Ambrosia, a startup founded by a Stanford Medical School graduate, has begun pouring the blood of the young into the hardened arteries of their elders in five cities, one of them San Francisco, according to a new report.
Founded in 2016 by Jesse Karmazin, an MD never licensed to practice medicine, Florida-based Ambrosia claims to be able to combat aging through infusions of blood plasma from younger people.
It’s now infusing patients in Los Angeles, Tampa, Omaha, Houston and the city by the Bay, according to Business Insider.
Initial interest was high, with about 100 potential patients contacting the company in the first week after it put up its website in September, the business website reported.
Tech entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel, who co-founded PayPal and Palantir and said in 2014 he was taking human growth hormone in hopes of living to 120 or beyond, has expressed interest in Ambrosia and said of death, “I prefer to fight it.”
So far, nearly 150 patients aged 35 to 92 — including 81 during a clinical trial — have received Ambrosia’s treatment, according to Business Insider.
The company calls its intravenous interventions “young plasma treatments.” Ambrosia says it sucks the blood (so to speak) of donors aged 16 to 25. For the older patients undergoing what the startup acknowledges is a “medical treatment,” there’s a pretty juicy volume discount: $12,000 for two liters. Patients are 30 or older, according to the company.
Karmazin, who worked for about two years as a medical resident but moved into entrepreneurship without becoming a licensed physician, said last year that an Ambrosia study found the treatments led to a 20 percent reduction in levels of two proteins, one linked to cancer and one to Alzheimer’s, The Guardian reported last year. At the time of that report, the median age of participants in the study — which cost participants $8,000 each — was 60, according to The Guardian.
The treatment was inspired by experiments on mice, Ambrosia says. Harvard University researchers have identified a substance in mouse blood they believed partly responsible for an anti-aging effect seen in old mice transfused with blood from young mice, The Guardian reported. Stanford researchers have also been studying such transfusions, known as “parabiosis,” since around 2000, according to Science magazine. Some 50 years ago, the late UC San Francisco researcher Frederick Ludwig used rats to study the effects of parabiosis on longevity.