A California-based startup, called Ambrosia, is giving participants plasma transfusions from teenagers or young adults as a remedy to aging. The contentious one-time infusion of plasma harvested from youths costs $8,000 and has prompted biomedical researchers to question not only the ethical aspects of this participant-funded trial but also the reliability of results documented.
Founder Jesse Karmazin, who named the startup after the mythical food of the Greek gods, rejects the allegations that his trial is poorly designed, claiming that the participants “see improvements” within a month of the procedure, writes Business Insider.
Over the last decade, several studies have hinted at reverse-aging impacts of blood transfusions but they ended up with conflicting conclusions, and also the findings could not be replicated by the researchers, notes MIT Technology Review.
Jonathan Kimmelman, a bioethicist at McGill University in Montreal, says such patient-funded trials are used by companies to sell products that will otherwise be unmarketable due to regulations by the F.D.A.