Liz Parrish


Aging, once thought to be inevitable, is being challenged. We’re joined by Liz Parrish, MBA, the Founder and CEO of BioViva Sciences USA. Liz made medical history and international headlines in 2015 when she volunteered to be the test subject for an experimental procedure that lengthened the telomeres in her cells, which might just be the first step towards future treatments to reverse aging.

About Our Guest

Parrish is beast known as ‘Patient Zero’ for stepping into the role of walking her talk by taking a dual gene therapy to prove efficacy and safety in humans. Nearly three years later her results show reduced age in her T-lymphocytes by 33-years and increased muscle mass along with reductons in fat within the muscles. BioViva’s research interests are based on preclinical research of both the enzyme telomerase and inhibition of myostatin.

Parrish’s decision to be ‘patient zero’ and test the company’s technology on herself in a personalized N=1 study has been both criticized and lauded. Her treatment, labelled as self-experimentation, was highly controversial. As the requirements to progress to human trials had not started, the US Food and Drug Administration did not authorize Parrish’s experiments. Parrish traveled to Colombia for the treatments.

Telomerase gene therapy utilizing an adeno-associated virus at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), has demonstrated several beneficial effects and an increase in median lifespan of up to 24% in mice. Discussing her team’s research, María Blasco stated in discussion with The Scientist, “We demonstrated that AAV9-Tert gene therapy was sufficient to delay age-related pathologies and extend both median and maximum longevity in mice. Many pathologies were delayed, including cancer. Translating these results to human diseases (telomere syndromes or certain age-related diseases without effective treatments) may be of interest in the context of clinical trials approved by the corresponding regulatory agencies.”