Global Healthspan Summit: Advancing longevity science and societal health

Publication in Nature Aging reports on how inaugural Global Healthspan Summit helped to ‘close the gap between healthspan and lifespan’.

Nature Aging, one of the leading scientific publications in the longevity and geroscience field, today released a comprehensive article covering the inaugural Global Healthspan Summit, which was held on 29-30 November 2023 in Riyadh.

Organized by the Hevolution Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing healthspan research, the summit brought together scientists, thought leaders, policy makers and investors from various sectors to ignite a new era in global health and to catalyze global collaboration around extending healthspan. Today’s Nature Aging article, which was written by Mehmood Khan , Haya Al Saud, Felipe Sierra, Viviana Perez, William Greene, Salman Al Asiry, Sophia Pathai and Michael Torres, is a comprehensive overview of the event and the topics discussed, as well as a reminder that GHS served as a clarion call for changing up of the regulatory and public health landscape in light of the world’s aging population and healthspan burden.

Longevity.Technology: The publication of this article by Nature Aging underscores the growing credibility and significance of the healthspan and healthy longevity field. By providing a platform for collaborative discussions and showcasing cutting-edge research, the Global Healthspan Summit has set the stage for a healthier and more productive future for aging societies. It also provided a forum for obstacles to progress to be identified and solutions strategized. As stakeholders continue to navigate challenges and explore opportunities, the momentum generated by events like these is crucial for driving progress in the field, but from a wider perspective, embedding into the public consciousness the idea that slowing aging and reducing the burden of age-related diseases will have enormous global benefits will foster change at national level.

The authors acknowledge that “there are socioeconomic and moral imperatives for public
health to focus on healthspan” and that “interventions – in terms of medicinal modalities and environmental constructs – must be discovered and tested” to ensure this. They report that discussions at GHS ranged from aging pathways to potential interventions such as senolytics and AI-driven biomarker discovery.

The article also notes the widespread agreement at the conference that the “dearth of validated translatable biomarkers of biological age and aging is hindering basic research and the discovery and translation of potential interventions into the clinic”, and that perspectives shared by individuals like Alexandra Bause, Jorge Conde and Stephen Kritchevsky shed light on the importance of personalized interventions and surrogate endpoints in clinical trials.

There were announcements, as well as discussions, and the article references both the Biomarkers of Aging Challenge and XPRIZE Healthspan competition, which aim to accelerate research and development in the field. These initiatives offer substantial cash prizes and support to transform winning solutions into viable businesses and therapeutics.

READ MORE: Could XPRIZE Healthspan deliver the ‘holy grail’ for longevity science?

The article also discusses the ethical and economic issues associated with longevity that were explored at the conference. Andrew Scott argued that while aging societies present challenges, “reframing the narrative” to emphasize the benefits will yield significant opportunities. The authors refer to research that suggests that investing in healthspan interventions could yield significant economic gains by compressing the period of morbidity and improving overall health.

The authors report on the emphasis placed at the conference on universal access to healthspan interventions and the need for ethical frameworks to guide research and implementation, framing these as “a moral imperative”.

Entrepreneurship and investment were discussed, say the authors, with Hevolution outlining its mission-driven approach to investing in transformative interventions, and launching its Breakthrough Innovation Alliance, described by the article as a “collaborative program that is aimed at curating and supporting high potential ideas that could be translated into practical development programs to seed the next generation of transformative interventions and companies.” The authors note that recommendations for entrepreneurs and investors focused on goal setting, resilience and diversification of funding sources.

The article makes it clear that the theme of transformation ran through the conference; from the need for systemic changes to shift the focus from “sick care” to preventive healthcare to the recognition of the economic case for investing in healthspan, and from the crucial need to address ageism and misconceptions about aging societies to ensuring a political landscape that that can redefine the healthspan ecosystem.

“The summit showcased the current landscape of aging research and underscored the necessity for interdisciplinary collaboration, visionary investments and paradigm shifts to pave the way for a healthier and more productive future for aging societies,” conclude the authors. “Hevolution committed to being a driving force in shaping the healthspan trajectory with one of us [Mehmood Khan] concluding the summit by rallying all attendees to become ‘hevolutionaries’ and join the healthspan revolution.”

Read the full article at Nature Aging – CLICK HERE

Photo courtesy of Global Healthspan Summit