Accelerating High-Impact Science-Robin Hanson, Jim O'Neill, John Lewis, Melanie Matheu
10:10PM May 5, 2020
So thank you all so much for joining us again for for this second session in in second session second week. Last week we did developing a you may long term culture now on to and kind of like talking about how can we like dev How can we help very specifically in quite practically human well being along by bouncing high impact science and technology. Yesterday we started out with investment in philanthropy and it was really quite fantastic. We already honestly covered a lot of, you know, how we can kind of like spearhead science and tech from an investor's standpoint. today. I'm super happy to kind of like tackle that from from a different lens. I'm really happy to be joined by four really fantastic panelists, Melanie, about you first, and maybe Lou, if you find Melanie's Simone for foresight, maybe you can post it. Melanie M has not only been a really fantastic friend, but also an Really like a kind of like a stellar example to watch. I think prowlers has like risen incredibly and really over the last few years. It's fantastic what you have been doing there with the team. And it's really nice how you update folks on like, how science looks from the inside. So I encourage you to follow Melanie if you haven't done so already and, and Melanie last week has done not last week, but in the sanity preservers, which was the, which is what the hive mind grew out of. And she's done a really fantastic, fantastic talk on what policy is up to for helping COVID-19. And during that talk, reference, a lot of ways in which actually some of the red tape that has been somewhat restrictive in advancing high impact science, and has been cut recently. So I'm really happy to have her here and I'm hoping we get some kind of like frontline insights from her in vaccine development. And similarly, so, Melanie, I'm going to unmute you just so you know, similarly so I have for john lewis, who has also been really excellent And john actually gave a talk and a longevity meeting that we had just before COVID had didn't allow us to have any meetings anymore. And he, I think maybe we can even find that toggle from there. But you have since then, really kind of like spearheaded efforts in trying to set up systems in which we can really advance and the treatment of COVID-19. And similarly in your in yourself and your faucets, and are you also touching on all the ways in which suddenly you're able to act much faster and much more aligned with the speed and high impact signs ought to be progressing if we were actually serious about about making progress and curing folks, so I'm super happy to hear from you guys from the frontline a little bit. Then we also have Robin Hanson here and Robin, thank you so much for joining, I just unmuted you and and Robin has been vicariously posting on overcoming bias and on A few kind of like really quite incredible analysis of, I guess, like lesser talked about topics in this crisis. And I encourage you to check out overcoming bias, I think you updated quite frequently, you had a four set talk on violation or considering deliberate exposure here and which maybe we can post as well. And actually, it was really interesting because we then afterwards had Dan tillet talk about a variety of deliberate exposure, which is basically going out and exposing or like for young folks, exposing yourself deliberately then going under crawling time, and then slowly entering the workforce again, and then until it is later sanity preserver took it one step further and actually talked about exposing yourself with and it's a more benign strands of COVID-19. And seeking those out. So it was really interesting that we had this very kind of like really quite progressive
Quite progressive development of those early ideas going on. So thanks for joining. And lastly, Jim O'Neill. I think you're currently you popped out of my out of my mosaic window, but I'll find you and unmute you, too. Jim, I'm really happy that we finally got you. And you happen to catch, I think we scheduled two, two talks with you in the Senate to preserve us and you were so busy at doing COVID-19 related work, then, you know, you're always, like, had to drop those. And I think, you know, even for the better, like, if we don't want to do one thing, then it's like holding people up, we're actually trying to kind of like, do their best on the frontlines from actually doing those things. But nevertheless, I'm really, really happy that you can join today. I'm terribly excited for for your input. You know, you haven't only been CEO of sense now for a little bit and we're just, you know, definitely an organization that's close to the heart of many of us here. But you know, before that, you You have really spearheaded efforts a teal, and you have really kind of like, brought some really kind of like new progressive wind into into, into into government. So I'm really happy that you have this kind of like tripart View from which we're hoping to get a lot out of you today when we discuss how the current COVID-19 crisis can develop, can accelerate hate and pigs science by cutting some of the red tape that we will read about. Okay, great. So with that being said, thank you so much all of you to joining. I'm hoping we have quite an quite a quite an interactive discussion today. And for everyone who is participating, please feel free to collect questions already. We're definitely going to try to reserve the last 15 to 10 minutes. For questions from all of you guys. Please mark the question with a big queue. So I can like scroll up and unmute you when it's time and feel free to use The chat very widely. That being said, I do want to beg you at this point to please, I'm sharing the collaborative Google notes with you. Please, please, please, if anything that you want to go into the report later, rather than just an informal chat conversation, please add it to the collaborative notes doc as well. Because I would love for this chair to be like a super informal way in which people can just interact with each other, you know, like some of this can, you know, be like a more informal channel that, you know, doesn't have to be perfect, but then please, everything that ought to go into a report and please answer all the questions that I'll be answering that I'll be asking the panel panelists yourself on the collaborative Google Docs. Okay. Cool. With that being said, let's start into today's questions. And and, you know, maybe we can talk a little bit about Oh, I think I posted the wrong I posted the wrong document. From yesterday, we don't live in the past. And so I'm going to pull up the right doc. So you can take notes on this session. I think I sent it out yesterday to many of you. So and and you've also all been contributing to this already. So let's see. Also, what I love what you guys do, and you just posted it. That's great. And what I'd love for you guys to do, what we've been trying to do in our program is create one column in which we collect very specific action items. So the last questions to all of your speakers I'm already preparing you for it will be if there's one thing that participants do after the session, you know, how could they have the most influence and holding those doors open that have now been opened with COVID-19. So those action items, we're going to try to compile on the column. So if you have any cool action items that also pop up during this session that people actually in this workshop could be doing, and please feel free to add them to the doc all weigh in the bottom, I'm going to add one on action items. And please collect there. And then I'm going to add them to the Google and to the Google program. Okay, great. So Wow, we have a lot of contributions already. That's amazing. And so let's start with you, Jim. I already kind of mentioned, you're you, you have been wearing many hats, and over your career and, you know, maybe from your experience with to capital and the US Department of Health and Human Services, and now as CEO of sense, could you maybe give a little bit of an introduction on what you hold from your own experience to be the role division, generally between government versus private efforts to accelerate high impact science?
Your are now unmuted.
Great, thank you.
I think in general, the private sector, both for profit A nonprofit can do much more effective basic in translational research than government can. So if I could sort of suggest what I think needs to change between the relationship between the private sector and government, most of what I would advocate would be government getting out of the way. Getting out of the way of innovation, getting out of the way of new drugs and tests. Getting out of the way of end to end encryption, getting out of the way of the practice of medicine, which unfortunately, a lot of governors have, have been distorting in the past few months. That would be 80% of what I would change the other 20% would be focused on areas where the government actually can provide tremendous value and that is mostly in funding research, which it does a lot of, but not always in the right way. So the major science funding organizations like NIH, and NSF, and a lot of state level funding organizations are bureaucracies and they behave like bureaucracies and people in them play natural human power and status games. And I don't blame them for that. But I do blame the the organization, the way that things organized. So it'd be possible to give them a lot more effect if you could make a few reforms on the level of changing the level of abstraction. So just in the case of NIH, which I know the best. It's very, very siloed into more than 25 separate institutes which are all competing with each other on budgets and have their own separate cultures and Therefore tend to treat every single disease as a very, very separate research area, which is not really how the human body works, and also not how science ought to work. So you have way too much siloing. Just to take two examples, the National Institute of Drug Abuse and the National Institute of alcohol abuse are both studying the science of addiction, but they're totally separate Institute's that makes no sense. I actually got very, very close to merging them when I was helping to run HHS 15 years ago, got kind of sabotage by the drugs RS office and some other entities in the White House. But that's one example of siloing another as the way aging is, is handled. Aging is not just a disease, it is the source of most diseases. And it really ought to be studied that way. That's what we do at sens Research Foundation. And that's why NIH ought to do.
Yeah, thank you so much. I think, you know, tomorrow we have our way on some sense, you know, we'll definitely do a deep dive into the aging topic. And we already touched about it yesterday with the folks from Apollo. And you know, how this is like an investment opportunity that, you know, really, there's now a really good, good narrative to be funding more of that. And I think it's also close to the it was the heart of many of the other panelists here. And you know, I think, thanks. Thanks, Jim. And john and Melanie or Robin, if you want to chime in there, raise your hand and then I'll unmute you. Okay, Melanie, and also to the panelists. Please keep yourself muted because and then you can just speak because you can't really you can't unmute yourself yourself. I will, I will have to do it. Always Raise your hand. Okay, Melanie, what's your answer? Um,
yeah, I think Jim took the words right out of my mouth. My experience as a researcher prior to starting this company is that we have tremendous silos built up in research and it's difficult to get funding For cross collaborative projects or novel things that are kind of taking a step forward and moving research forward beyond the simple basic science and I think to accelerate things like finding an antibody or a vaccine for something like COVID-19, we really need to be able to have flexibility and moving our research forward. So I'm in full agreement with that. My experience.
Oh, that's interesting. Yeah, I think the the cross collaboration, one and the cross kind of like, and across this discipline, one is one that, you know, we hope to always be bridging with our technical competitions, where we bring different scientists from different silos and because otherwise, there's really no incentive or not even a possibility, right? They're actively being restricted from doing cross, cross disciplinary work. It's right,
you're siloed and you're narrowly focused and you're in your small area of research and sharing that knowledge can can accelerate things quite quickly. When you start to bring in hardware physics development, whatnot. It's it can move quite quickly. If We remove a lot of those those kind of barriers and gates.
Yeah. Do you have a specific example there what you do? Like I mean, I think Jim had this 8020 rule that he just mentioned, you know, is there like a specific agency that you'd like or? Well, I haven't come up with
with any specifics on that. Exactly. I think my company is a good example, because we do combine hardware and physics engineering with tissue engineering and development. And my experience in building that company and looking around at the landscape of tissue engineering is that a lot of people have approached it from a chemical basis, a cellular biology basis, even a mechanical bioprinting basis, but people don't have the wherewithal to understand the depth of knowledge in each one of those fields and bring them together collaboratively to actually move them forward. And so even within my own team, we have PhDs from optical engineers all the way out to cell biologists and getting them to think cross functionally has been a major goal for us. And I think it's why we've been able to move our technology forward so quickly. And I think there are a lot of good examples out there.
Yeah. Awesome. Thank you. I think john wanted to take that question as well. And then Robin, your next?
No, this is a really interesting, interesting thread. So I mean, I lived two lives as well. I've been a professor of oncology for a long time, and I've been an entrepreneur involved about six different companies off to say, you know, on the academic side of, I'm always trying to focus on developing platform technologies, and then trying to apply them to patients. And the way the system is set up through, you know, through NIH through NSF and, and other funding avenues, it's just it's not practical. And so what I've become so frustrated with the, you know, a good example is the number one, we have silos and each Institute has its own personality. And then the peer review that goes on for these grants really rewards you for number one incremental research, but number two, really just adding on to what you know, otherwise. ideas that are already out there, because you don't upset anybody. So So I found actually, on the academic side, philanthropy has played a huge role in being able to find, you know, outside of the box ideas and research. And again, on the on the private side, you know, we have a lot more flexibility to be able to take really a compelling science and drive it forward towards some sort of goal that's going to impact patients.
Awesome. Thanks, Robin. What's your verdict?
I'd say in general government is not very good at innovation. That is most innovation happens outside of government, the government tends to copy it. The kind of innovation that government does is the kind where they can lean on an existing prestigious institution like academia, and then just claim they're deferring entirely that institution for the justification for their innovation. So since academic prestigious, very fragmented siloed then the research they fund has been very fragmented silos because they're just very deferential academics. So that gives you a sense of what government can and can't do in these sorts of contexts. Government mostly isn't very willing to sort of take chances about things that might not work and then sort of put their own reputation on the line. But if they've got a, you know, very prestigious institution that is willing to put its reputation on the line, government is happy to just back that.
Okay. I mean, that ties into the post that you wrote on overcoming bias, which I posted to from the document, and that you wrote, why governments do why government does stuff. And, you know, I think just generally, you know, could you maybe Connect, summarize, where in particular, can we kind of expect government to be I mean, I made
that comment, because I knew it would lead into, yeah, sure. Yeah. Ask me about but if we just asked, in general, what does government do, we can identify a bunch of different correlates of things government does the main one that is correlated with it being really useful is scale when there are, you know, clear scale economies like with supplying electricity or water sewers or something like that government tends to do that. And we tend to accept them doing it and with some sort of regulation. But then there's a whole bunch of other correlates of what government does. That seemed to be exist in the world, it was less clear whether that means what government does is a good idea. So governments do seem to be less innovative and less flexible in adapting your circumstances. So they tend to focus more on products and services where there's less variety, everybody gets the same thing in the same way. And they don't change that much over time. Government, of course, focuses on things where it can control where regime wants to control and prevent rivals from taking over. So you know, military, religion, police, law, news, schools, things like that. Government also tends to focus on things where there's norms that people feel strongly about that they want to enforce or they want to show unity and devotion to each other where they want the entire community show off to the rest of the world. So research shows up there in the sense that a lot of the research we do, as God, you know, as nations, it's fun to just to show off to everybody else to say, Well, look, look how great we are, like, say, the moon landing or something, not necessarily producing a lot of social value per se, other than whatever is produced by showing off. And of course, government runs things where we want to be hypocritical, where we want to pretend to do one thing, but really do another and the Opacity and complexity of government tends to protect them. So those all don't necessarily give you a clear message for COVID. Clearly, in a crisis like this, people are willing to give government more power to do something but the government doesn't necessarily have that much freedom to like do something risky or innovative. Government pretty much has to do something with a lot of strong authority and prestige backing. And so that means it might be able to do things fast and effective when it's got that strong authority and backing but for something else that likes a variation thereof. They're gonna, you know, close ranks and, and shut out sort of threatening, you know, dispersive opinions and tactics by saying no, no, no, let's stick with the authority.
Yeah, thanks. And I think that's like a perfect kind of like, lead into, like, now focus on COVID-19 and this crisis, right? If you like think back and I think from Jim and Melanie, I would love to hear your perspective from the frontline. I was like Rick vaccine and like, Deputy development and you know, from Robin and Jim, you know, like more on the kind of like, understanding, you know, like, the beast from the inside. So, what what do you think, are currently like blatant kind of like blatant, blatant wrongdoings that were apparent like what kind of like what's the what's the most critical thing that that you know that that did not work out the way it should have? And were on the other hand are like, you know, really good opportunities right now to be speeding up scientific progress.
Maybe my Deep you want to go first?
Sure. So the FDA process has gotten better recently. There have been a lot of mostly under Scott Gottlieb. I'm sorry, if someone here isn't a fan of him. I am. I think there have been a lot of good advancements around compassionate use and better advancements around safety clinical trials and moving drugs forward more quickly. You know, we had about 10 or 20 years ago or rush of novel antibody therapeutics, and that's where I'm focused right now. And people were, you know, not sure of all the different things that could happen. We had some mistakes in clinical trials, notably, an anti c 28. If anyone is familiar with that, where the entire first safety cohort actually died. It was kind of messy, but since then, you know, we've we've understood the biologics, therapeutics development pathway much better and I think there are some rules that have been established that we can play by And are actually being exercised right now in this pandemic, such as the convalescent serum is a good example. So, I think I read that it only takes four hours for a physician to get approval to use convalescent serum and a patient with COVID 19. So, so that's an example of, you know, understanding the safety profile of a biologic and being able to move very, very quickly in a great time of need. And so that's, that's something that was done right. And I think it's because our technology has afforded us a far better understanding of how a lot of these biologics work. And so I think the FDA has actually done a pretty good job of starting to recognize that the approval process though, is mind bogglingly slow for for many of these drugs. And the FDA has recently been relaxing that in this time of pandemic, which is good to see. But you know, there's it's a double edged sword, right, because we don't want to be doing dangerous things that that can really turn people off and make people afraid of things. Science and scientific advancement.
Could you be more specific? Both john and mentally maybe like what specifically it has has happened recently that has sped things up?
Yeah. So on May 16, there was a relaxation of FDA test kits right for whether or not you're going to be serial positive for COVID-19 antibodies or SARS. SARS could be two antibodies. And that led to an absolute flood on the market of test kits that were really poorly validated and poorly verified and people are quite desperate to get them lots of false positives. I'm not sure about the level of false negatives of these. But you know, that that is perhaps been the basis of some some poorly done studies that made news headlines and and it just ends up really confusing people who aren't in the sciences who don't have good validation of what's what's going on. So, if you think you're serial positive, and you go back to work, and you're not you could end up you know, really infecting your whole family. So so things like that. I think it is good that we get validation and verification. But, you know, it is also nice to see that they're they're trying to relax the standards to make things go quickly. So that would be an example of kind of a double edged sword there.
Okay, thanks, john, would you like to chime in? And then Jim?
Yeah, sure, I can give an another example. Obviously, being Canadian, there was a big approval of a Canadian company with a with a rapid testing for for COVID-19. They, they weren't asked, though, to do a real world clinical Validation Test. Turns out their technology worked perfectly. But the swabs they chose, you know, to collect the sample were faulty, and the real world gave a lot of false positives. So I think this is an example of how you know. So we need clear guidelines in place of how to use these things clinically. But again, there's an opportunity here to be a lot more creative in the way we demonstrate that validity and i think that's that's really what we're We're thinking about right now, for instance, you know, he just buys a fence. We're developing a genetic vaccine against COVID-19. We're also thinking about using the technology to develop, you know, antibody based neutralizing antibody therapeutics, we're, we're encountering an institution, where are they, you know, the average approval time for vaccines is, you know, up to 50 years. So I've tried to quote five to seven years and you know, optimistically but if you look at traditionally the approval time for vaccines, you know, a quick approval is like 12 years So, and then we're encountering on the technology side, these amazing technologies that allow us to, you know, sequence the all the genomes that are present in the world, within a month and get an initial sequence in less than a week. We have, you know, the ability to do machine learning to develop candidates, you know, with unprecedented speed. And we've seen companies sort of rise to this challenge companies like Madonna here backing by on tech with their genetic messenger RNA based vaccines and our company Working with, you know, breakthrough DNA delivery technology that'll allow us, it's allowed us to go through now over 30 candidates and test them, you know, in less than a month. So So and but now we're facing, you know, regulatory environment where we have to think about how we're going to take this, you know, rapid development prototyping idea and apply it to patients. And so, so these conversations, so I guess the the really positive thing about about the pandemic, as far as regulatory goes, everybody's open to talk. So we've had frank conversations with the FDA frank conversations with Health Canada about what they want to see. So the kinds of things they want to see, they've also demonstrated a willingness to look at data as it's emerging. So you know, for instance, to get to the nitty gritty, whether we want to create a vaccine that has a neutralizing antibody response. We know it's COVID-19 one of the dangers that we saw for the SARS vaccine was antibodies can potentially create an antibody dependent enhancement response that actually makes it worse. So we need to think about incorporating the new science into into our interventions. To incorporate that or think about the key validation studies we need to do to exclude that possibility.
All right, thanks. Yeah, that was quite a laundry list. And, Jim, what's your angle on this? One is, you know, where do you think every failed, kind of like grandiose Lee, and where do you think are kind of like, hold a loophole opening that we could really exploit right now?
Yeah, so the biggest failure was over nucleic acid testing. So in January, when it was obvious that
this was going to be a pandemic,
Germany had widespread testing. And were able to identify cases people that had symptoms or thought they might have been infected, were able to get a test. The US was obviously a very, very different story. And that's because of FDA is attitude towards testing which actually got worse at the end of January, and created a monopoly on testing and gave the monopoly to CDC which unfortunately bungled it. So we lost months. Even even, even today, four months later, lots of people who want to test can't get one. And we should have had widespread access to testing in January, which we could have had if we had a different regulatory environment. That's the biggest one. Obviously, the world would be very different. America would be very different. If we had widespread testing in January if labs were able to look at the sequence of the virus and build a test, which which many many labs were able or capable of doing, except that it was made illegal. Secondly, there is the issue of masks and respirators. So there were two problems there. One, welcome problems. One was that all the stockpiles that were held in preparation for emergencies from the Strategic National Stockpile that CDC keeps at an undisclosed location to various state stockpiles, didn't have enough mass and respirators. notoriously California used to have a huge medical stockpile that included mobile hospitals and ventilators. And it was scrapped a few years ago. So there was a shortage of government backup, pp. Secondly, getting more was made illegal by a lot of ways. One is price gouging laws, which prevented a market from working. Second was misinformation, telling people that they're worthless, which the Surgeon General and CDC said and the third problem was the
slowness of FDA to approve
supplies that had been intended for
use in workplaces as opposed to hospitals. So they're roughly equivalent. They're respirators. They're made by the same company to the same specs. But if they have the FDA seal of approval, it's legal to use them in hospitals, if they have the NIOSH approval. They're intended for use in workplaces, places that work with a lot of dust, for example. And it took the FDA a long time to say okay, you're right. They're the same thing. You can use them in hospitals. That delay really cost us a lot. And then there there are k and k and 95 respirators, which are also very closely equivalent which are which took FDA even longer to allow So we really lost a central month that we'll never get back because of
a very, very heavy regulatory regime.
All right, thanks any like, you know, positive speaks where you actually saw nice things in the government opening up or like just being like, you know, I think Eric Weinstein has this, like, wartime analogy, you know, like things does have to work and they have to work fast. So are there any kind of like wholesale innovation where you think we should be like, pushing a little bit more to hold those open?
he just has done a lot of great things that are deregulatory in the past few months. A lot of them relate to telehealth so the ability to practice medicine over computers or telephones. This has been a pretty small area of medicine before the pandemic F. HHS has thankfully waived some HIPAA Privacy requirements. So basically allowing a doctor to talk to a patient on the patient's computer even if the patient's computer does not have a special HIPAA compliant software. That's been excellent. Medical Practice laws have been relaxed, allowing doctors who have a license in one state to practice in another state both through telemedicine and through just like getting their cars and driving to a hotspot to help out. It's kind of sad to think that that has been illegal. This was also an issue people might recall from Hurricane Katrina were doctors in in Houston wanted to get in their cars and drive to New Orleans and treat patients and it was illegal for a while. So the government has been quite good at waving a lot of these laws in San Francisco, the mayor reduce the Hiring time for nurses, I believe it was from nine months and and she reduced it down to I think two weeks. So that was a that was a great innovation. absolutely necessary. And of course it it raised the question why do we have these rules in the first place? And can we keep? Can we keep these, this news, this new status quo after the after we get through the pandemic?
Yeah, I think I want to open that question. Just because, you know, we've already touched on that up to the panelists of like, our which of the things that are currently possible that were impossible before, do you actually think are promising to keep beyond the pandemic? And if so, what what of anything we can do about that? You know, is it like, lobbying advocacy? You know, is there any particular thing that you'd like to draw attention to? Maybe Robin, do you have one or
I would say more probably mostly depends on public. Visit. ability that is, when you can get your doctor to video with you now, then if they try to change the rules back, people will go What the hell because they've seen it before, but other more obscure things they don't have much experience with those could easily reverse.
Alright, so maybe, you know, maybe then sooner upon upon the folks at the frontlines of developing those vaccines to be really vocal and very thankful right now, very publicly about being able to save so many lives quicker. JOHN and Melanie, do you have any input on where do you think we could be pushing? JOHN, you had your hands up?
Yeah, no, I mean, one of the things we've been looking at as we're designing our phase one and phase two trials, particularly phase one, phase one, I mean, obviously regulatory framework is all about safety first, and then vaccines in particular, especially when it can be vaccinated, potentially very young population. Safety is critical. But the thing is, phase ones have been remarkably inflexible in the past, although this is beginning to change. We have the technology now to evaluate you know, See a number of vaccines in the phase one stage, but then gather an incredible amount of information that we couldn't gather before we can sequence the complete immune profile the patients and look exactly what epitopes in that vaccine are having a positive or a negative effect on the response before we even challenge that patient with with the disease. And I think being able to create an iterative process in the clinical phase, I think we have an unprecedented ability to do it now. And I think it behooves us and ideally in conversation with the regulators to start doing that.
Yeah, I think John's absolutely right there when you're running a phase one or phase two clinical trial, introducing scientific logic into what you're actually seeing, and using that to make your next choice and your next decision is something that seems to be more the FDA seems to be more open to hearing about it. And I realized I haven't introduced exactly what we're doing but we're developing anti SARS could be to antibodies, human antibodies, and we have 50 in our clinical preclinical pipeline right now that we're betting for binding strength etc. But we've got 50 hits that we're moving forward against the US one in the US two proteins. And as we're designing our phase one clinical trials, we're introducing a lot of the phase two. And so we're looking at doing a joint phase one, phase two, and in not only So, so phase one is safety, right, and phase two is safety and efficacy. And then phase three is just a much larger safety advocacy study. But looking at the phase one, phase two combined and using that as a platform to go directly to clinics is something that I think the FDA is far more open to right now just because we are in a time of oppression need and keeping that door open as long as we can demonstrate true safety and a version of efficacy that that you know, we don't know how long it's efficacious, but it's efficacious for now maybe we buy ourselves some time I'd love to see that happen more with with diseases that are that are endemic or have pandemic potential.
Thanks Yeah, Jim any sweets put them in a sweet spot that we should be kind of like pushing All right now?
I firmly believe that we are not realistic endemic that people should be still staying home working from home where possible, worrying mass social distancing. But that doesn't mean I'm a fan of heavy handed government enforcing that. So what we started to see in the last two weeks is people just pretty much ignoring government in terms of sort of going about their lives and while I think they're very misguided and dangerous, I do see a silver lining which is people ignoring unconstitutional laws and kind of being civilly disobedient I. I sort of admire it from a political perspective.
We had an interesting session on that the second the second one in this workshop series. was about how we can champion civic responsibility. And it was, like, you know, but potentially setting a bigger Defense Fund for helping folks who practice civil disobedience to save lives. And yeah, I think, you know, one thing that, you know, has come to I think, you know, like has been popping up a lot now has been like a quest for like, you know, vaccine manhattan project or a call for something Megan, ARPA. Ah, you know, are there any kinds of efforts in that regard that you think we could now be pushing for on the government level? Maybe Tim Ferriss and Robin Meloni and john, if you haven't an answer to that,
yeah, so it already exists. It's called BARDA. That stands for the bio defense, Advanced Research and Development Authority. It's an agency inside asper which is the preparedness and response division of HHS. I helped create asper 15 years ago and served on the steering committee of BARDA. Normally, it has a budget of about $500 million a year. And it invests in development of vaccines and other countermeasures for pandemics and bioterrorism. And so, I mean, I think it should be bigger, but it does already exist. We don't need to create a new entity for that.
Okay, so just what's the button right there? more funding, more flexibility?
Both I think it should have more funding. I also think FDA should have more funding. And I think we need less regulation around development of vaccines and antivirals and other countermeasures.
All right, thanks, Robin and Melanie.
Oh, yeah, may I just respond to what you said? Sorry. Sorry to interrupt you, Robin. Yeah, we've had direct interactions with BARDA and DARPA on these things, and we encounter the same problems that you would, academically with NIH, there does seem to be a lot of siloing and shell, you know, shell games and horse trading going on. So that's a small, smaller company with with validated results, we've actually found it quite difficult to interact with them and get through the noise. I imagine they are inundated and we've had some calls with program managers, but the same kind of wait and see, let's back it when it's proven kind of attitude does seem to exist in those organizations. And hopefully, hopefully, something like this will shift that or we'll get to real visionaries in place, you can start shifting that.
Alright, thanks. Yeah, Robin.
I've been hoping to see some movement along the human challenge proposals. So we saw a lot of outlets, a lot of discussion, but as far as I know, somebody correct me if I'm wrong. There have been None. None of them have actually been approved and the variation that I've been testing A variation would actually be tested by some of those human challenged trials and would is, in a sense, blocked by the same obstacle. So from the medical ethics point of view, they've sort of held the line so far, by holding the same standards about what kinds of risks people are allowed to take. So from from that side, I report Not, not exciting, hopeful progress.
All right, thanks.
Thanks, john, what about you?
Yeah, I'll just add to that, so So obviously, BARDA is is a great organization to be looking at this. It's under their purview. So DARPA is another agency that we've been interacting with that also has some interest here and has has been thinking about this for a while. This is the Defense Advanced Research Project agency. So they've developed programs, you know, thinking about rapid response in the field, being able to rapidly prototype either vaccines or countermeasures to conceivably biohazards but you know, could be applied also in pandemics. they've, they've backed a couple of very large horses that you've heard over there and is one of them thinking about this idea of creating rapidly prototype or nucleic acid medicines that are built on a platform technology whose safety, safety is largely already proven. And and then you're left with, you know, quickly prototyping the something that's customized for patient. I think, you know, this is exactly the field we're in, in Egypt as well. We're able to rapidly prototype, you know, DNA vaccines or countermeasures as well. So we're both looking at Madonna and their success and their, their rapidity to the clinic. You know, with enthusiasm, we know that there's a substantial part of the sort of established institutional population that's also kind of hoping that they'll fail. And we don't we hope we hope they're absolutely successful that they have a countermeasure that can be rapidly scaled up. Because the ability then, you know, these kinds of rapidly prototyping platform medicines, you know, you can think of them on a wide scale we can produce hundreds and millions of vaccines and Pure time, I think the more exciting thing potentially is being able to customize medicines at the bedside, not just for infectious disease, but for many other diseases as well. And I think if we can push for this technology, and establish a regulatory framework where we can make it possible, I think we're going to see a new world.
Thank you. Okay. And then maybe, you know, in terms of like NASA, any last words before we take it to participant questions? And so if
there's one thing I think we didn't touch on, if you don't mind me just throwing this out there as a question to everyone. Yeah, so so this is all this is all well and good. And we are hopefully, as john said, going to develop something be moderna, be it be at our company via John's company, but then come scale up. I don't know if we've ever faced the problem of cohesive scale up at a global scale for something to be distributed as widely as we need this to be distributed. And I don't know what role government can play in that. I don't know if we start looking at programs for mass licensing of open sourcing so each country can produce their own. And I'd be really curious what people think about that.
I'll just mention because we've had first hand knowledge. So obviously, you may have heard this past week that the Oxford group came up with a vaccine they shown in monkeys as protective, right, we, you know, our group. So we have a GMP manufacturing facility in Canada, we're actually considering and allocating a couple of clean rooms to produce the Oxford vaccine, just in case it gets clinical approval first, they immediately within hours of us having a conversation with the PA I made a deal with AstraZeneca and and then they stopped talking to us completely. So so hopefully AstraZeneca has a better solution than us producing it in house but but again, that's the kind of thing that where things are playing.
Right, right. And these these large file texts do have capabilities scale up for for production, but they are already, you know, producing for their own current pipelines. Are they just going to completely knock those out? And then we have other drug shortages? How do we scale this to the global distribution level?
Well, I call you on. Yeah, ribbon microphones.
My colleague, Alex tabarrok, has an op ed in the new york times in the last two days, where they have a team of economists have proposed a way to guarantee funding for vaccine production so that these organizations won't wait on getting more sure about these things and can just go ahead and, and be sure to get reimbursed for doing these things.
Okay, it's good. Yeah. Good. So thanks. Before we were gonna move on to participant questions in two minutes, I want to give you maybe like a, you know, like, let's say 30 seconds or so to, to do two things to like, as the first thing is like, what particular area of innovation are you most worried about right now, especially with the cost to the economy of the current lockdown? Like are there specific fields where we should like where we significantly losing time I think Ray Kurzweil someone like for a while said that, you know, if we said if we set back the economy were that much it will delay the single by that much. I'm not talking that future perspectives, but generally like, what should we be worried about? And then secondly, like, what can participants in this chat do right now after this meeting to kind of like, hold those doors open to prevent the worst and kind of like push for? where innovation can be sped up right now? Who wants to go first? Raise your hand.
Otherwise, I'll pick on people. Yeah, melody, go for it.
All right. Yeah, I have a little bit less experienced than most of this panel on this. But one, one thing I think that we should be focusing on is prevention, not just not just therapeutics. And so people have been really scrambling to find a therapeutic and maybe you're two days short, in the hospital, maybe, maybe 10% of people recover a little bit better. But that's not preventative. And to really, to really move our economy forward. We need a solid version of prevention via the vaccine, be it temporary immunity with antibody injections. We need people to be safe to interact with each other in an environment where the virus is prevalent because the hospitalizations will not be decreased necessarily by by therapeutic, maybe a little bit, but but not at the scale that we're going to need to get back to work effectively.
All right, Jim, what do you think?
So, everyone knows that.
That SARS two and that is the proper name for it is most severe in people who are over 50. And with comorbidities. Most of those comorbidities are consequences of aging. And so, proper aging research is the best way to reduce severity of pandemics. It's not going to, we're not going to spin out a panacea in the next six weeks. But over the next few years, progress in aging which is very highly dependent on how many people and resources go into it can make a huge difference in the severity of pandemics. Second, Congress should immediately reform drug and vaccine approvals to focus on safety. They should roll back the disastrous 1962 legislation that created this extensive expensive
drug approval process and allow companies if they wish to make drugs available after phase one after safety has been established, focus the agency and safety of course continue to collect data going forward but reduce the cost that it takes to get a get a drug to the market and the speed
Okay, no to the dot and action items. Great john and then Robin and from above and I want to hear so the innovation question like what are we worried about? How is innovation going to be slow down? The next city is john.
So I was just living in Jim's world for a second. I was smiling.
no, I think I think that's a fantastic idea.
Yeah, where can we go forward? actually leave me for next month? Think about that second.
Okay, great, Robin.
I'm worried about how much work we're putting in adapting to this pandemic. That is, you know, before, a few months ago, we were working on a lot of long term grand visions for how to make society better. And at the moment, we're all focused on adapting to this particular pandemic, like, how far away we're staying away from each other, and we're doing distance learning and all these things. And you know, if in a year or so this is over, then we're going to go back to the usual world, but we'll have been distracted and delayed from it for a while. And that will have been a big cost not only the big destruction, unemployment, the, you know, bigger economic disruption than the Great Depression perhaps. And we'll we'll try to be recovering from that. So that's just all a big cost. Some things we will learn and we will take some advantages from it, but I mainly focused on this huge cost? And can we reduce the cost? Are we going to drag out like lock downs for years? Or are we going to find a way to get past this soon enough before we crush everybody and make them really restructure everything, and they use the articles about restructuring offices and restructuring restaurants, like we're supposed to change everything in society in the next few years to deal with this pandemic. That's all enormously expensive. And, you know, let's not do it if we can.
Alright, great. I encourage everyone to read the post on lockdown cost benefit analysis that you did on overcoming bias. And it's a really good way I think, for people to be thinking about this clearly for themselves. Okay, great. So with that being said, Thank you to the panelists. I'm going to take participant questions now. Jerry Brown had a question for a while. I'm going to unmute you now, Jared, direct your question to one speaker, please.
Great, yeah. My name is Jerry Brown. I'm from the global catastrophic risk Institute and the future of Life Institute. And we've talked about About biological threats,
obviously in the context of the current pandemic,
but there are other global catastrophic risks, low
probability, high consequence events
that could occur that we do federal r&d on. And I'm curious for GM, if you have any ideas about how we could restructure the r&d environment at the federal government to deal with these risks more comprehensively.
You're talking about risks, besides pandemics,
besides pandemics, just
generally the low low low probability high consequence risks? Yeah, I'm asked the question on Twitter a month ago, what percent of our defense budget should be bio defense? I was kind of making a point as much as asking a question. So part of our defense budget should be on preparing to shoot asteroids out of the way after heading for Earth. And we should Really take a risk based approach to all government spending. Someone asked the question a few weeks ago, Has anyone done randomized control trials to see if FDA regulations are worth it? And, you know, there's a little bit glib, but also pretty fair. So I, I totally support what I think you're implying, which is, we should take a very risk based approach to essentially every single dollar the government spends, and every single regulation issues. A little that sort of done a little bit sort of at the agency level, but but not nearly rigorous. Enough.
All right, thank you. I'm taking Brian build up and then Rachel Craig, Brian, I'm gonna unmute you now.
Oh, wow. What was the question I asked.
All the way back we had three cues.
Oh, three cues. Yeah. No, the question was one of framing kind of the difference between and let me turn my video on a little bit. Hi, everyone. I, rather than entering into the frame of more or less regulation, you know, I would really wonder if we could talk about more effective and less effective regulatory processes. You know, drug discovery, for example, is become very highly bureaucratic employer driven. A lot of that driven around needing to obtain consent from participants and clinical trials, for example. And there are opportunities for optimization of that path for sure. Are there other regulatory processes that are or policies that are low hanging fruit for for optimization and innovation without compromising safety, or efficacy?
While you're directing this to
anyone want to raise the hand here, any Speaker
Yeah, I think, Oh, go ahead.
Go ahead, Emily.
Oh, I was just gonna say I think earlier, what we touched upon with the combined phase one to clinical trials and things that have known Prior safety profiles that have been demonstrated to be generally safe, we can't find any good scientific reason why they wouldn't be, you know, moving forward quickly with those and and, you know, relying on our scientific data to make better informed decisions rather than doing incredibly expensive long term clinical trials that that, you know, really may not add any, any data to the, to the decision there. That's all I had to say about that.
I'll just add to that, Melanie, often when we're, you know, thinking about a phase two trial, it might take three or four years to do a phase two trial science comes a long way in three to four years. So the hypothesis and, you know, Prime Directive you had the beginning can completely change over that time. So I think absolutely more flexibility in designing trials. Being able to adapt trials as new science comes to light I think is critical.
I would second everything that Melanie and john said. And then I would also sort of quibble with the very last word of Brian's question which is efficacy. He asked if there's low hanging fruit that wouldn't compromise safety efficacy? I mean, I think the answer is yes. It's the reform I was talking about a few minutes ago, I would have FDA focus on safety and leave efficacy to science, namely physicians and scientists who run studies, as well as drug makers, and have a vigorous debate between all these kinds of scientists. That's real science. regulation is is not real science, and it's, it's better suited for safety than for efficacy.
if you're willing to stand back and look at all the different mechanisms we use in society to deal with various kinds of problems, regulation is just one of many mechanisms we have available. I think we should think about substituting less regulation and more of other things. It's not necessarily about less regulation means just more problems, more taking chances. We could do other things instead of regulation.
Great. Okay, thanks so much. Rachel has a question. And so I think I wrote down my question for Jim, but I'd actually be happy for everyone to answer if they have an opinion. And so my question, Jim, is if we reduce efficacy restrictions, what do you think the long sort of net long term effects will be for the industry? And then how would you quantify success?
Yeah, I think the effects would be
the cost of getting a drug to patients. Yeah, taking it from an idea to the market would be much lower. And the time would also be much lower, which of course, compounds the cost effect. And so we'd see more drugs for more conditions.
as we'd have a much, much more robust
innovative drug and device and and vaccine industry.
All right, thank you. And so I don't know it's now noon. I have more questions, if any of the panelists need to hop off then thank you so so, so, so much for joining so far. I would take another question by David Cross off, maybe when by Korean, but if any one of you wants to go or needs to go or need to hop on a call, I want to be super mindful of your time. Thank you so incredibly much for joining. And if anyone wants to stay on, I'm going to take David Cross question, but feel free to now zoom out and I'm going to follow up with your action items that I'm going to then send to all participants. Hey, I can't thank you enough. I think we squeezed a ton into this one hour and really kind of like to do it in red and then down to death. So thanks so much. If anyone says I'm off, that's totally fine. I'm going to take another question by saying I've
got another five minutes or so. Yep.
And I've got a page right so I'm gonna hop off.
Okay. Thank you, john, for joining us.
Thank you so much.
Okay, okay, David.
I'm unmuting you now.
Okay. I don't remember which question I was gonna ask.
You had a few.
I added a few. But I will say that the most frustrating thing here is that instead of taking potshots at government as a generality, but what we really mean are specific dysfunctions of this administration, which is run not in a bureaucratic way, but like a court system. It might really help reframe things to discuss things in terms of policy, and also examples from history of government being extremely successful in ways that only governments can do in order to reframe the understanding of the potentials as well as the trade offs. I mean, pointing at a lot of scientists wasted a lot of time in the lab pursuing, you know, hopeless inventions is is not a helpful way to characterize science, it's also not helpful to characterize government's potential. So, government did unique things in developing penicillin, which was a useless lab invention, until a monumental, extremely wasteful effort actually brought it to practice. They threw money at things and yet got the job done. And I think there are many examples like that. And then there are other examples of just policy issues. How are nutritional supplements sold in the US compared to other places over a few decades, and to see how well safety only efficacy? Well, we'll leave it to the marketplace will let marketers and doctors and practitioners and natural paths and homeopaths duke it out in their in their great wisdom, and let the information marketplace will work itself out. And as you can tell from my attitude, I'm kind of skeptical about that. So Like what what do you guys think especially Jim, what can government do really well, and when it's done it really well. Why is that worked?
Well, I think my best answer would be the one you cited, which is developed vaccines. That's why I was defending BARDA a few minutes ago. And I should also mention DARPA, luckily, some other people did. Vaccines are probably as close as we get to a market failure. In healthcare, the margins are very low. The development time is extremely long. The safety considerations are quite appropriately very high. Because when you're developing a drug, your attitude towards safety is well it doesn't have to be perfect because you're trying to heal a sickness. With vaccines, you're proposing to inject it into perfectly healthy people. And so even a small side effect profile is more significant. So well, many private sector players, including pharma companies, you know, play a great role in developing vaccines. It's, it's a great example of something where government adds a lot more value than it detracts subtracts.
Alright, thanks, Jim.
Yeah, and I'd like to add to that too, I don't think a total lack of control around efficacy is a good way to go. I am of the opinion you're right that if you open up the marketplace completely and totally to the decisions of physicians and patients, you then open them up to to people who have deep pockets and are tremendous lobbyists for their their therapeutic right. So you can have a lot of skewing of opinion and even potentially what data is released. If you don't have a regulatory body that's meant to be completely agnostic to to whatever market forces are behind it. And so I think supplement market might be a might be a good idea or a good example there, where, where it's not really as well controlled. And the efficacy studies aren't as clear. Scientists, I think should be more heavily involved and always involved in these decisions, just because of our training and nature and the analysis there. But I do think that efficacy does have a have a place in in government regulation, it just needs to be readjusted for for how we measure advocacy and the speed at which we can decide something is efficacious.
Yeah, Robin chime in and then carry on unmuted you you have the last question.
So obviously, the question of more versus less government or more versus less regulation is very sensitive, and everybody's already you know, knows what side they're on and want to fight about it. I would rather not like argue about that. But But I think the interesting thing to think about here is Over the last few months, we've seen variety across the world, we've seen different governments do differently. And I think an interesting question is what will we learn? And what are people learning? what conclusions are people drawing from the variety of different responses by different governments? And, you know, should we draw the conclusion which seems to on the surface, that we look kind of bad we, our government, our regulation, our governance process has failed us more than others have failed them. And what did they do right, that we're doing wrong? I think that's regardless what you think about overall government regulation, we should be trying to ask that question. What did we do wrong? What are they doing? Right?
All right. Thank you. And I'm going to hand it to Korean for the last question. I do have an alternative question if you don't want to answer Korea, which is what two panelists things are the pros and cons of Bill Gates's approach to test and prepare manufacturing facilities in parallel, or you can either tackle that or you can take over Korea.
Okay, I have a very specific question that I want to ask if anyone particularly has insight into the medical, big, big medical system and its relation to government. And that is the following. It seems to me that both in terms of aging, research and health span and now in terms of COVID, as literally the icing on the cake or the elephant in the room, it's metabolic disease that is killing people. It's killing them too early. It's making them sick. And it's just, it's what's killing most people even before COVID. And that's what's and most people who are dying of COVID have underlying metabolic disease. Now, we have no medical specialty that is a metabolic disease specialist. It's like you got diabetes, diabetes ologists and endocrinologists and cardiologists. And yet, it's again, a cross disciplinary situation that we have to address here and the medical system has failed. And is there some way perhaps that government or other sort of large pan medicine institutions could help fix this? I know it won't be in time for Current fire drill. But in the long term, it is arguably what we have to do to prevent horrible pandemics, as well as just general degradation of life in the future.
Yeah, that's a great question crayon.
And it dovetails nicely with what sens Research Foundation is doing. I just posted in the comments, an essay about how our work dovetails with stars to our COVID-19 which is that aging is killing all of us. And it's not only killing us at the end of our all too short lives, but also degrading the quality of life. And it doesn't have to be that way the laws of physics and the laws of biology that depend on them. Do not make it inevitable evolution doesn't even want us to age. And we and a lot of other people in our sector doing research to change this I would encourage everyone to get involved read the link that I just posted and go to sense.org. Exactly as Korean said it's, it's not going to make the difference in the next six months but it will absolutely provide great resilience for future pandemics and the time to add to it is now
and we're going to discuss that more tomorrow. good segue into that one too. Any last words Melanie and Robin
let's see. Um,
let's see. One thing you asked about earlier was how we shift the the curve to be just a better society and how we respond to things and I wanted to just add one small thing is that with this pandemic, we were caught pretty flat footed and there was poor information distribution, the the bungling of the mass situation. And I think that, you know, in general, having more scientific voices in government and in Policymaking is a simple cheap way. To ensure that we get messages out that mass are effective and that there isn't a full month going by where people are arguing about this. And you know that we understand what a faulty test looks like as a society and I think, you know, that's a cheap way to provide some insurance for a society facing something like this.
Meet Yeah, definitely, Robin.
I just like to offer the framing that people often talk about, you know, this solution would sounds interesting, but it won't be in time for this problem. I think the biggest positive we can potentially get out of this pandemic is practice for the next one. People are want we should be framing this one as what are we learning from this such that next time we can be more nimble and quick and better on the response if we and the public saw that framing, then we will be more interested in not just doing things immediately to solve this thing, but learning about how to better deal with future problems like this?
Totally again, Talon called yesterday. The minimum viable catastrophe to get our act together for the next one. Okay, hey, I can't thank you enough for staying 10 minutes over. That's insane. Thank you so, so much. I do think participant questions were incredibly good. Our next time, I'll just make sure to like keep my mouth shut earlier. So we have more time to take a look in the session. And thank you so incredibly much. This was fantastic. I'm hoping to see many of you tomorrow when we talk specifically about aging. And hey, I can't thank you enough, as I've already said, No, three times. But I hope you have a lovely day. And yeah, please follow up with me on anything that you'd like panelists that you'd like participants to do. And our participants, I'll be in touch after meeting with an email with follow ups and for it, I'm going to say goodbye now to all panelists if they want to drop off, and to all participants. Bye bye to open this. I want to stay on. And now is the time where we're going to do some kind of like interactive sharing. And I'm going to, I already shared the link to the coloration spreadsheet on which you Always have time to come back fill in your bit of hope. So this is something you know where we want to hear from you kind of like what's the thing that is not immediately obvious that you know maybe can't be put in like an irrational argument chain that excites you about the long term future especially now and that you'd like to share with others in the hope that it provide can provide like a bit of hope for others or like you know, some kind of incentive or like a little pick me up for thinking for thinking long term even in those kind of like, crushing times. Okay, we have if you want to raise your hand right now, that would be fantastic. If you want to share one. Okay, we have a tea we have never heard from Mark stove. So Mark stove, you have your hand up his bed. I'm going to unmute you now and you can tell me whether that's to share your bit of hope.
Thank you. So I hear a lot about the difficulty of producing billions of treatments eventually but I'm not hearing so much about the problem of getting those treatments to everyone in the world. And if we're going to really, you know, tried to actually, you know, reach all those billions of people, it seems like there's an economy of scale to not just be looking at COVID-19. But if we can reach all those individuals, this is the opportunity to test for other things, to vaccinate for other things, to educate for other things. So and it would be an exercise in global cooperation at an unprecedented scale. So I would love to hear some discussion about that.
You have any things in particular that you'd like us to do while reaching folks with COVID-19 vaccines once they are available.
So from my point of view, it's a matter of looking at the local health situation. And while you're talking to and treating people and testing people to try to have the most impact you can in whatever the locally most effective way would be.
Yeah, I mean, we're going to talk about contact tracing technologies, I think, and not tomorrow session, but the one after and there, we're definitely gonna talk about, hey, given the fact that, you know, we may get around to come to conduct to privacy, preserving conduct tracing, what other things could we be doing with the coordination device that allows conduct tracing and how can we kind of like incentivize more decentralized cooperation rather than the one, you know, let's say where we have a third party brokers in the middle. And so that's one thing, we're definitely gonna talk about similar lines, but if anyone here if any of the participants want to get their hands up to answer to answer that immediate question, raise your hand now and I'll unmute you and you can put your video on raise your hand anyone would like to tackle that question that was just posed. I'm not seeing any hands. If I'm overlooking someone, then please tell me in the chat. I definitely don't want to do that. And okay, well, then let's take the next hand. Is there a particular like bit of hope, something that you'd like to share as a participant? Mike, I'm gonna unmute you. Oh, hi.
Yeah. I had a question with Jim.
And since you're working on these anti aging methods, will they be like open source or is the sens foundation going to market them? commercialize them them in some fashion, how will they be distributed and made available? kind of curious to what kind of time frame are we looking at?
Sure. So we published papers about our research which are available in medical journals, but also when we have a technology that reaches a certain stage we split it out into a for profit company. We've done that twice in the last six months, and expect to be doing that more in the next few years. So, our atherosclerosis team invented a new cyclo dextran that can eliminate seven keto cholesterol which is a purely toxic byproduct of oxidized cholesterol. And we spun that out into a for profit company, a pharma company called underdog that is going to continue to develop that cyclic dextran and try to get approval and and mark it as a therapy for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Another example is our research program in ag cross-links. developed a therapy that we spun out recently into a company called rebel that is developing a therapy to Verse the stiffening of tissues with age. So those are going to be sort of innovative but but Standard Model pharma companies developing therapies that will be you know, put up for sale like like other drugs and
clinical trials available on those or how to can you get early access? Is there any way um,
they are both planning to do clinical trials. If you neither one is in human clinical trials yet, but in a year or so, if you track them on clinical trials.gov or on their websites, you'll be able to see what the status their trials are and and what the criteria are for participating in trial. So one is underdog pharma and the other is rebel. RE ve L. And there's there's bits about them on on the sens website as well. since.org
Yeah, thanks. I just I just shared it gray and Sonia Eris, nields, Gregor and Joe beda, who talked about like a few of those. Like, I think I mentioned a few of those kind of like development, it's really cool man that you've been spinning up to companies like within six months with awesome, amazing names, whoever did the marketing Well done, but I'll be talking a little bit about those as well and the video that I just posted here, and our previous longevity investment focus, by the way, I just want to mention, you know, we before we, before the covert lockdown happened, we had this longer the investments alar we were hoping to do four of those in person. And and we're now kind of like probably setting up one very big, longevity focused meeting, given the fact that it's now a very good time to push for fit in research and later Like later this year, so if people are interested in that, like maybe shoot me an email. So we can coordinate on that a little bit more, because we had a ton of interest before that, and now I don't think that interest is slowing. So I just want to mention that as an effect, as a preface, as anyone is interested in joining. Okay, so we have George abelian. Here who has raised their hand and this is probably to share a bit of hope. And then we have next one up, we take Keith Runion. Okay, George, I'm gonna unmute you now.
Thank you, I'm with Buckminster Fuller Institute. Now, my bit of hope is that we can learn to take all of what we've learned about how we interact with disease as a human species, and then compare those dynamics to how nature interacts with us, and how humans can interact with nature in a way where we don't have disease, where we have longevity and health and vitality. For the entire system, in our working into how we feed, drink and breathe and and live, and I would love your thoughts on that. Thank you
would anyone care to? To answer that particular question? If so, raise your hand now, either the video or or in the raise hand feature. Anyone want to address the planetary and human body health relationship?
Well, we are going to be addressing that at the end of week number three, we're going to talk about like the, we're gonna like basically next week one is zoom out and talk about global systems and how they're affected how we can become more resilient on a global scale, both production line but also in terms of building better and building ecosystems that are just more sustainable for a variety of different ways that we may be. So you should definitely please join that week. And then I'm taking Keith Runion, next.
Hey, everyone, it's been wonderful. checking in on this whole conversation. It's really awesome. I think something that's giving me hope, um, is watching new forms of governance, like we're seeing in Taiwan, and new civic tech v. Taiwan is a really cool example. That allows for a lot more dynamic forms of governance that are less ossified than the current systems that we have, but are also fundamentally just much more effective. And so I'm really excited to see examples like that, or in Barcelona or in Sao Paulo. There's all sorts of different groups that are kind of rising up. And as the current governance systems that we're running, our dysfunction are becoming dysfunctional. We're seeing those kind of rise up so I'm curious what folks thoughts are on that and also curious about I feel like the other really positive side of this is that minimum viable catastrophe? I'm kind of issue it's too I think that our systems are fundamentally fragile and that we've been optimizing for efficiency, over resiliency
and for power over wisdom. And so it seems to me if we're going to bind problems around existential risk that we need to be moving towards not just more dynamic forms of governance, that are able to handle the rapidity of change that we're experiencing now, but also wiser forms of governance, so I'm wondering where you're seeing that and how we can best optimize for it.
Is that a question that you want to address to all participants?
If so, participants, please feel free to raise your hand if you want to take a lead.
Anyone want to raise their hand for free to do this now in the video
Okay, putting on the spot here. So Well, I do think that. Yeah, I mean, definitely that's definitely a question that we're going to basically focus the whole next week on answering. And you know, and I think like one thing. Oh, actually, let's see. Ted Howard has his hand up here. Let's see. Let's hear from you, Ted, I want to meet you.
Thanks. Awesome. Look, I just want to go back a question, really, it was the one that George brought up about the difference between natural systems and errors. And I just put a, an answer in the text there. But like, natural systems evolution, we exploit differential survival on individuals. So it's essentially a random search algorithm across the space of all possible systems. And it does the search filtering on differential survival. So we need to take that Random search, but ensure individual survival while we're doing the search, so we don't want to have individual death being the selection mechanism. We want to continue our individual existence, but still do random search in a way that is survivable. So that's the big distinction that we need to embody in our systems. And the problem we have is that we have evolved this system of support and information transmission socially, which is our economic system, which is based on a scarcity based paradigm of market value, and let system files to transmit information once you have automated systems in place. So we have the system which has worked for us in the past when most things were genuinely scarce, which is now failing us in catastrophic way. ways, and that is the market based system. Now that we have this context of having automated systems that can produce all of this abundance. So we're in a time of transition where we have to transition away from markets as a valuation mechanism because it's actually broken our information transmission systems. But we also need to be able to search novel spaces and come up with novel responses because that's the way evolution must progress eternally.
Do you have
an alternative they that you want to throw out?
Well, we're developing the alternatives and mechanisms like this, we need alternative ways of having multiple independent trust networks and multiple independent information transition systems, which are not based on scarcity based value mechanisms. So the mechanisms of the market need to be there for things that are genuinely scarce but we need to have these abundance based systems evolve. Alongside, and all of those systems need to be based around individual life and individual liberty. But individual liberty must always be constrained because all systems have necessary minima required to maintain them necessary minimum boundaries. And so we must constrain Liberty within the boundaries necessary for survival, but no more constraint than that. And that's always going to be contained uncertainty. So there's always going to be dispute about where those boundaries lie. And so we're going to have to responsibly engage in those disputes internally at every new level of boundary we explored so it's gonna be interesting. Yeah.
Thanks. I posted just not well, I am and it was a full thing, one of my favorite articles on faith Codex, which is atomic communitarianism. And I think it proposes like a, like a different, I guess. Some a different interpretation mechanism for this which is you know, like why why not have something you know, like different voluntary communities that coexist with each other in which different people can associate according to according to their wishes in which different people can test and try and experiment with different forms of Corporation all of that in this like you know, definitely utopian superstructure, which has the basic needs covered and externalities covered so that the different pockets that are doing their own thing and experimenting and innovating in their own ways, in this kind of like, you know, larger evolutionary evolutionary competition mechanism don't influence each other and and also are not scarce in that way and don't die out. So always, always be like that. Okay, thank you so much. And thank you so much for that, for the quite eloquent for the quite eloquent comment and I am not seeing I think any more comments over here, I do want to I think close up maybe with
Just one more comment. I was like you said, evolutionary competition. That's a misunderstanding of evolution. I know it's common. I know everyone, almost everyone uses competition as synonymous with evolution. But once you look deeply at evolution, when you're talking about new levels of complex systems, all new levels of complexity are based upon new levels of cooperation. So by the time you look at systems like us, and to be a speech capable human, you must embody at least 15 levels of cooperative systems. It's much more accurate to say that at a level, evolution is all about cooperation. Like we are fundamentally cooperatively based and this idiot mean, that came not from dial in directly but from his Bulldog that it's all about competition. But like, it's just wrong, it's mathematically wrong, it's logically wrong. at our level evolution is all about instantiating new levels of cooperative systems. And all cooperation must be non naive, because naive cooperation is always vulnerable to exploitation. So you have to have that the evolving ecosystem of cheap detection and cheap removal systems, and let's always an evolutionary ecology in itself every level. So it's an amazingly complex system. And it's just mind numbingly complex and beautiful. The more you explore it, but Sure, I think there are competition, let's just, we've got to get away from it. It's evolutionary cooperation. That's our survival strategy.
Yeah, for sure. I mean, I think if you talk about reciprocal altruism, you know, it's definitely I think, one way in which we have evolved tremendously and I think that you can ultimately also kind of like acknowledge that that still exists in ultimately evolutionary And framework and the better corporators survive in that regard. So I think you know, and yeah, I think it depends on what level you you analyze the system. But, you know, even for that one, I'm going to post another one. And another states article, as it says, equities article and meditations on my life on, you know, multipolar traps that arise and in our long term trajectory, which I also really like. So, anyway, okay, now we're exactly at 30 at 1230. And I'm seeing from Keith, like a few thumbs up on the article that I posted. So thank you so much for joining everyone. This was quite fantastic. Thank you for staying on for too long. Thank you for being so proactive. We're definitely going to be experimenting a little bit more with with making those chats at the end interactive if you have specific ideas for how to do so without crashing zoom. please reach out to me. If you have specific requests on what you'd like to do, let me know and okay for that. Want to thank you all for joining today? I'm hoping to see many more of you tomorrow when we then talk specifically about aging, which has always been to make very close to my heart because of course, it's hard, I think, since forever. And now we do, there seems to be this unique opportunity to actually make a case in the mainstream for this not to be like this utopian dream, you know, that, that that we want to get to, but actually make a case for it, you know, very many things that we care about, are kind of like correlates or, you know, our late, late term results of not tackling the root cause of those issues, which in many cases, aging, so thank you for joining tomorrow. Thank you for joining today. I'm going to follow up with more information. Also. Here's my last words. Today is Giving Tuesday. Read right, it's usually after Thanksgiving. Well, we're doing it early. I think you already posted kind of like a donation link for that in the chat earlier. You know, I just want to remind people that we are a small nonprofit, you know, we are like, and we just mostly Lou and I really that are steering the ship right now. And we definitely are currently, I think, Jim, you call it growth strips, which is when you roll too fast that you really can't keep up with it. And we're currently definitely experiencing that on some level, because we're really trying to take this global and we're definitely seeing the potential there. But meanwhile, we're definitely quite constrained by our woman power currently. So if you want to help us with that, and if you can donate, then, we're really, really welcome like any, any type of donation as welcome today, especially on GivingTuesday. And I think it would be really nice, really nice opportunity to make that happen. So thank you so much. I'm just I just posted the link to our website with a donation button right up front. And I'm hoping to see many of you tomorrow. I hope you have a lovely day. Bye Bye, everyone.