Startup That Charges $8,000 for Young Blood Transfusions Swears They’re Worth Every Penny

June 1, 2017

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A month after receiving a transfusion of young plasma, Karmazin says, participants had fewer chemical biomarkers indicative of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and certain types of cancers.

The results are extremely preliminary; they not published in a peer-reviewed, and there was no control study. Ambrosia got the US Food and Drug Administration’s approval to begin conducting a controversial clinical trial in May 2016, and participants essentially pay for the unproven treatment out of pocket. For $8,000, healthy individuals over 35 can have a transfusion of plasma from someone aged 16 to 25 as part of an ongoing clinical trial.

In the Ambrosia trial, roughly 80 participants with a median age of 60 had their blood tested for around 100 different biomarkers before receiving a single transfusion, and then again a month later. On average, patients had 21% fewer carcinoembryonic antigens, a compound associated with lung, colon, and ovarian cancer; 10% fewer apolipoproteins, associated with heart disease; and 20% fewer amyloid plaques, associated with Alzheimer’s. Speaking to Quartz, Karmazin said patient reported feeling like they had more energy.

It should be noted, though, that these biomarkers do not indicate disease itself; none of the participants who enrolled in the trial were seriously ill before receiving the transfusion.

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Image: By DiverDave – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11866692

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The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.