Ambrosia is a Florida-based company that is fighting the aging process by taking the blood of young people and transfusing it into patients that are over 30 years old. The company was founded in 2016 by Stanford Medical School graduate Jesse Karmazin.
Ambrosia has already created transfusion centers in the US. There are a total of five of them situated in Los Angeles, Tampa, Omaha, Houston, and San Francisco. The treatment costs $8,000 for one liter and $12,000 for two liters.
The blood donors are between 16 to 25 years old whereas the patients are above 30 years old. Up till now, about 150 patients between the age of 35 to 92 have undergone the young plasma treatment being offered by Ambrosia. The company also claims that a waiting list has been formed.
Karmazin said, ‘Some patients got young blood, and others got older blood, and I was able to do some statistics on it, and the results looked really awesome. And I thought this is the kind of therapy that I’d want to be available to me.’
The idea for the young plasma treatment was inspired by another experimental treatment that is called ‘parabiosis.’ Parabiosis was conducted on mice and exhibited a lowering of two proteins that are associated with cancer risks. The study was, however, inconclusive and limited in its scope.
Ambrosia carried out clinical trials with over 200 participants. The trials ran from June 2016 to January 2018. The results have not been posted on the US government’s clinical trials website though. David Cavalier, Ambrosia’s former chief operating officer, said, ‘The trial was an investigational study. We saw some interesting things, and we do plan to publish that data. And we want to begin to open clinics where the treatment will be made available.’
The company has listed vague benefits that its patients are enjoying including ‘renewed focus, better memory and sleep, and improved appearance and muscle tone.’ However, there is no empirical data for determining the validity of these claims. We also can’t count the placebo effect out!
Blood transfusions have been termed as ‘off-label’ treatments by the Food and Drug Administration. This means that they are approved as intended but can also be utilized in unconventional treatments without requiring the need for proof of any of the health benefits that are being claimed.
UC Berkeley researcher Irina Conboy said, ‘They quite likely could inflict bodily harm. It is well known in the medical community — and this is also the reason we don’t do transfusions frequently — that in 50 percent of patients there are very bad side effects. You are being infused with somebody else’s blood, and it doesn’t match.’