Almost eight years ago, I posted a note on the tight link between longevity medicine and lab testing (see: Anti-Aging, Longevity Medicine, and Lab Testing). The two go hand-in-glove. The tests are used, in part, to determine the biologic age of the patient and then various regimens and remedies are used to theoretically slow down the aging process. Here's a paragraph from that note:
Just to frame the issue and get your attention, annual revenue from the anti-aging industry is estimated to be $56B -- this includes products such as anti-aging cream and botox injections. Need to find an anti-aging physician? No problem. Here is the link to the home page of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M). It's not too late to attend the 14th Annual International Congress on Anti-Aging Medicine.
When I wrote this note, I was not surprised that there was a market for services that emphasize youth in U.S. society. However, I had not thought about longevity medicine afterwards until I came across another article indicating that PAML had launched a lab focused on age management medicine diagnostics (see: AION Laboratories to Deliver Age Management Diagnostics). Here is an excerpt from it:
AION Laboratories, specializing solely in Age Management Medicine diagnostics, has been established to provide a full spectrum of laboratory testing to age management physicians and clinics across the country, said Francisco R. Velàzquez, M.D.,...CEO of PAML...and AION Laboratories. AION’s aging-related tests allow physicians to use a single requisition to obtain a thorough laboratory assessment of each patient. AION utilizes robust diagnostic technology to detect risk factors and biomarkers associated with aging. The purpose is to provide answers based in science and to support physicians whose goal is to enhance both patient health and physical performance well beyond statistical expectations....The laboratory, based in Spokane, Washington, utilizes cutting-edge immunoassays, tandem mass spectrometry and DNA analysis. AION has also established partnerships with highly specialized laboratories for propriety tests that complement our services.Test panels include baseline assessments for males and females, thyroid, lipid, expanded lipid, chemistry, cardiovascular risk assessment, comprehensive cardiovascular, female and male hormone, expanded hormone for males and females, menopause, inflammatory, diabetes/metabolic testing and genetic testing.
Probably the most important addition to the test menu in recent years for age/longevity medicine has been genomic testing (see: Length of DNA Strands Can Predict Life Expectancy). I have the impression that this specialty area has been flying below the lab radar for a long time but PAML/AION now seems prepared to capitalize on it. However, I do have one question. Why does PAML need to develop a new laboratory to provide the necessary lab testing for practitioners in the area. I am sure that PAML must have provided most or all of these tests prior to the launch of the new lab. I think part of the answer to this question is provided in the AION Labs web site in the "about AION" section. Here is a cut-and-paste from it (see: Available Tests):
The wide-ranging panels available from AION enable us to be a single-source laboratory partner to discriminating practitioners....Our test menu—characterizing a full spectrum of risk factors and biomarkers for age-related conditions—includes thyroid, lipid, chemistry, cardiovascular, hormone, menopause, inflammatory, metabolic, and genetic testing. A growing population of men and women age 35 and older is clearly becoming more determined to prolong a healthy lifespan. By detecting the underlying causes of aging in individual cases, AION supports physicians creating personalized treatment programs designed to restore and rebalance bodies through middle age and beyond.
Clearly the longevity medicine practitioners are looking for a "single-source" lab to meet their diagnostic needs. I am sure that this will be lucrative but is there the possibility that chasing this market will tarnish the reputation of PAML? Probably not.