Ambrosia—the startup that injects the plasma of young people into those 35 and older—is looking to open up shop in New York City.
Chief operating officer David Cavalier told Gizmodo in an email that the company is looking at “several possible locations in Manhattan” and hopes to open up the clinic by the end of the year. Ambrosia also plans to open up clinics “in other major markets in the northeast and the rest of the US,” said Cavalier, who added that “there is a chance” the New York City clinic’s opening won’t happen until the first quarter of 2019.
Ambrosia shares its name with the mythical food associated with immortality. To date, the company has run clinical trials, which involved injecting the blood of young individuals into older adults in an attempt to fight the “symptoms” of ageing, according to CNBC. Ambrosia’s trial treatments cost $US8,000 ($11,044) for two litres of blood, but Cavalier stated that the company doesn’t yet have a set price for its New York City clinic.
So far, Business Insider reports, Ambrosia has received about 100 inquiries regarding treatment in the last week since it updated its website. Nearly 150 patients aged 35 to 92 have already reportedly undergone treatment with Ambrosia, and around half of those were part of the company’s clinical trial.
In June of last year, Ambrosia founder Jesse Karmazin told Mic that the company buys its blood from blood blanks and was confident in the outcome of the treatments. “I want to be clear, at this point, it works,” Karmazin said last year. “It reverses ageing. We’re pretty clear at this point. This is conclusive. We are probably done with the clinical trial. It worked so well, we’re going to start treating people. We’re pretty amazed with this. Yeah, no, it works, there’s really no question whether it works or not.”
Experts have cast doubt on Ambrosia’s treatment, citing trials that are too small and simple to make decisive claims. “This is an unproven remedy,” Phuoc V. Le, an assistant professor in the school of Public Health at University of California Berkeley and associate professor of Internal Medicine at UC San Francisco School of Medicine, told Mic at the time.
However, Cavalier’s statement to Gizmodo today contrasts Karmazin’s earlier comments. “Ambrosia’s message is that young plasma [has] the potential to address ageing and related syndromes,” Cavalier said. “What we have seen in the clinical trial and in clinical experience with patients is promising.”
A lot of money has been funneled into science like Ambrosia’s, with investors and tech elites hellbent on cheating death. Among the prominent Silicon Valley figures who’ve explored this area is Peter Thiel, who may or may not have expressed a direct interest in Ambrosia, but called the concept of young blood injection itself “really interesting” in an interview with Inc. (Thiel, a billionaire co-founder of PayPal, secretly funded a lawsuit that led to the bankruptcy of Gizmodo’s former owner, Gawker Media.)
Ambrosia reportedly plans to publish the data from its first clinical trial, which Karmazin characterised as “really positive.” But until those findings are made public, you’re just going to have to take the company’s word that patients are seeing positive results. In a few months, people may have the opportunity to find out for themselves, given they are of a certain age with thousands of dollars to spare.