ChromaDex goes retail; loses (first round!) in court case with Elysium

ChromaDex announced at its recent shareholders meeting that they are in the process of marketing NR/Niagen on their own and are cutting off sales of NR (Nicotinamide Riboside) to vendors like Elysium as well as the 40 or so others as they are

“clearing the playing field for us to set the stage for us to make an investment in our own consumer product brand is a priority for us. The short answer is that we are clearing the playing field right now, and we expect it to be substantially cleared as this year progresses, and we expect a lot of it to be cleared by the end of the year…

….Most of them will eventually run out of inventory, but there is also the possibility that we may be able to clear it by potentially just taking some of that inventory on our own and removing it so that we can clear a path in a more efficient way. and we’re evaluating several different ways. I don’t foresee that it will go out for a long period of time that you’ll see a lot of inventory out there.”

ChromaDex added that they are “open to [selling NR to some vendors] but that’s all that we can say right now.”

To which I say “highly unlikely.” Why would ChromaDex spend millions of dollars transitioning to becoming a retailer of NR and still keep selling NR to a few large vendors?

Elysium has a large stock of NR from its unusually large purchase from ChromaDex last June, a month after its 120 person trial of NR at 250 mg and 500 mg started. To keep selling BASIS (NR with pterostilbine), Elysium could buy up other vendor’s stock that are willing to sell at a small marked up price. Then they could announced a new product that does not rely on NR or ptersotilbine later this year or early next year.

Also, ChromaDex has lost its [corrected: first round of the] court case against Elysium but Elysium’s complaints will still be heard. From The Right of Assembly that has been reporting on this case:

“The federal district court dismissed both of ChromaDex’s tort claims — fraudulent deceit and trade secrets — although ChromaDex is entitled to amend its complaint and assert with more specificity why the thing that Elysium allegedly stole was a trade secret.

The federal district court refused to dismiss Elysium’s fraud and patent misuse claims, but did dismiss Elysium’s unfair trade practices claim.”

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David Sinclair takes 500 mg of NMN and says his biological age went from 58 to 32

David Sinclair of resveratrol fame told The Washington Post at age 45 in 2015 that he was taking 1000 mg of resveratrol a day in 2015 yet in an interview printed yesterday, he said before taking 500 mg of NMN a day that his blood work showed that his biological age was 58 and that a few weeks latter was that of a 32 year old.

Sayonara to resveratrol.

NMN is supposedly very similar to NR that is sold by Chromadex to vendors like HPN and Elysium, yet it is currently not cheap. Sinclair said that 500 mg of NMN costs him around $20 a day where as 500 mg of NR would cost just under $2 a day.

Sinclair is a multimillionaire so has enough loot to take $20 a day of a 500 mg capsule but if NR is superior or equivalent to NMN than why pay 10 times as much?

He says that he is testing NMN on human subjects for 6 months from this fall in Boston and estimates it will take 3 to 5 years to develop this “drug” that is already available as an expensive supplement. He says his 77 year old father is taking it and reportedly has the endurance of a man in his 20s or 30s.

Here is the interview

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The New Yorker mentions Elysium Basis (NR)

The New Yorker has a recent article entitled “The Silicon Valley Quest to Live Forever”, which covers several angles of how various researchers are trying to extend human longevity.

Elysium and its first product Basis was mentioned toward the end before a blurb on how Ray Kurzweil intends to resurrect his father, who died of heart failure over 45 years ago, as an A.I avatar. There is a big jump between a potential health pill like Basis and A.I. based resurrection…

The writer visits M.I.T. biologist and co-founder of Elysium, Leonard Guarente:

There are no clinical data yet that Basis does anything useful in humans, so, when I visited Guarente in his office at M.I.T., I asked if he’d noticed any effects from taking it. “I have,” he said. He glanced at Elysium’s P.R. person. “Can I say it? It is O.K.?” She gave a calibrated nod, and he said, “My fingernails grow faster.” And what does that mean? “I don’t know. But something.”

So there we have it! Proof positive that NR extends human longev… fingernails.

But after talking with Guarente, the writer must have known that Elysium has sent detailed results of its trial from last summer off for publication but decided not to include that important point. And we also no know that the sole supplier of NR, Chromadex, will announce its own similar trial results sometime this June or July.

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ChromaDex to announce NR trial results this summer

OK sports fans, NR (a potential anti-aging vitamin B3 derivative) monopoly supplier ChromaDex has recently said that it will release the results of its 8 week 140 person trial of NR in groups of 35 at 100 mg, 300 mg, 1000 mg and a sugar cube with 0 mg of NR in June or July.

This may sway Elysium with its seven Nobel Prize laureates, who is being sued by Chromadex for withholding payment from last July*, to release the results of its own 8 week 120 person study (non-obese 60 to 80 year olds) taking NR at 250 mg, 500 mg and a sugar cube on its website from last summer faster than a science journal that will publish the results this year.

Website = fast; journal = slow.

I think it is possible that Elysium is withholding detailed results of changes in glucose levels, lipid levels, blood pressure, 6 minute walk test, etc. because they aren’t sure how to price NR with new information. That is, 500 mg a day, which is $1.80 for NR may prove much more effective than the current recommended 250 mg for $.90 a day. Just a hunch.

*Elysium knew the results of the first 4 weeks of its trial in late June, bought a lot more NR from wholesaler Chromadex, and insisted on lower price. ChromaDex balked at selling to Elysium at the much lower price and sued for payment that has been withhheld. At the same time, Elysium snared a pretty high level Chromadex employee to its company.

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WSJ: Asia’s Promise Gives Way to Its Growing List of Troubles

The Wall Street Journal ran an essay entitled “Asia’s Promise Gives Way to Its Growing List of Troubles”. Here are a few sections (not in order) and my disagreements:

Asia’s second looming problem is demographic. Japan began losing population in 2011, after decades of dropping birthrates, according to World Bank data. The country’s health and welfare ministry and other experts worry that the number of Japanese, which stood at 127 million in 2014, could fall by as much as a third by 2060. One result of this failure to reproduce is that Japan, according to the U.N., “is home to the world’s most aged population,” with 33% of its citizens 60 or over in 2015; the country is thought to have more than 58,000 centenarians. No modernized society has ever faced such a challenge.

TK: Of course, Japan’s demographics are similar to many European countries. The writer typically uses extrapolations out to 2060 and concludes “No modern society has ever faced such a challenge.” But no modern society has ever seen health care of the 2020s to 2050s either: CRISPR type technology, nanotech, anti-aging pills and treatments, etc. that are coming just around the corner — in the 2020s.

Perhaps the greatest risk is the dramatically slowing Chinese economy. When trading opened on the Shanghai Composite Index on June 12, 2015, its value had skyrocketed more than 100% since the summer of 2014. Then the bubble popped. Fueled by fears of a slowing economy, a weakening currency and an unsustainable debt bomb of some $30 trillion, China’s markets went into free fall.

TK: China’s growth is not “dramatically slowing” down. Growth oscillated over the past three decades, and it’s GDP growth rate has been around 7% for the past few years, about the same as in the late 1990s/early 2000s when it was at 8%.

Asia’s advanced economies face their own problems. Japan continues to search for ways to end 25 years of economic torpor. An asset and property price bubble nearly brought down the country’s financial system in the 1990s, and the economy has limped along ever since. Most Japanese have a comparatively high standard of living, but decades of stimulus packages and a focus on exports have failed to nudge Japan beyond an average annual growth rate of barely 1%, according to World Bank data.

TK: As I’ve pointed out before, on a per capita bases – which is what matters, Japan’s growth has been almost the same as U.S. growth since 2000 and almost the same going back 25 years apart from 1996 to 2000 when the U.S. grew and Japan was stagnant partly due to Asian financial crisis.

Japanese corporations once led the world; now they struggle with shrinking market share, growing inefficiency and waning innovation… Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s reforms have neither changed Japan’s risk-averse corporate culture nor eliminated enough regulations to unleash entrepreneurship and innovation.

TK: Abe II has only been Prime Minister for three years. Bloomberg still places Japan at #3 in terms of innovation – after another Asian nation, South Korea, that has continued to grow to where they have caught Japan, although workers put in much longer hours. South Korea is now similar to Japan in standard of living without as much leisure time.

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What dose of Nicotinamide Riboside (NR)? Part 1

While waiting for Elysium to release results from its last summer trial of Basis (NR and pterostilbine), I thought I’d mention what I’m reading about various doses.

Elysium, as with many vendors like HPN who sell NR, recommends 250 mg a day. Basis also includes 50 mg of pterostilbine found in blueberriers. Elysium tested 40 healthy, non-obese people between the ages of 60 and 80 as well as a similar group of 40 at 500 mg of NR and 100 mg of pterostilbine a day and a 40 person placebo group for 8 weeks.

Elysium then reported on their website in December that the 250 mg NR/50 mg pterotilbine increased NAD+ levels by 40% and that 500 mg NR/100 mg pterostilbine raised NAD+ levels by 90%.

Extrapolating these results downward, then 125 mg of NR with 25 mg of pterostilbine should increase NAD+ by around 20%.

Yet Chromadex, the sole supplier of NR, conducted a one day trial of 12 people in 2015 which showed that 100 mg of NR raised NAD+ levels by 30%, 300 mg raised NAD+ 50% and interestingly 1000 mg also raised NAD+ 50% so at the time it seemed that taking anything over 500 mg might be unnecessary.

But Charles Brenner, an NR researcher at the University of Iowa, published a study on an NR trial of one – himself – at 1000 mg a day for one week that showed a 170% increase in his NAD+ levels without adding pterostilbine. This happens to be similar to taking Elysium Basis at 1000 mg: You would see a 60% increase in NAD+ at 375 mg by interpolating their results, and then through extrapolation, a 140% increase at 750 mg and a 190% increase in NAD+ at 1000 mg, which is about what Brenner found without the pterostilbine.

My guess is that if the Elysium trial results are positive in at least one area, they will show more measured improvement(s) at 500 mg of NR than at their current recommended dose of 250 mg. The difference may be great enough that a higher dose like 500 mg may be the obvious level to take, creating a potential marketing problem as that would cost the regular customer not $45 a month but $90 a month, or $3.00 a day.

Coincidently, David Sinclair of Resveratrol fame, who conducted the NMN study on mice in 2013 that showed a human eivalent of reversing muscle from a 55 year old to a 35 year old, said a decade ago that the first pharmaceutical health pill would probably cost around $3.00 a day, which is what BASIS at a double dose of 500 mg of NR and 100 mg of pterostilbine would cost.

Sinclair also reportedly said in mid 2014 that you need to take 500 mg of NR for it to be effective: “In June, David Sinclair told me you need to take at least 500mg of NR for it to do anything.” – Kane Pappas, longevity documentary maker.

That may turn out to at least be partly true, and we’ll know more once Elysium releases its results.

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Kenneth Arrow dies at 95 and what is it about longevity and to economists?

An econ icon sadly passed away at 95 yesterday but what a life. Below is a link to what the NY Times’ wrote about this most excellent theoretical economist, the first to win a Nobel Prize in Economics.

What is it with well known economists and longevity? Sadly, Tobin died at a youthful 85 but Samuelson went out the Big Door at 94, Arrow at 95, Friedman at 95, Schelling at 95, Galbrieth at 97 and Coase stubbornly didn’t shuffle off the mortal coil until almost 103.

This is pre NR. Just how much oatmeal did they eat??

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