With the backing of tech billionaires like Peter Theil, a growing number of pop-up clinics have been selling plasma infusions from young donors as a rejuvenating anti-aging therapy.
Injections of “young blood” are also advertised for the treatment of illnesses like dementia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and PTSD.
FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb cautioned that there is “no proven clinical benefit of infusion of plasma from young donors to cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent these conditions.”
Furthermore, he warned that “some patients are being preyed upon by unscrupulous actors touting treatments of plasma from young donors as cures and remedies.”
Plasma infusions can also cause severe side effects, according to the FDA. The risks include infectious, allergic reactions, lung injury, and heart problems.
“In some individuals, particularly those with preexisting heart disease, the infusion of plasma can cause overload of the circulatory system leading to swelling of the body and difficult breathing.”
Within hours of the FDA announcement, a start-up company funded by Peter Thiel called Ambrosia said it would stop patient treatments. Ambrosia previously offered young-donor plasma infusions costing between $8,000 and $12,000.
Ambrosia sold blood that was donated by 16- to 25-year-olds to consumers who were over 35 years old.
Source: Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., and Director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., cautioning consumers against receiving young donor plasma infusions that are promoted as unproven treatment for varying conditions