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Saudi Arabia to spend $1 billion a year in treatments to slow down aging
The fund will support the study of the biology behind aging and prevent the onset of diseases related to it.
The number of aging people in Saudi Arabia was 6% of the population in 2020 but will be more than 20% by 2050, according to UNFPA. The kingdom is concerned about its aging population and has started investing in anti-aging tech.
The kingdom’s royal family has launched a non-profit called the Hevolution Foundation, through which it will spend a billion dollars every year to study the biology behind aging. The aim is to increase the health span, the number of years for which a person can live in good health. Former endocrinologist Mehmood Khan, who has also been the chief scientist at PepsiCo, will be heading the fund as CEO.
The foundation has reached an agreement to support the test of diabetes drug metformin on the elderly to slow down the aging process. It endorses the notion that some drugs can postpone aging inside cells to delay the impact of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and even cancer. The Hevolution Foundation has also been formed because biological aging among the population in the Gulf is now faster than chronological aging.
Saudi Arabia is also struggling with rising rates of obesity and diabetes, which has increased the need for prevention and control programs.