By Rachel Kraus
Scientific evidence and federal approval be damned: young blood is back on the menu.
Ambrosia, the company that sold plasma transfusions from donors aged 16-25 with the promise of youthful health benefits, shuttered its doors in August after the FDA issued a warning.
Now, according to a report published Friday by Medium’s OneZero, Ambrosia is back in business.
“Our patients really want the treatment,” Jesse Karamazin, Ambrosia’s founder, told One Zero.
Ambrosia charges $8,000 for a one liter transfusion of plasma from “young blood,” which it claims can reduce the effects of aging. There is no scientific evidence to back up this claim, which is why the FDA “caution[ed] consumers against receiving young donor plasma infusions that are promoted as unproven treatment for varying conditions.”
This type of plasma does have an approved on-label use: it helps prevent blood clotting in older patients. However, the off-label use is not approved by the FDA, and it stated in February that young plasma transfusions for non-approved reasons should only be conducted as part of scientific studies (also known as Investigational New Drug trials, or INDs).
In August, this was apparently enough to discourage Karamazin. He wrote a letter to people and publications who contacted the website (including Mashable) notifying them that Ambrosia would be no more.
“In February, the FDA announced that off-label young plasma treatments should be performed only under IND. As a result, Ambrosia, LLC was dissolved. I am sorry that I wasn’t able to find a way for this company to continue its innovative treatments.”
However, he did open a new blood transfusion business called Ivy Plasma. The decision to shut down your business due to government warnings, only to open a nearly identical business with a different name, is truly wild.
Now, it’s not clear what changed, other than Karamazin presumably deciding that he just didn’t care what the FDA had to say.
Karamazin also has no plans to go through official channels to validate his plasma business.
“This treatment is available now,” he told One Zero. “Trials are very expensive, and they take a really long time.”
Yep, that checks out. Peter Thiel must be thrilled.