Chloroquine Defeats Aging?


  • James W. Larrick, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Jasmine W. Larrick



chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, aging, healthspan, autophagy


Autophagy, the turnover of cellular components including organelles, declines with age. Thus, enhancement of this characteristic process is hypothesized to improve health and extend lifespan. Two recent papers present data indicating that contrary to expectation, chloroquine (CQ), a nominal inhibitor of autophagy, extended the lifespan of middle-aged mice and rats by ~10%. Details of these studies provide a cautionary tale regarding traditional reagents or “tool compounds” of “established” mechanisms often used in cellular biological research. However, these and earlier studies support a deeper investigation of CQ or its more commonly used clinical analog, hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), as potential drugs to increase health span and slow the aging process.


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Author Biographies

James W. Larrick, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. James Larrick is a biomedical entrepreneur with an international reputation in biotechnology, including areas in cytokines, therapeutic antibodies, molecular biology and pharmaceutical drug development. He has written or co‑authored nine books, more than 300 papers/chapters and more than 50 patents in his 25-year career. In 1991, Dr. Larrick founded the biopharmaceutical incubator Panorama Research Institute (PRI).  Dr. Larrick’s PRI team has discovered and initiated development of a diverse and innovative portfolio of pharmaceutical molecules addressing major unmet needs in cancer, infectious, autoimmune, cardiovascular, neurological and metabolic diseases.  PRI has incubated more than 30 life science projects/companies, which include legacy start-ups such as Kalobios Inc., NuGen Technology Inc., Adamas Inc., Absalus Inc. (now Teva), and more. Two companies were co-founded in Europe, including PanGenetics b.v. (Abbvie) and TargetQuest b.v. (Dyax). To date, PRI-initiated projects and/or companies have led to seven IPOs/exits. Recent work at PRI has focused on Applied Healthspan Engineering — the utilization of advances in molecular medicine to preserve well-being as we age.  Until 2022, he served as a Managing Director and Chief Medical Officer of Presidio Partners-funded Velocity Pharmaceutical Development LLC, based in San Francisco. In addition, he is part of the Scientific Advisory Board at Autobahn Labs.

Dr. Larrick received his MD and PhD degrees from Duke as a Medical Scientist Training Program scholar. After medical house-staff training at Stanford, he completed a post‑doctoral fellowship in the Stanford Cancer Biology Research Labs working on therapeutic human monoclonal antibodies for cancer and infectious diseases. 

Jasmine W. Larrick

Jasmine Larrick is an MD-PhD Candidate at University of Pennsylvania. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in Molecular and Cell Biology and Anthropology. She was a researcher in the Harris Laboratory in the Global Health department of UC Berkeley, where she studies flaviviruses such as Dengue Virus, Yellow Fever Virus, and Zika Virus. One of her major interests is in effects and prevention of disease in developing countries.

In addition, Jasmine ran Helix Medical on UC Berkeley campus, which focuses on alleviating racial and class disparities in U.S. healthcare professions through community outreach to high school students.

Due to her interest in community health and outreach, she took a special interest in Juvare’s mission. Together with the community partners, she coordinates expeditions and manages the current projects.

The hands of an aged person holding a pocket watch.




How to Cite

Larrick, J., & Larrick, J. (2023). Chloroquine Defeats Aging?. Berkeley Pharma Tech Journal of Medicine, 3(1), 1–9.



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