Although the industry is still not moving at the pace I expected many years ago, as people choose to focus on issues that they think are more urgent than longevity, there is definitely more activity in biotechnology for longevity than 20 years ago. years.
Usually, as we have seen with the Internet, semiconductors and mobile phones, as the industry grows, it tends to generate information and analytical portals, discussion groups and other community resources.
Several such portals have appeared in biotechnology for longevity in recent years. Non-profit resources such as Lifespan.io, serving the general public and focused on advocacy, collections of tools such as senescense.info managed by Dr. Joao Pedro de Magalhaes, community blogs such as FightAging.org, etc. But one outstanding, non-profit portal, supporting professional editorial staff and branching out in many areas such as investment intermediation and consumer training, is Longevity.Technology.
I spent some time with Longevity.Technology founder Phil Newman to talk about his views on the sector and why he thinks the next few years will see significant growth in science and investment for longevity:
Why did you start Longevity.Technology?
In 2018, I felt that I had the opportunity to launch a news platform to address the scientific and commercial progress that is beginning to take place, to build trust among investors and help those in the sector feel part of from something defined – during these 4 years I have seen how longevity moves from movement to industry.
We launched Longevity.Technology in September 2019; since then we have grown very fast and our ambition now is to move from the business / scientific community to the consumer / consumer community; we see that longevity is the next big factor in the growth of the wellness and healthcare markets.
How do you determine longevity?
There are four areas of longevity, all of which contribute to improving the quality of life over longer health periods:
1. Prevention: prevention of damage that causes aging;
2. diagnostics: early identification of aging impairments;
3. treatment: treatment of damages;
4. renewal: cancellation of the occurred damages.
Our market intelligence unit thoroughly analyzes 500 longevity-specific companies categorized in these four domains and the data sets we build identify the technological readiness and investment attractiveness that these companies make – this gives us the unique advantage of identifying serious companies. for longevity and to build investor relationships.
Is longevity on investors’ radars?
Absolutely, the investment activity is really increasing. $ 4.1 billion has already been invested in longevity businesses in 2022, surpassing all of 2021. Investment has already doubled between 2020 ($ 1.8 billion) and 2021 ($ 3.8 billion). The deal for Altos Labs, announced in January, is $ 2.2 billion, representing 54% of funding for 2022 so far, but there will also be reports of a similar amount this year, so we expect a doubling of investment capital again, year after year.
This is wonderful to see, and of course the benefits to humanity will be numerous: the economic data of Professors Scott, Sinclair and Ellison show that reducing mortality and weakness at any age to increase the life expectancy of US citizens is valued at $ 37 trillion in net present value, that’s $ 700 billion a year.
That’s why longevity is such an exciting industry and why more and more people are getting it!
What stimulates the growth of longevity investments?
Aging is not recognized as a disease by the US FDA, so traditional pharmaceutical financial models cannot yet be applied to biotechnology for longevity, but the trajectory of the various therapeutic agents we see making their way through clinical pipelines is positive. Yes, some will fail, but others will not, and these companies are working on major aging diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, the cardiovascular system and atherosclerosis.
We will see FDA-funded therapists move out of biotechnology for longevity, but in addition, their work allows for a better understanding of aging pathways and how they can be controlled, thus leading to newly recognized endpoints. Sarcopenia, the loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength as a result of aging, is a recently recognized disease and there are companies working on therapeutic remedies for sarcopenia that will eventually have a starting point for their investors: so we will see even more related to age conditions recognized as interventions become validated.
Will we see aging categorized as a disease?
One day yes, but not soon, however, I am confident that we will see public health authorities such as the FDA or NHS in the UK approve longevity therapeutic agents within 7 years that either stop or reverse the age-related decline. ; hopefully earlier the burden on individuals, families and health systems is increasing every year.
What are the exciting areas of longevity R&D?
The longevity market is set for explosive growth: the business opportunity for longevity has already begun. Everyone is very excited about cellular reprogramming and rejuvenation – we are planning deep dive reports for these new areas of longevity to educate the market, to help fund more exciting companies for longevity:
Cell rejuvenation: can be a gold mine in the field of longevity, as it has the potential to cure not one disease, but many age-related diseases at once. This is because it focuses on a common “risk factor” that these conditions have – aging cells. Although cellular rejuvenation sounds too good to be true, recent scientific advances bring it closer to reality; as shown by a 2020 study conducted by Vittorio Sebastiano and his team. The results of the study are the first to achieve such significant results, and this is likely to drive this exciting area of research exponentially.
Tissue engineering: brings with it the ability to build new tissues and new organs that could replace the injured or damaged, ultimately allowing the body to heal. This not only has the potential to save more lives, but also brings huge economic benefits by reducing the burden on health services.
Mitochondrial rejuvenation: Mitochondria have long been known as the “energy center of the cell”; aging is associated with decreased mitochondrial function; explains why a 5-year-old child has infinite energy compared to an 85-year-old. Mitochondrial rejuvenation has the potential to improve the physiological aging process and lead to better physical condition.
Longevity of the pet: There are many advantages to studying longevity in animals. First, research costs are much lower. Second, the timeframe for seeing the possible benefits of different interventions is shorter. Dogs can offer a valuable insight into human longevity, as we have not only evolved with them, but often share the same environment as them.
Longevity supplements: Supplements are classified as food ingredients and if proven to be safe, they can quickly gain access to the market. Longevity supplements are not just designed to supplement nutrients that are lacking in people’s diets; they can act on key aging pathways or determinants of longevity to improve the duration of health at any age. We help 2 companies with their financing: one has human evidence proving the reduction of biological age; the other compresses the benefits of polyphenols from the Mediterranean diet in a daily capsule.
senolytics: Cellular aging – the condition of zombies in which cells forget to die – is one of the nine hallmarks of aging: targeting and eliminating these cells is thought to have the potential for longevity benefits in humans. There are a number of companies working on senolytics and other ways to target aging called “senotherapists.” With this growth in the area, there is growing evidence of preclinical evidence showing the promise of targeting aging to prevent age-related diseases.
Diagnosis: No two are the same 68-year-old; one may be a marathoner while the other smokes twenty cigarettes a day. Research reveals that not only do people age at different rates, but it can turn out that every organ and tissue in the body does. Diagnostic tools that help make accurate health assessments of how fast the body is aging could offset the growing demand facing the healthcare industry caused by a growing aging population.
Does the current downturn in public markets affect long-term investment?
To some extent, yes, we see some companies at an early stage struggling to raise the capital they need. However, there is still a strong appetite for biotechnology and companies that have strong intellectual property and well-defined markets are still attracting investor interest.
As you well know, the clinical path will take many years, and therefore biotechnology for longevity will overcome the current breakthrough in the financial market. We do not see a slowdown in investor interest in longevity.
What are your plans for Longevity.Technology?
We are currently raising funds for our own initial round – we have a lot to do, but also a lot of effort to build on: Longevity. Technology is central to expanding the longevity market: we are a leading media destination; our unique longevity-focused brokerage operation has a growing flow of transactions and we continue to develop commercial and scientific datasets to increase our analytical advantage and build intellectual capital.
We are already generating revenue and approaching profitability – raising $ 2 million in this round to scale for Serie A and then IPO.
Meet Phil Newman at the 9th Annual ARDD Conference in Copenhagen, the world’s largest event on aging research and drug discovery. Longevity.Technology will cover some of the conversations and industry news from the event.