The Life Extension Advocacy Foundation volunteers hosted their first conference, Ending Age-Related Diseases 2018, in New York City a month ago. It was attended by a mix of advocates, scientists, entrepreneurs, and investors, all interested in seeing greater progress take place in the field of rejuvenation research. For those of us starting or running biotech companies to work on ways to treat aspects of aging, it was a good opportunity to network and make connections.
The presentations given at the conference were recorded, and are being tidied up and released for general viewing, as is the case for most of the conferences in our community. There was a greater emphasis on the business side of the house than usual at this event, and it is certainly the case that commercial biotechnology is becoming ever more important to efforts to treat aging as a medical condition. All of the fields of damage and damage repair described in the SENS rejuvenation research proposals are arguably at the stage where at least some part of the program might be commercially developed, given suitable levels of funding, or is being actively pursued by one or more companies.
Keith Comito, President of the Life Extension Advocacy Foundation and the Lifespan.io crowdfunding platform, discusses the emerging longevity biotech landscape at the Ending Age-Related Diseases conference in NYC.
Some people in our community make the mistake of jumping right into a conversation about repairing the damage of aging without considering if the listener has any prior knowledge of the subject. Dr. Aubrey de Grey begins, as all good speakers should, in a mixed audience of experienced hands and those totally new to the topic of aging, with the basics about aging and works towards more complex topics. If you're familiar with his work, you may wish to skip to around the 17:55 mark, where he talks about new developments in the field and topics you may not have heard before.
Steven A. Garan is the Director of Bioinformatics at the Center for Research and Education on Aging (CREA) and a researcher at UC Berkeley National Laboratory. In his talk at Ending Age-Related Diseases, he discussed the impact of various present and future Silicon Valley technology breakthroughs on overcoming aging. He gave a somewhat future-facing talk at the conference, which may surprise some people given his senior position at Berkeley. Ten years ago, talking about ending aging would potentially have damaged your career and gotten you unfairly labeled as fringe, much as Dr. Aubrey de Grey was for many years until many others joined his crusade to end aging. It was therefore refreshing to hear Steven talk so positively about the future of biomedical science and about doing something about aging itself in order to end age-related diseases.
Kelsey Moody is a process-oriented biotechnology executive who has specialized in the study of aging and aging mechanisms for over a decade. Since 2013, he has successfully built Ichor Therapeutics from a living room start-up into a premier, vertically integrated contract research organization that focuses on preclinical research services for aging pathways. Proceeds from this work are used to self-fund initiatives that constitute Ichor's portfolio companies in enzyme therapy (Lysoclear), small molecule drug discovery (Antoxerene), and protein engineering (RecombiPure). In this talk, Kelsey discusses Ichor's protein engineering platform, how Ichor has used it, and Ichor's plans for using it to discover new classes of drugs for age-related diseases.