Life Biosciences: David Sinclair Aims to be a Major Player in the Present Generation of Commercial Longevity Science

This article, unfortunately paywalled, is interesting to note as a mark of the now increasingly energetic expansion of commercial efforts in longevity science. David Sinclair has been building a private equity company to work in many areas relevant to this present generation of commercial longevity science; while I'm not sold on his primary research interests as the basis for meaningful treatments for aging, he is diversifying considerably here, including into senolytics, the clearance of senescent cells demonstrated to produce rejuvenation in animal studies. This sort of approach to business mixes aspects of investing and running a company; it allows a fair degree of flexibility if well run. For someone with comparatively easy access to large amounts of capital, it is a sensible choice. The obvious other example in our field is Juvenescence, Jim Mellon's vehicle. We should expect to see many more entities of this nature arise as the message spreads that the first rejuvenation therapies actually work, and that treating aging as a medical condition is a viable near term goal.

Life Biosciences LLC, the longevity startup founded by Harvard researcher David Sinclair and funded by WeWork's Adam Neumann, is ramping up an expansion of its bid to become the world's largest company dedicated to antiaging drugs. Launched publicly in April, the company has six subsidiaries across four continents. Adding to that, it just acquired Lua Technologies Inc., a health-care communications company, to power Life Biosciences' research collaboration platform. To continue global expansion efforts, Life Biosciences is also looking to raise up to $25 million in new financing, according to a regulatory filing.

Some of the most heavily funded longevity startups like Unity Biotechnology, now public, focus on just one or a few aging-related diseases like osteoarthritis and vision loss. Life Biosciences is aiming for an all-encompassing gambit: to own all the best research, drug-development pipelines, intellectual property, and financing opportunities for the entire sector.

For the past three years, the company has operated quietly amid a surge of activity from other venture-backed longevity startups. In the past year, Life Biosciences' workforce has grown to 90 employees, including the hiring of several veteran pharmaceutical and IT executives into key leadership positions. "Our thesis was to have a land grab of the best people before we let ourselves be known and have competition. We have achieved that now." Life Biosciences has secured several prominent aging and longevity researchers including Dr. Nir Barzilai.

Life Biosciences' portfolio covers a range of longevity research and therapeutics including drugs to target metabolic diseases like diabetes, the use of stem cells to aid in senescent, or so-called "zombie" cell removal, and compounds to prolong life for pets. Two of Life Biosciences' current companies, Senolytic Therapeutics Inc. and Jumpstart Fertility Inc., were acquired at a very early stage while the other four were formed in-house.

Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/longevity-specialist-life-biosciences-steps-up-expansion-gambit-1538391600

Comments

Good. The more money is invested in the area, the note chances are there to find a working therapy. On top of that, there money invested makes the field serious and changes the public perception.

Posted by: Cuberat at October 3rd, 2018 8:30 AM

Sorry, but this is one of the worst models possible.

If you have the possibility of raising $25 million, put it into a vibrant project and take it as far to fruition as possible, to increase the asset value, generate real returns and appreciation for your investors at the next juncture, and demonstrate to the world that anti-aging tools are translatable

This early "venture" model of sprinkling a couple million $$ into a broad portfolio gets you what it gets every other seed venture group - a basket of projects with some promising, but very underfunded assets that always need "a bit more money", and a bunch of failures

And any legitimate investor(s) that come along at the end of the day when the $25 million has been spent, gets a major discount bargain on most of the assets, while initial investors get screwed

And the fund manager is happy because they walk away with their big management fee and preferences, and are free to do something else

Kind of like Sinclair running away from the failed sirtuin crap after the GSK fiasco

Pure nonsense

The only way this model ever works is if the initial monies come from some "evergreen" source, like the model of the Novo and Nestle venture funds, but that's a different story then what this is

Posted by: DrugDev U.S. at October 3rd, 2018 10:16 AM

I will never forget all the false marketing Sinclair put into his resveratrol miracle against aging. In one presentation he even told an emotional personal story of when he got the phone call that his mother was on a deathbed - he then immediately grabbed all the resveratrol he could get his hands on and got on the plane to save her life. I mean, really? To me Sinclair is a quack, selling small molecules to enrich himself. That said, fair play, if the molecules work, but so far they didn't, and one certainly cannot trust his word.

Posted by: DarwiN at October 3rd, 2018 11:08 AM

There is absolutely nothing wrong with making some money in medicine. Sinclair is an accomplished biochemist with a great deal experience. Sirtuin research alone was not the game changer tbat was hoped but there is data supporting what he is doing now. Quack is a world that belongs to the likes of snake oilers and David is a long way from that. Resveratrol also has clinical application its not very useful for life extension.

Posted by: Steve Hill at October 3rd, 2018 11:26 AM

Resveratrol has application as an antibacterial and for cancer as does its more potent chemical cousin Pterostilbene. Sirtuins are also relevant in aging and tissue regeration via nad mediated crosstalk with muscle and blood vessel formation. It just isnt useful for LE

Posted by: Steve Hill at October 3rd, 2018 11:31 AM

Lots of things you have to really dig into with Dave. Dig deep people. Look for govt connections.

Jim Mellon is also in with Dave. He has a lot more under the hood than people realize.

I'll even be nice and give you guys a hint...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gh8q3Iq5Tog

Start here.

Posted by: Mark Borbely at October 3rd, 2018 3:12 PM

@Mark Borbely

This is not about Dr. Sinclair - his science will prove itself, or fail, per the clinic

This is about an investment model which the majority of the time screws early investors who are not savvy to the seed venture dynamic - especially any "dumb money" that is new to biotech

To hypnotize people that it is possible to do a "land grab of the best people" in a field that is just blossoming, where nobody knows where the translational chips may fall, is disingenuous

Posted by: DrugDev U.S. at October 3rd, 2018 4:22 PM

I have to admit that I have fallen for the sirtuin sequel and I'm taking Tru Niagen. I ordered NMN too.

Sinclair does say that he missed the mark with sirtuin and NMN is much more promising. If he is really trying and being truthful with his research then I may fall for his pitch. Maybe he's just a good salesman. And unfortunately I don't feel younger and more energetic taking Niagen. I do have a lighter wallet though, and a 3 month supply left.

Posted by: Deleo at October 5th, 2018 11:29 AM

Despite the reported good safety profile of NR and NMN, I have some misgivings about boosting extracellular NAD+ levels due to its role in purinergic signalling (1). One commenter on this blog expressed an interest in self-injecting NAD+; people given NAD+ injections often feel their 'chest tighten' so medical supervision seems advisable(2). Nuchido (3) is developing a product which uses NAD+ salvage pathways to boost NAD+ levels; manipulating NAD+ salvage pathways could have effects independent of NAD+ levels (4). It's also interesting that one enzyme in the NAD+ synthesis pathway, NMNAT, additionally functions as a chaperone (5).

1 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4336311/
2 - https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/bn3vmq/nad-plus-brain-reboot-infusion-injection
3 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAzUnKyLQds
4 - http://www.jbc.org/content/277/21/18881.long
5 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5515290/

Posted by: CD at October 5th, 2018 12:36 PM

I am interested in participating in human trials.
Thank you

Posted by: John-Patrick Driscoll at November 19th, 2018 7:17 AM

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