The Methuselah Foundation is one of the most important non-profits in our longevity science community. It was the original home of the first SENS rejuvenation research programs, and has used our philanthropic support to fund a range of important projects and startups. If you look at many of the advances and initiatives of the past twenty years in our community, behind the scenes you'll find that Methuselah Foundation CEO Dave Gobel was in some way involved. All communities are the sum of their connections, and at the center of ours you will find the Methuselah Foundation and the SENS Research Foundation that it gave rise to, as our community grew in size and scope.
Below find the latest update from the Methuselah Foundation on their progress in helping to cultivate an industry of startups to produce therapies to treat aging, and in advancing the state of tissue engineering for the creation of new organs. Many of us in the community have supported the Methuselah Foundation from the early days, from the days in which the Methuselah 300 was established, a group of people who pledged to donate $25,000 over a decade. There are still spaces for those who want to support an organization that truly makes a difference. Give it some thought.
What If You Could Turn Back The Clock At A Cellular Level?
Enter Turn Biotechnologies, a company we began supporting in August after meeting them in California in February. Turn Bio is on a clear mission: to extend the health span by reverting cellular age. By doing that, tissues and organs can rejuvenate so that the whole body can be healthier and live longer. To do this, Turn Bio developed a technology capable of safely reprogramming how the DNA functions epigenetically. This approach effectively returns cells to a younger state, improving their function without changing their identity. The team comes out from Stanford University and is comprised of the proven scientists Vittorio Sebastiano, Marco Quarta, and Jay Sakar. The new CEO, Gary Hudson, is well known to many of us. The scientific team is optimizing the therapy and will be looking for strategic partnerships soon. As you might have realized by now, this activity falls under two of our six mission strategies: Debug the Code and Restock the Shelves.
New Parts for People: Progress on 3D Bioprinting of Organs
Many of you know Methuselah has been able to fully develop the mission strategy of New Parts for People. With our Support of Organovo, Organ Preservation Alliance, and New Organ Alliance, we are happy to have helped create an environment that fosters innovation in the printing of 3D tissues. We know that the organ shortage will be a thing of the past once these technologies fully mature. Our desire to accelerate results has moved us to make progress in two needle-moving activities.
First, we held a Vascular Tissue Challenge at NASA Ames this past March to continue the road mapping efforts to solve the vascularity challenge. As you may know, while full organs can be 3D printed, lack of blood perfusion is a roadblock to their practical use. In other words, the 3D printed organs begin to die almost as quickly as they are being printed. We partnered up with NASA to create a sizeable prize that would entice world-class teams to join in solving this problem. We are happy to say that 13 teams from academia and the private sector are nearing the point of submission for winning the prize.
We also decided to support a new venture called Volumetric. This team is focused on facilitating 3D printed organs for us all. They are doing this by producing biomaterials that will be used as inks in stereolithographic bioprinting. They just graduated from the NSF I-Corps program designed to help academics translate their breakthroughs into products. In just a few weeks, they have been able to partner up with top 3D bioprinting companies and have started focusing on the production of a bioprinter. What is so exciting about this bioprinter is that it will allow far more academics around the world to own a 3D printer due to its significantly reduced expense compared with alternatives in the market. We think that this move will keep democratizing research in this sector, which will accelerate results.
Methuselah Fund Successfully Closes Its Founder's Round!
We are happy to declare victory as the M Fund is finally closed! As everyone knows, a sector becomes legitimized once investors are excited to put the money in it. We understand that enticing money beyond the research budgets is vital to accelerating results. We wholeheartedly believe in the translation of science to the clinic and know that companies are obligated to do so by coming up with products. That is why the M Fund is so vital to making 90 the new 50 by 2030. With the help of some of you, we successfully finished this Founder's round and raised the full amount we were after. The M Fund investigates several companies weekly, looking for the best ventures to support. We hope to keep pouring fire into this nascent investment sector.
Study: What does it mean to be 90 vs 50 years-old?
What defines an average 90-year-old scientifically? What defines a 50-year-old? How could we make 90 the new 50 by 2030? Clearly, this is something that was of paramount importance since we decided to have the self-imposed deadline of year 2030. We know it is important to understand these questions in order to find out if we succeeded or not by the time 2030 comes around. Since the M Fund has been created to accelerate results in this field by means of targeted investments, we decided early on to study hundreds of longevity-related papers to come up with answers that could point us that way. The study yielded the added benefits of giving us a significant advantage in understanding the investable science that is on the horizon, and is available at our website. We know that you will find this extremely interesting and hope it can add value to your lifestyle and direct investment goals.