The Life Extension Advocacy Foundation (LEAF) staff members have grown their efforts considerably over the past year, including the launch of a yearly conference series and a network of angel investors focused on startup companies engaged with the aging process. The LEAF blog should probably be on your reading list. Insofar as a position on aging goes, the Life Extension Advocacy Foundation folk appear more guided by the Hallmarks of Aging view than the SENS view, but there is a significant overlap, and many of their past fundraising efforts have directly supported the SENS Research Foundation. The more fellow travelers the better; there is certainly the need for a great deal more patient advocacy for the treatment of aging than presently takes place.
In May, we officially announced our first conference held in New York City, Ending Age-Related Diseases: Investment Prospects and Advances in Research, which would then be held in July. The Longevity Investor Network, LEAF's own initiative to foster a flourishing rejuvenation biotech ecosystem, was also launched in May under the lead of Javier Noris; speaking of investments, at around the same time, a generous anonymous donor decided to invest both money and trust in us by becoming a Lycium-level Lifespan Hero and pledging $2,000 a month. We'd like to express our most sincere gratitude to this donor as well as to all our Heroes for all they do for us.
Although organizing the upcoming New York City conference took a great deal of effort and time, we still got quite a few interviews out in July. This was not all, as one of our most important projects was also launched in July - the Rejuvenation Roadmap, a curated database of hallmark-categorized, work-in-progress rejuvenation therapies, the companies developing them, and their current state of development. The Roadmap is our way of answering the question, "How far are we from defeating aging?", and it has grown quite a bit since it was first announced; hopefully, it'll grow much more in 2019!
In August, Michael Kope from SENS Research Foundation joined our newly formed Industry Advisory Board (IAB) and will provide business guidance and advice to LEAF as our organization continues to grow and develop. Michael and the other members of the IAB will be a great asset in helping us to achieve our goals. The AgeMeter biomarker scan, which was successfully crowdfunded in late 2017 on Lifespan.io, became available for purchase on its own website near the end of August. We also should have an update regarding data access for project backers early in the new year.
In mid-September, we launched our most recent crowdfunding campaign on Lifespan.io, the NAD+ Mouse Project which was aimed at studying whether the administration of the NAD+ precursor nicotinamide (NMN), in both normal and accelerated-aging mice, confers the rejuvenative benefits that were first observed in previous studies.
As we look back on the year, we have published over 400 articles, with a corresponding 10-fold increase in traffic from our readers over the previous year. We have also hosted 10 pitch meetings to help young rejuvenation startups connect with investors as part of the Longevity Investor Network, a project aimed at bringing together researchers and investment funding. We hope that 2019 will be at least as intense as its predecessor, and given the all-around progress in the field and the growing interest in it, we're sure that we can look forward to it.