A new fund to invest in companies working on aging recently launched, the $100 millions Longevity Vision Fund. From what has been said, and what was presented at the Longevity Leaders conference, it sounds very much as though the Longevity Vision Fund principals wish to follow in the footsteps of Juvenescence, with an initial focus on small molecule drug discovery infrastructure. Unlike Juvenescence, it will probably continue to focus on established infrastructure technologies related to age-related disease, such as diagnostics, and fairly safe work with modest benefits, such as stem cell therapies, rather than invest in any of the current attempts to produce rejuvenation therapies. Whether the strategy changes later, to shift to be more in line with the rhetoric on the fund website, remains to be seen. Such a shift looks somewhat unlikely based on what is said in the article here, though the details given at the conference were more nuanced.
Inspired by British billionaire Jim Mellon, chairman of anti-aging upstart biotech venture Juvenescence, Sergey Young unveiled a $100 million fund on Monday to catalyze the development of a comprehensive solution to counteract the damaging consequences of aging. The 47-year-old considers himself a product of Peter Diamandis - the man behind the non-profit XPRIZE and venture capital fund BOLD Capital Partners - and is in charge of all things longevity at both organizations. Like Mellon, who penned Juvenescence: Investing in the Age of Longevity prior to the launch of the company Juvenescence, Young is in the embryonic stage of writing his own book designed to decode the science of aging for the masses. Meanwhile, his $100 million Longevity Vision Fund will back organizations who are working on technology to reverse the aging process and prolong healthy human life.
"We are currently working on 6 deals ... and are looking at all the usual suspects in terms of themes." These areas include early detection of serious diseases using ultrasound technology; early diagnostics for heart, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases; stem-cell and microbiome-based therapeutics; and big data as well as AI-based applications. Unsurprisingly, Young is in dialogue with Alex Zhavoronkov's AI shop at Insilico Medicine. Zhavoronkov has deep connections in the R&D space - last year he raised funds at the behest of Shanghai high-flyer WuXi AppTec, Singapore's Temasek, Peter Diamandis, and Juvenescence.
For long-time investor and venture capitalist Young, who has insight into the aging research and development effort within the US and to a lesser extent in the UK, China and India's sizable populations pose compelling prospects for deals for his fund. "In the next decade, advancements will allow us to be a lot more predictive and preventative in the most damaging diseases. I'm thinking AI-enabled medicine will empower doctors .. technological advances to improve sleeping and meditation will emerge - and these are an essential part of a healthy, long life, along with a plant-based diet."