Winter is upon us, and thus the yearly winter SENS Research Foundation fundraiser just recently started a few days ago. For those who don't know, the SENS Research Foundation remains one of the most important and influential organizations working on advancing rejuvenation research to the point at which it can be moved into clinical development and funded by venture capital. Through conferences and advocacy, the SENS Research Foundation staff also played a sizable role in ensuring that there is in fact an active venture capital community eager to back new companies working on the treatment of aging.
All of this work is powered by charitable donations. The SENS Research Foundation is near entirely funded by philanthropy, by the donations made by our community of visionaries, looking forward to a future in which the causes of aging can be treated effectively, and the course of aging turned back. Over the past six years, our community has provided more than $7 million to the SENS Research Foundation to advance the cause of rejuvenation research.
That funding has paid off. Ever more of the rejuvenation research programs funded, advocates, coordinated, and otherwise supported by the SENS Research Foundation have made the leap to commercial development. In 2016 the results of a decade of work on ways to clear out harmful metabolic waste from the lysosome, all funded by philanthropic donations, materialized in the form of LysoClear. That company is developing an enzyme therapy to break down forms of metabolic waste in the retina that cause age-related blindness, and as of this year is close to entering the FDA IND process. Also as of this year, SENS Research Foundation funded research programs have led to companies such as Revel Pharmaceuticals to tackle glucosepane cross-link breaking, Covalent Bioscience to break down transthyretin amyloid via the use of catabodies, and Underdog Pharmaceuticals to prevent and reverse atherosclerosis by removing 7-ketocholesterol from the body.
Consider also that thanks in part to fifteen years of advocacy and support on the part of the SENS Research Foundation and its predecessor, the Methuselah Foundation, clearance of senescent cells as a rejuvenation therapy has finally moved from being ignored by the research community to being a hot area of development in just the past few years. The SENS Research Foundation funded one of the laboratories working on cellular senescence for a number of years, and in 2015 helped to launch Oisin Biotechnologies, a company working on a best of class therapy to remove these unwanted cells.
This is the sort of result we aim for when we support the SENS Research Foundation: to see previously languishing fields relevant to rejuvenation therapies take off in this manner, gaining large-scale funding and widespread support in a short period of time once the tipping point is reached. Further, all of this progress has spurred many other groups to independently work on tackling causes of aging. Take a look at the Aging Biotech Info resource for a list of companies in the longevity industry, a sizable fraction of which are addressing aging in ways that are informed by the SENS viewpoint of rejuvenation achieved via repair of underlying molecular damage. Growth continues.
Yet there are still numerous forms of molecular damage underlying aging for which research programs have yet to fully emerge from the laboratory, or for which the best approaches to rejuvenation are underdeveloped. There is still a huge role for philanthropy and for organizations like the SENS Research Foundation to ensure that the development required for success in the treatment of aging is in fact carried out to completion. We can all see the young and growing senolytics industry as a success story, but there are half a dozen or more other industries needed in order to comprehensively address the causes of aging. These industries do not yet exist in any meaningful way, and cannot exist until the research is carried out.
The future of a truly effective longevity industry still depends on present philanthropy. Support the SENS Research Foundation in their 2019 winter fundraiser, and in doing so you will help to produce the rejuvenation biotechnology success stories of the years ahead.