Another Large Longevity-Focused Venture Fund in Europe

A sizable amount of venture capital has emerged to support the longevity industry over the last year. The Korify Capital fund noted here is the latest of a series of longevity-focused funds to be announced. Whether or not this fund will invest in a sizable number of useful efforts remains to be seen, though their first investment is on the better end of the small molecule discovery space. There is all too much investment in the development of supplements, calorie restriction mimetics, and other line items that may be a part of the longevity industry, and may well produce a return on investment, but which at the end of the day will do little to change the shape and length of a human life span. That is the nature of the beast; even for funds in which the principals are very interested in the outcome of greatly extending the healthy human life span, the limited partners that provide the funding care little for anything other than a safe return on investment. It is their interests that ensure that unambitious, incremental, lower risk projects are pursued to a greater extent than is merited.

Longevity and mental health biotechs take note: Korify Capital is putting together a $100 million venture fund targeting your space and is looking to build a portfolio of 15 to 20 companies across Europe, the U.S. and Israel. The targeted $100 million investment vehicle, which is expected to close around the middle of next year, is the first fund of Korify, the international venture arm of Swiss family office Infinitas Capital. Infinitas is active in multiple areas outside of biotech, notably real estate, but has been tracking advances in aging and mental health research and has decided the time is right to enter the space.

The Korify principals identify COVID-19 as an accelerant, both because it has increased the interest of generalist investors in longevity and because it could spur innovation in the historically moribund mental health sector. With large biopharma companies pulling back from central nervous system research, Korify sees room for smaller biotechs to build on academic progress, creating investment opportunities for the new VC fund. "There's not like a couple of dominant companies that just own the space. Rather, there's a lot of disruption happening at the smaller scale, in smaller biotech companies, that are very lucrative to invest in and very interesting from an investor's perspective."

Korify plans to invest in 15 to 20 such biotechs, with a focus on later-stage platform companies. That focus is evident in Korify's decision to make Cambrian Biopharma its first investment. Cambrian, which exited stealth in February, has disclosed $160 million in financing this year to advance a pipeline of 14 drug candidates designed to target biological drivers of aging. "We like their approach of being very diversified, with multiple shots on multiple targets. They also are very aware of the current regulatory systems that are in place. We don't really have any solid longevity biomarkers, so their strategy is set up in a way that they can get there with the current FDA framework."



Greetings Reason,

I found your blog around 2005/2006 after making a contribution to Methuselah Mouse Project and wanted to say how much I appreciate all of your efforts. There is no doubt in my mind that aging research is finally getting the funding it greatly deserves due to the efforts of people such as yourself. Thank you you so much. We owe you a great deal.

I usually sit quietly in the peanut section and read your posts. I was trained as an engineer and have taken exactly zero biology courses so I stay in my wheelhouse. Today I will venture out to ask a few questions.

I often see you lament that much of aging has to do with excessive metabolic waste within cells and that not enough is being done to address this. I'm familiar with the LysoSENS approach (using enzymes from soil bacteria and fungi), but have to wonder if there might be another approach.

I believe that mitochondria have the ability to transfer from cell to cell. Do I have that right? Many questions come to mind. Do we understand the mechanisms for cell transport? If we do, can we use these mechanisms to allow cells to uptake 'fresh/new' Lysosomes? Again, not a biologist by trade, so forgive me if this approach has already been considered and tossed out. If it has been discounted, I would be curious as to why.

Thank you so much for your time.


Posted by: Emeraldmuse at December 29th, 2021 7:55 AM

If only we could convince musk to start tweeting about combating aging with tech. By the way there are hundreds of unprofitable and likely will always be unprofitable companies trading with astronomical valuations. Many of them are futuristic vision sorts of companies. So don't be so sure a solid return on investment is required.

Posted by: Matt at December 29th, 2021 5:41 PM
Comment Submission

Post a comment; thoughtful, considered opinions are valued. New comments can be edited for a few minutes following submission. Comments incorporating ad hominem attacks, advertising, and other forms of inappropriate behavior are likely to be deleted.

Note that there is a comment feed for those who like to keep up with conversations.