I'll note the recent Life Biosciences capital raise as an example of the dramatic increase in funding flowing into the longevity industry in the past year or so. The companies that started earlier, many of which are running multiple distinct programs aimed at various approaches to the treatment of aging, are reaching the point at which they need to pull in significant funding to prepare for and undertake their first clinical trials. That funding is increasingly available. This remains a young industry, yet to obtain regulatory approval for any of the therapies under development, but it is clearly a field of growing interest.
Life Biosciences, a pioneering life sciences company developing therapeutics that target the biology of aging, today announced the completion of a Series C financing of $82 million led by Alpha Wave Ventures. Senior management and founders invested in the Series C financing alongside longevity-oriented funds, seasoned investors, and experienced biotechnology scientists/entrepreneurs. Since its founding, Life Biosciences has raised over $158 million.
"Our three platforms are based on seminal research demonstrating that aging biology can be modified therapeutically. The Series C funding enables us to accelerate development of our innovative therapies for multiple aging-related conditions, and we expect to initiate first-in-human studies for our first drug candidate possibly as early as the end of 2022."
Proceeds from the Series C financing will be used to accelerate research and development activities in the company's three platforms that target fundamental biological mechanisms contributing to aging. The mitochondrial uncoupling platform is developing oral small molecules that are designed to increase metabolic rate and decrease fat accumulation in models of obesity and NASH. The chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) platform is developing oral small molecules that are designed to activate CMA and thereby remove unwanted proteins that accumulate during aging and contribute to multiple aging-related diseases including neurodegenerative diseases. The epigenetic reprogramming platform is developing therapies that are designed to induce the expression of three Yamanaka factors to reprogram the epigenome of cells to a younger state and thereby restore cellular function across a wide range of diseases such as glaucoma.