Categorizing the Landscape of Companies and Approaches in the Longevity Industry
Here I'll note an interesting effort to produce a taxonomy of companies and approaches to treatment in the longevity industry. There is a growing diversity of efforts to find ways to target various mechanisms and manifestations of aging, and since the industry is still small it remains possible for one person to walk through a list of the participants and understand what each is doing in a reasonable amount of time.
This post aims to provide a survey of all different scientific approaches in longevity biotech. Although comprehensive databases like Longevity List and AgingBiotech offer valuable information on various companies, it is still challenging to see the big picture and identify established or unexplored paths. Beginning with a broad overview of the entire landscape, we will delve deeper into each approach and scope out under-explored areas with promising potential.
There are four paradigms for longevity biotech therapeutics. (1) Reset and Repair: This paradigm focuses on targeting specific, known age-related pathways, factors, or damages identified in hallmarks of aging (with some modifications). (2) Replace: Falling within the domain of regenerative medicine, this paradigm includes the replacement of aged cells, tissues, organs, or even the whole body with younger counterparts or endogenous regeneration. (3) Reprogram: This paradigm is inspired by the natural rejuvenation process that occurs during early embryonic development, which enables the production of youthful offspring from old gametes. It aims to activate a similar embryonic-like program within aged cells, without altering their cell identity, through a process known as partial reprogramming. (4) Discover: This paradigm focuses on identifying novel targets or interventions for aging by analyzing extensive datasets using advanced machine learning techniques.
Compared to other biotech sectors such as oncology, longevity biotech is still in its infancy, both in terms of funding and the number of companies involved, despite the potential it holds to tackle the leading cause of death - aging. There is still an abundance of untapped opportunities in each paradigm, leaving several avenues for commercial development. In creating this landscape, my aim is to provide a structured approach to identify and address the lesser-known approaches within this field. As a starting point, consider which paradigm you'd like to see expanded, and go deeper there to find new opportunities for company formation or investment.
OT: MAIA Biotechnology Reports Preliminary Survival Data in Part A of THIO-101 Phase 2 Trial for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
This is interesting. It starts to beg questions of the health and dynamism of the industry as a whole; whether the amount of research overlap, funding diffusion, researcher poaching/ turn-over, under-utilised labs and facilities, etc., etc., and into (hypothetically) the eventual business success, can be realized by these types of companies in such an industry. More is not always long-term better. If we look at the myriad of economic papers on the pharmaceutical, health insurance, and similar, we see how some sectors can stagnate, cannibalize, and undercut their end goals and individual successes: