Longevity is behaving more and more like a market
Investors' conference in Gstaad highlights speed, scope of development
(Photo credit: Austin Distel on Unsplash)
I’ve posted here many times about the billions of dollars flowing in to the topic of longevity, from cell-level research designed to unlock the possibility of slowing or reversing aging, to new drug therapies to mitigate age-driven conditions or diseases, to high tech (and often AI-driven) applications for monitoring, diagnosis and even disease prediction.
There’s even a longevity stock index (I blogged about it here) to track all the start-ups, their activities and their market caps.
Now I’ve learned about a Longevity Investor’s Conference, held at the end of September in Gstaad, Switzerland, and featuring a who’s who of millionaire/billionaire investors on the one hand, and longevity company creators on the other.
The conference agenda gives you a good panorama of all the action.
Many of the presentations dealt with the investing side: industry overviews, startup overviews, investment do’s and don’ts, plus actual pitches from start-ups.
The rest of the program dealt with actual new discoveries and other developments, like rejuvenation biotechnology (“an idea whose time has come”), gene therapies for aging reversal, supplements for healthy aging, restoring biological age, organ and body transplants and mind uploading/ Plus a few wilder topics: crypto meets longevity, “one transformative week to live longer,” and “sexponential medicine.”
One company’s story in particular seems to embody the whole idea: Maximon, based in Gstaad and host company for the conference. You can read more about them here.
They’ve already built an interesting portfolio of start-ups, including longevity supplements, health analytics, skin aging therapies and longevity clinics. Harvard-trained Dr. Elizabeth Roider is Chief Scientific and Medical Officer.
“Working in a life sciences innovation hub like Boston showed me that it was possible for scientists and medical doctors to actually work on bringing products and solutions to market,” she says in the article. “This isn’t something that is clear to many academics, but it inspired me to get involved in the business side of science and ultimately led to my new role at Maximon.”
While the company has a broad focus as to subject matter or area of research, there’s a definite emphasis on speed to market: “There are many hot fields out there, so it’s more a question of which of these many exciting areas do you pick and what funds do you have available to really go for it. From our perspective, we’re initially looking for opportunities that can be converted into a product within about two to three years.”
What are those opportunities?
“Some things about longevity are pretty clear, the importance of sleep and food, for example, so we’re building a nutrition supplement company,” Roider says. “On the diagnostic side, one of our companies is collecting holistic biodata and combining that with artificial intelligence and machine learning processes to develop new algorithms to provide health and longevity insights to consumers.
“We are also looking at the societal side of longevity, which I think is often overlooked, and exploring things like the mental health benefits of co-living and co-housing. And then of course, we’re also exploring medical innovations like rejuvenating products, currently mainly in the field of skin aging.”
The company is also involved in developing what could be rolled out as a chain of longevity clinics (the first is scheduled for Zurich next year). “The clinics will be offering everything from diagnostics to cutting edge therapies to behavioral change coaching – how to modify your life to ensure you’re going in the right direction.”
I find it encouraging that there’s so much action in areas that seem achievable in the short- to medium-term, and that not everything is necessarily going to take another 2- or 30 years. I particularly love the longevity clinic, and hope there will be one that I can access soon!
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