#023: March 15, 2021 - Longevity Marketcap Telemetry
David Sinclair SPAC, Maximon Launch, PEARL Trial, Deal Flow, and more
📡 Longevity Marketcap Telemetry (March 15th, 2021)
Last Week in Longevity
Tweet of the Week
*Disclaimer: None of this should be taken as financial advice. It is for educational purposes only.
The newsletter will be split into two separate publications (both free) going forward:
Longevity Marketcap Telemetry - A weekly review of major developments in the longevity industry, upcoming events, jobs, investment opportunities (“Deal Flow”), and short observations.
Longevity Marketcap Reports - A more in-depth research report on longevity companies and their underlying science published every 1 - 2 weeks. Easier to use as reference material now that all the extraneous news and events are moved to a separate publication (see above).
I started a Patreon account. This newsletter and the LMC research reports will always be free. But if you believe in me and my mission to grow a wave of passionate people building, funding, and championing technologies that will accelerate the end of aging then please consider supporting. Your funding will help me pay for web server costs, graphic design and video production tools, and perhaps hire some extra help in the future
Special note: PEARL Trial by AgelesssRX
AgelessRX, a DTC online pharmacy for anti-aging compounds, is crowdfunding a 200-person Phase 4 clinical trial of rapamycin. Rapamycin is one of the most well-studied anti-aging drugs (for mice it extends lifespan ~ +15%). But because it is off-patent there is no profit incentive for pharma companies to conduct a clinical trial.
AgelessRX is looking to raise a total of $800k from two sources:
Trial participants ($1000 / each) who will receive $3000 worth of biomarker testing during the trial (DNA methylation clock, blood tests, glycation age test, DEXA scans, gut microbiome sequencing, etc)
Donations from individuals and organizations.
It appears AgelessRX is only $200k away from reaching its goal for donations. If you are interested in either enrolling for the trial or donating please check out the PEARL trial webpage.
📝 Last Week in Longevity
Maximon, Swiss-based venture builder, to invest 50M+ in longevity companies over four years. Founded by notable entrepreneur-investors Marc Bernegger, Tobias Reichmuth, and Jörg Rieker, Maximon aims to partner with entrepreneurs to build longevity companies from scratch. Bernegger and Reichmuth are also the organizers of the Longevity Investors Conference.
So far they have announced the formation of two companies under Maximon with several more planned. Maximon is currently hiring for several positions at their companies (including a SPAC/M&A professional!). They are also looking for entrepreneurs to start new companies. Have an idea for a longevity company? You can apply here. Maximon is self-funded presently but they have plans to open a co-investment fund in the future.
Christian Angermayer / David Sinclair and Peter Attia $200M SPAC lists on NASDAQ (FRONU). Apeiron, Angermayer’s investment firm, and Falcon Edge, a venture capital firm, announced the listing of their $200M longevity SPAC on the NASDAQ on Thursday. The “blank check” company will be co-chaired by David Sinclair and Peter Attia.
Which private company could they take public with this SPAC? Sinclair and Angermayer both have ties to a number of private biotech companies. The addition of Peter Attia could suggest a wellness or nutraceuticals play, but this seems less likely. This is the 2nd longevity SPAC announced so far this year, the other being Laura Nikalson’s Humacyte (NASDAQ:AHAC), a vascular tissue engineering company. (Note: I have a small position in FRONU).
Senisca raises 1.3M £ seed round. Lorna Harries (Professor at the University of Exeter, and self-proclaimed “miRNAgirl” on Twitter), announced a 1.3M GBP raise for her senotherapeutics startup, Senisca. The company is developing oligonucleotide therapies to reverse cellular senescence by targeting RNA splicing factors that become dysregulated with age. They plan to target skin aging and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis as initial indications. (Read my newsletter on senolytics companies here)
AbbVie's “right to buy” deal with Mitokinin. Pharma giant AbbVie made a funding and “right to buy” deal with Mitokinin, a mitophagy drug developer targeting Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. AbbVie may exercise the option to buy after the completion of Mitokinin’s IND-enabling studies.
Mitokinin was founded on the scientific work of Nicholas Hertz while he was in Kevan Shokat’s lab (UCSF). The company is developing kinetin (or an analog), a plant hormone that increases the activity of the active form of PINK1, a key protein involved in the removal of damaged mitochondria. For a review of Mitokinin and other mitochondria longevity companies see my newsletter on Mitochondria Longevity Companies.
AgeX Therapeutics (NYSE:AGE) and LyGenesis merger talks. AgeX BAT program progress. AgeX Therapeutics, a stem cell regenerative medicine company helmed by Mike West, and LyGenesis, a University of Pittsburgh startup developing liver regeneration through lymph nodes, are in talks of a merger. Both are Juvenescence portfolio companies. The deal would have AgeX shareholders issue an additional 66% of current shares outstanding to LyGenesis shareholders. LyGenesis CEO, Michael Hufford, would become CEO of the newly formed company.
AgeX also announced a partnership with Ohio State University to conduct animal studies with their brown adipose tissue (BAT) regenerative cell therapy. BAT is associated with metabolic regulation and thermogenesis. AgeX plans to engineer transplantable BAT from embryonic-derived stem cells to treat type 2 diabetes.
eGenesis xenotransplantation $125M Series C funding. eGenesis is a George Church-affiliated startup that is developing transplantable organs derived from genetically engineered pigs (xenotransplantation). The capital from their Series C will be used to bring two programs to clinical trials: Kidney and islet cell transplants to treat kidney failure and type 1 diabetes, respectively.
Longeveron (NASDAQ:LGVN) gets compassionate use approval of Lomecel-B for HLHS. Completes Phase 2b Frailty study. Recently IPO’d mesenchymal stem cell company Longeveron announced that it had completed its Phase 2 of Lomecel-B to treat Aging/Frailty. The data readout of the study is expected this year.
Longeveron also announced FDA approval of compassionate use of Lomecel-B for Child with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS).
Kizoo Technology Capital invests in Elastrin’s seed round. Michael Greve’s longevity VC firm announced seed funding for Elastrin Therapeutics -- a company developing an antibody conjugated with a drug-delivering nanoparticle to reverse tissue calcification. Elastrin plans to use this technology to treat heart disease, diabetes, and COPD.
📅 Longevity Futures
Aubrey de Grey is the founder of SENS Research Foundation and author of the book Ending Aging. His work has inspired countless passionate people to work on longevity — myself included.
We will attempt to live-stream the audio of this event. Stay tuned for a link.
Sign up for reminders via Google Calendar. Link for email reminders for all future Longevity Biotech Show events and live stream links. Also, check out LongevityBiotechShow.com for updates and show notes / recordings in the future.
Stick around at the end of each show for a casual “after-party” longevity biotech chat/networking.
Monday, March 15th, 2021 @ 6PM PDT. Biology Thought Experiments with Laura Deming. Laura Deming, the founder of the Longevity Fund, will be live-streaming a talk on biology thought experiments on the Twitch platform.
Longevity Leaders 2021 Online Conference May 4th - May 7th, 2021: An industry and academia conference with networking events. Basic passes are free but access to premium online events is paid. Early bird discounts are also available. A great lineup of speakers: Aubrey de Grey, Nir Barzilai, Joao Pedro de Magalhaes, Sergey Young, Ronjon Nag, representatives from Alkahest, Stealth BioTherapeutics, Navitor, and many more.
✨ Featured Longevity Jobs
Looking for jobs, companies, or investors in the longevity biotechnology industry? Check out my website LongevityList.com.
Chief Scientific Officer // Maximon // Zug, Switzerland
SPAC Investment Professional // Maximon // Zug, Switzerland
Chief Product Officer (CPO) and Co-Founder for Longevity Supplement Company // Maximon // Zug, Switzerland
Sr. Scientist, In Vivo// Repair Biotechnologies // Boston, MA, USA
Associate Director/Director of In Vivo Biology/Pharmacology// BioAge Labs // Richmond, CA, USA
Chief of Staff// BioAge Labs // Richmond, CA, USA , Remote
Research Data Scientist, Computational Biology // BioAge Labs // Richmond, CA, USA
Social Media Manager // Lifespan.io // Remote (Part-time)
If you are hiring send me a link to your job postings and I will post them on longevitylist.com (it’s free).
Tweet of the Week
George Church’s lab is almost a biotech startup accelerator. What if we could get more academics to start longevity biotech accelerators? No more grant writing, teaching, admin, and other distractions associated with academia. Pure longevity biotech acceleration.
Sure, it would take more than $100K to convince a tenured professor to “drop out” of academia. But it probably requires less money than you think. The point of this proposed fellowship (and the Thiel fellowship) is NOT to fully replace the economic value of what is being sacrificed (StanVard degree, tenure). It’s to select for individuals who believe in ideas so big that they are willing to risk the pinnacle of their achievements for them -- and then give them some initial capital to execute.
The 1% Bet.
So who would fund these longevity biotech accelerator fellowships? Well, there are ~3,000 billionaires in the world with a combined wealth of ~ $10 trillion USD. Some have already invested in longevity biotech, but the majority have not. None are getting any younger.
So this is the question: How much should someone bet for an extra decade (or more, much more…) of healthy life?
I remember an earlier time when people would advocate investing 1% of your net worth into bitcoin. If bitcoin took off it could have insane upside. If bitcoin failed you would only be down 1%. It was a bet on convexity.
Life extension is the ultimate bet on convexity (see longevity escape velocity). And yet much less than 1% of the total global wealth of $400 trillion USD is directed towards longevity biotechnology. This sucks.
But instead of moping about the world, you can take things into your own hands. Lead by example. Start by investing at least 1% of your time advocating, researching, building, or volunteering for longevity.
NOT financial advice. Public markets for longevity biotech are still underdeveloped. Seek qualified professionals for investing advice.
As Nassim Taleb would say “Don’t tell me what you think, show me your portfolio.”: ~ 2% of my net worth is allocated to longevity biotech. And virtually all of my time. My portfolio allocation to longevity will rise as more companies go public.