#026: April 5th, 2021 - Longevity Marketcap Telemetry

Recursion Pharma IPO. China's Anti-aging Warren Buffet. The Longevity State.

  1. Announcements

  2. Capital Raise Radar

  3. Last Week in Longevity

  4. Longevity Futures

  5. Longevity Jobs

  6. New Companies on Longevity List 

  7. Tweet of the Week

  8. My Links

*Disclaimer: None of this should be taken as financial advice. It is for educational purposes only.

Mission: To grow a wave of passionate people building, funding, and championing technologies that extend healthy human lifespan. 

If you believe in this mission please consider supporting through Patreon or Longevity List Merch.


📢 Announcements 

  • Every Friday @ 12PM - 5PM EDT. Longevity Virtual Coworking. If you are working on longevity or thinking about getting into the longevity industry, please join me for an experimental virtual longevity coworking space using the Pluto.Video web app. (Sign in with Google account. No sign-up required.) 

    • Bring your work. 

    • Feel free to ask questions. 

    • Help out. Connect.

    • I plan on holding this weekly. It’s free. (Room Link)  

  • The 1% Bet for Longevity-- a website initiative. 27 people have now signed up for the 1% Bet for Longevity Pledge. My goal is to get to 50,000 people and at least 100 companies to pledge 1% of their resources towards funding longevity companies and research by end of year. Qiao Wang, noted crypto and DeFi thought leader, has signed up and so can you! 

  • Longevity List / Longevity Marketcap is Hiring! 

    • Biology Analyst and Literature Researcher // Part-time (~ 15 hours per week)

      • Scrape / collate aging research papers. Summarize and comment on their methods and main results.

      • Bonus if you have experience in NLP/ML.


📡 Capital Raise Radar

I do not endorse or have affiliations with any of the companies listed below. This is not an offer to buy or sell securities. This is for informational purposes only. If you have intel on any other longevity companies currently raising please email me. It’s free.

  • Oisin Biotechnologies // Raising $5M // Slide Deck

    • Senolytic gene therapy using lipid-protein nanoparticle delivery vehicle. 

    • Kill cells that express p16 gene -- a marker of senescent cells. Inducible apoptosis gene with a p16 promoter triggered by a chemical dimerizer.

    • Team: Matt Scholz (Immusoft), Gary Hudson.

    • Seed round. Accredited investors only. $50K minimum check size. 

    • Other investors include The Methuselah Fund, Kizoo Technology Capital. 

  • Ponce de Leon Health // Raising $15M // Article

    • Makers of Rejuvant Life Tabs, a calcium alpha-ketoglutarate supplement (CaAKG). Alpha-ketoglutarate is a key molecule in the Krebs cycle. Brian Kennedy (former head of Buck Institute, now at the National University of Singapore) is the CSO of this company.  

    • CaAKG supplementation reduces frailty and extends maximal lifespan of female mice by 20%. (Shahmirzhadi et al 2020)

    • Currently “soft-closed” $5.5 M for their Series B. Looking to raise up to $15 M total.

  • Revivo Therapeutics// Raising: $5M // Slide Deck

    • Small molecule drugs that enhance cognition and reduce neuron excitability to treat neurodegenerative and CNS conditions (including anxiety and depression). 

    • Targets the nitric oxide and CREB pathways. 

    • Same team that built Cardioxyl ($2B exit to Bristol Myers Squib)

  • Equator Therapeutics// Raising: $3M - $5M // Slide Deck

    • Mitochondrial uncoupler drug to burn fat through natural body heat production.

    • Targeting obesity, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, PCOS. 

    • Pro longevity: Exercise mimetic, increases mitochondria biogenesis, etc

  • + see all (click on “Capital Raise Radar”)


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📝 Last Week in Longevity

  • AI drug discovery unicorn Recursion Pharmaceuticals files for IPO (NASDAQ:RXRX). Recursion is one of the most exciting and well-funded AI/ML drug discovery startups. The company leverages high throughput imaging of cells combined with robotic automation to generate massive datasets. All this in an effort to decode biology and discover new drugs via artificial intelligence techniques. I’m a huge fan.

    And little known fact: Recursion is also an aging company.

    In Recursion’s S-1, there is a small section devoted to their senolytics pipeline, which was initially funded by an SBIR grant. The company has developed a screen for cellular senescence by imaging cell morphology. This is particularly intriguing as there is presently no known universal biomarker for cellular senescence. Genetic markers (p16INK4a) or chemical markers (SA beta-galactosidase) are most used.

    While still in preclinical studies, Recursion’s candidate senolytic drug, REC-4249, to treat scleroderma significantly reduces the number of p16 expressing cells in the liver of mice. But the drug did not have the same effect in the kidney or lung. 

    Also of note: In July last year, Recursion acquired Vium, a “digital vivarium” company that automates certain aspects of animal husbandry (for mice). Vium was founded by Joe Betts-LaCroix, a well-known figure in the longevity industry. The acquisition will serve to bolster Recursion’s automated high-throughput in vivo screens. 

    Recursion is looking to raise ~$100M in their IPO. Previously, Recursion raised a $239M Series D in September 2020 at a valuation of over $1B. Investors in Recursion Pharma include Bayer, Lux Capital, Felicis Ventures, among others.


📅 Longevity Futures

Know of any interesting longevity talks, meetings, or events? Please email me.


Featured Longevity Jobs

Looking for jobs, companies, or investors in the longevity biotechnology industry? Check out my website LongevityList.com.

If you are hiring, email me a link to your job postings and I will post them on longevitylist.com (it’s free).


New Companies on Longevity List

Some interesting longevity companies I have stumbled upon and added to the Longevity List database in the past week

  • Dyno Therapeutics. A Cambridge MA-based company that designs AAV capsid gene therapy vectors using AI/ML approaches. The company recently published a paper in Nature Biotechnology demonstrating the generation of an AAV capsid library using AI that had 60% viability. In comparison, typical mutagenesis approaches to generate capsid libraries have ~1% viability. Dyno has partnerships with several large pharma companies including Novartis, Sarepta, and Roche. 

  • Gordian Biotechnology. A San Francisco-based company developing gene therapies specifically for complex diseases of aging using AI/ML. Their approach leverages parallel testing of gene therapies by injecting multiple therapies in a single model organism combined with single-cell interrogation. (Video

Developing a gene therapy delivery system that “just works” is one of Reason’s requests for aging startups. Gene therapies have enormous potential for treating diseases beyond the typical monogenic varieties. A platform that can express a gene for a controllable amount of time in specific tissues would be an indispensable tool in treating complex diseases of aging. 


Tweet of the Week: The State of Longevity

Longevity needs to progress faster. Anyone who doesn’t believe this simply does not understand the scope of human suffering caused by biological aging. 

It would be wonderful if governments allocated more resources to longevity research and therapeutic translation. But there is no mandate. At the moment longevity supporters2 have no political power. Growing a grassroots movement can address this issue. But this will take time. 

There is, however, a potential bypass of this problem. One that has only become possible recently through the power of the internet.

Cloud formations

Balaji Srinivasan has this concept of “cloud formations” -- a tribe of people that find each other through the internet, coalesced around some common interest or identity. Sometimes cloud formations will condense in real life (Example: /r/longevityUndoing Aging Conference). Typically these gatherings are limited in size and duration. 

But what if a very large cloud formation could be cultivated to last for years -- decades even — in real life? This would resemble a nation-state. But one organized around a common goal instead of where you happened to be born. Members of the cloud formation would only need to buy some land to realize an actual physical state.

Sounds crazy, right?

But this basically what Elon Musk is doing with Starbase in Texas -- and it’s working.

Celine Halioua wants to build the SpaceX of Aging

If true to form that would include building a corresponding “Longevitybase” city, too. She certainly has the competence and internet savviness to pull it off.

The Longevity State

Suppose 1% of the global population comes to support longevity acceleration3. And let’s say only the top ~7% most ardent of those supporters organize together in real life. This amount of people could form a city-state the size of Singapore. 

A longevity state would have obvious benefits such as prioritization of the allocation of government resources towards aging research and translation. The concentration of top talent in one geographic area could increase efficiency, too. 

But one of the most important feature unlocks of the Longevity State would be the creation of a new FDA.

The classification of aging as a disease by this new FDA would be a no-brainer. New rules could also include allowing drugs to conditionally go to market after sponsors demonstrate safety. Efficacy could be proven afterward in Phase 3 trials funded by the drug sales. These rules could potentially save lives by reducing drug approval time and costs, all while accelerating progress.4

A virtual state experiment  

Celine Halioua isn’t a billionaire yet -- as far as I know.

So how would one initiate such a longevity state without a founding billionaire? One solution is to gather as much critical mass in the cloud as possible before manifesting in real life. Create a virtual state before the physical state

That’s where my idea for a Longevity Virtual Coworking space comes in.

Online Zoom/Clubhouse events tend to be relatively short in duration and non-conducive to many-to-many interactions. On the other hand, a perpetual virtual coworking space filled with people aligned with the same goal is essentially a prototypical virtual state. It’s also fertile ground for forming serendipitous connections during interstitial moments. And best of all the coworking event doesn’t require people to sacrifice any additional time out of their day. We’re all just getting work done -- but in virtual space.  

Last Friday was the inaugural launch of the Longevity Virtual Coworking space. Jim O’Neill (CEO of SENS Research Foundation) and Adam Ashwal (Transistor Bio) showed up, along with some new faces. A few bugs aside, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. 

Perhaps this virtual experiment is crazy.

But given that it costs nothing to try and has potential for significant upside, it’s worth a shot. Even if it never grows to virtual state proportions it could be a valuable community space for longevity.

So if you like getting work done while surrounded by people who share your interest in longevity, please join us Fridays from 12PM to 5PM ET in this virtual room.

-NATHAN CHENG


My Links

Some of my projects, resources, and ways to support my mission. More projects coming…

Projects

  • Longevity List  - Find jobs, companies, and investors in the longevity industry. Email me if you want to add your job or company to the list. It’s free.

  • Longevity List Database- A handy Airtable base covering people, companies, trials, academic labs, and a list of longevity companies that are presently raising capital.

  • LMC Clinical Trial Tracker- Longevity therapeutics in clinical trials. Completion calendar useful for investors who want to time data readout catalysts.

  • LongevityMarketcap.com- The main page tracks prices of publicly traded longevity stocks.

  • Longevity Biotech Show - Official website. We interview the people building, funding, and championing technologies that extend healthy human lifespan. On Clubhouse / podcasts. 

  • The 1% Percent Bet for Longevity Pledge - An initiative to get individuals and corporations to pledge at least 1% of their resources to fund longevity companies and research.

Support

1

Conservative, but it’s a start.

2

Self-professed longevity supporters. Technically anyone who believes the practice of medicine is a good thing is pro-longevity.

3

Very rough estimation time. There are ~80k subscribers to /r/longevity. Reddit has ~430 million monthly active users. This implies longevity supporters make up 0.02% of the population. We need a 50x increase to reach 1% penetrance.

4

These are speculations. However, not too dissimilar from Japan’s stance on stem cell therapies.