A biotech company that has spent 11 years researching supplements to increase human longevity plans to launch its supplements later this year. Longevica says it has attracted a total of $13 million from investors, including Alexander Chikunov, a longevity investor, who is also president of the company.
Longevica says it created a biotechnology platform for longevity after researching the life-span of laboratory mice. It now aims to produce medicines, dietary supplements and food products.
The longevity space is a growing sector for tech startups. Google backed the launch of Calico in the space. Late last year Humanity Inc. raised $2.5 million in a round led by Boston fund One Way Ventures for its longevity company that will leverage AI to maximize people’s health span.
Longevica’s CEO Ainar Abdrakhmanov, backing up his company’s aim to tap the desire for people to live longer, said: “According to the WHO, by 2050, 2 billion people will be 60+ years old. By 2026, the sales of services and products for this audience will be around $27 trillion… By comparison, it was only $17 trillion in 2019.”
According to CB Insights, life-extension startups raised a record total of $800 million in 2018 alone. And there are some high-profile investors in the space.
PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel invested in Unity Biotechnology, which is developing drugs to treat diseases that accompany aging. And Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin invested $2.4 million worth of Ether into the nonprofit SENS Research foundation, where famed longevity research Aubrey de Grey is chief science officer, to develop rejuvenation biotechnologies.
Longevica is basing its platform on the work of scientist Alexey Ryazanov, who holds 10 U.S. patents in the space, and is a longtime researcher into the regulation of protein biosynthesis cells.
Chikunov said: “I gathered scientists known in this field to discuss their approaches to the problem. Then Alexey Ryazanov proposed the innovative idea of large-scale screening of all known pharmacological substances on long-lived mice in order to find those that prolong life.”
Under the leadership of Ryazanov, Longevica says it used 20,000 long-lived female mice and 1,033 drugs representing compounds from 62 pharmacological classes to find five substances that statistically significantly increased longevity by 16-22%: Inulin, Pentetic Acid, Clofibrate, Proscillaridin A, D-Valine.
From this work, they formed a view about the elimination of certain heavy metals from the body and improved the body’s ability to remove toxins.