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Supplementing your Longevity supplement knowledge:

Longevity supplements

Contributor

Phil Newman

Editor-in-Chief
Longevity.Technology
Contributor

Daragh Campbell

Scientific Editor (Former)
Longevity.Technology Market Intelligence Unit
  • With a booming aging population, and a growing interest in alternative and complementary medicine, this mini report by Longevity.Technology reveals longevity supplements as a new and growing niche in the supplement industry.
  • Longevity supplements haven’t been designed to just top-up nutrients missing from your diet. They also target key aging pathways or longevity determinants to improve healthspan at any age.
  • Fuelled by a global pandemic and a significant population of baby boomers looking to regain the energy of their youth, understanding of the disparity between healthspan and lifespan is becoming mainstream.
  • Companies that are already part of this new niche area of supplements have a head start in market terms – but gaining consumer confidence in the effectiveness of their brands will be key.
  • Where’s the sector headed? Given the potential size of the market, the acquisition of longevity supplement companies by Big Pharma and/or major food producers will be an increasingly likely possibility as the sector matures and clinical-grade data is collated.

Supplements and synthetic drugs differ in relation to the health claims they make. Whereas a supplement is meant to provide nutrients, a synthetic drug is designed to treat illness or disease.

Longevity supplements are a new niche within the supplement market.  

They have been specifically designed (and many are marketed) to enhance healthspan and extend life years.

A growing body of evidence from scientific literature reviews and pre-clinical trials has demonstrated that specific ingredients can indeed enhance lifespan and decrease morbidity in model organisms, and supplements targeted at age-related pathologies is one of the most rapidly developing fields in modern biogerontology (Alexander Vaiserman, 2017).

There is a growing trend away from pharmaceuticals and into more natural and plant-based solutions like supplements – the global market for complementary and alternative medicinal products was valued at USD 82 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22% from 2021 to 2028 [1] . In addition there is a growing ‘aging’ population that, as evidenced by our inhouse research, also spends the most money on supplements. With 97% of the “silent and greatest” wanting to live for as long and as healthily as possible (see schematic below), this creates a large and lucrative older generation market for longevity supplements.

Let’s also not forget the large baby boomer population who are, arguably, redefining the aging process. As the most active population of 50/60 years olds in the history of mankind, this group want to take supplements that help them feel healthier for longer. Preventing age-related diseases and facilitating a longer life are in this population’s top 3 reasons for supplementing.

Silent & Greatest

Ages > 74

Longevity attitude:

93% – I want to live both as healthy and for as long as possible

7% – I want to live as healthily as possible, but don’t care how long

Baby Boomers

Ages: 55-73

Longevity attitude:

88% – I want to live both as healthy and for as long as possible

12% – I want to live as healthily as possible, but don’t care how long

Many geroscience-based therapeutics are still in the traditional clinical development stage, and it could be a while before they are widely available to the general population.

Longevity supplements offer a first set of effective interventions that can be marketed for widespread use in the short-term.

Grand View Research has reported that the global dietary supplements market was valued at USD 140.3 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 8.6% between 2021 to 2028. One of the major end-users driving this growth will be the ‘geriatric’ population.

Longevity Supplement Companies Venture Capital Investment. Analysis by Longevity.Technology, according to Pitchbook data as of 14 June 2022, based on 39 companies.
Longevity Supplement Companies yearly deal count. Analysis by Longevity.Technology, according to Pitchbook data as of 14 June 2022, based on 39 companies.

As the science around aging has improved, the longevity supplement industry has continued to evolve and there has been an increase in both early-stage and later-stage funding rounds. The year of 2021 had the largest number of seed deals and later stage VC deals since 2012.

Location

Longevity Supplement Companies by Region as percentage of total. Analysis by Longevity.Technology, according to Pitchbook data as of 14 June 2022, based on 39 companies

The US remains the most focused geography for longevity supplement companies and thus attracts most of the deals in this market segment. Outside of the US, Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland and the UK are also emerging as sources of investment for companies in the field.

Technology categories

Longevity Supplement Companies by Category. Analysis by Longevity.Technology, according to Pitchbook data as of 14 June 2022, based on 39 companies.

Geroscience tells us healthspan can be extended by targeting fundamental aging mechanisms. Many longevity supplement companies prepare a range of supplements that target different aging mechanisms. Superblends have been designed to either target all these aging mechanisms at once, or are specific combinations that have been designed to work in synergy to have an enhanced impact.

NAD+ boosters became popular after David Sinclair, famous for his ground-breaking aging research, admitted to his followers during his longevity podcast that he takes this type of supplement – 10% of longevity companies now focus solely on marketing NAD+ boosters.

Nootropics are a new category in longevity supplements. Instead of targeting an aging pathway, nootropics seek to enhance an individual’s lifestyle by limiting stress and enhancing sleep, both of which have an impact on an individual’s health and lifespan.

Formations by year

“% of Longevity Supplement companies formed by year, analysis by Longevity. Technology, according to Pitchbook geographical data as of 14/06/2022, based on 39 companies

Growth in the number of Longevity supplement companies increased   significantly in the period 2015-2020.  Longevity.Technology is tracking 40 companies that have developed or are already selling longevity supplements. As awareness of longevity supplements grow, more companies may seek to bring out supplements that claim health and lifespan benefits.

Market risk

A big challenge facing longevity supplement companies is the need to differentiate themselves within the supplement market. Firstly, many people still see ‘aging’ negatively, and do not want to buy a product that suggests they are old. Longevity supplement companies need to be smart in their marketing – educating the consumer about healthspan and the impact of their supplements on general wellbeing and health.

The proof is often in the pudding, and one way to gain consumer confidence is to partner with universities for clinical trials, to prove the efficacy and safety of a product. This route is already being pursued by some longevity supplement companies, with the target of both improving customer confidence and creating a competitive edge in the market.

Some longevity supplement companies already in the game have had a head start in terms of growing their brand and collecting supporting data to demonstrate the efficacy of their supplements. It may be that the window for founding longevity supplements companies is now closing and the race within the market is to become the longevity supplement family brand.

Market adoption

One in 10 adults aged 70 and older currently take a supplement to reverse dementia, implying nearly 4.5 million adults in the US (Rainvillee, 2019).

Global awareness of the disparity between healthspan and lifespan will likely further enhance these figures.

Early in 2022, Chromadex, makers of the longevity supplement “Tru Niagen” released a 30 second TV advert that explained how its longevity supplement targets the root causes of aging. This further signifies growing public awareness and understanding of the potential impact of longevity supplements that will continue to support future growth in this market.

As supplements are generally cheaper to manufacture, and avoid the stricter regulatory processes associated with synthetic drugs, this creates interesting opportunities for longevity supplements.

Profits from longevity supplements can be generated as soon as the product is marketed, and further investigation into the longevity supplement’s efficacy for healthspan and safety profiles can be a secondary process, with its pursuit entirely at the company’s option.

However, a growing portfolio of clinical evidence could provide valuable intellectual property that has the potential to become of interest to big pharmaceutical companies. It is already evident that Big Pharma companies such as Pfizer, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline are beginning to turn to supplements as it allows them to play to their strengths, whilst development processes are far cheaper and quicker than synthetic drug development (Davis, 2017).

Given both the potential size of the market, and the developmental advantages, the acquisition of longevity supplement companies by Big Pharma and/or major food producers will be an increasingly likely possibility as the sector matures and clinical-grade data is collated.

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