Our CEO and founder defines the domains of longevity, maps longevity’s component parts and spotlights future progress.
Longevity Week 2022 was a week jam-packed with longevity-related symposia, conferences and get-togethers; one of the highlights of last month’s event was the annual Master Investor one-day masterclass Investing in the age of longevity, which featured our own CEO and Founder Phil Newman as MC.
When it comes to the longevity industry, and the inflection of that market, it’s no longer a question of ‘if’ or ‘when’ – it’s happening right now. Phil’s presentation explores that inflection, the value of the market and looks at some of the key challenges.
Phil puts longevity into a financial context by explaining that aging diseases are extraordinarily expensive – over $3 trillion a year in the US alone. The emotional and societal costs are huge as well.
As Phil explains: “Sometimes when we look objectively at longevity, and at a lot of the science in longevity, we can forget that a lot of us comes back to us as well; it’s an existential subject matter and I still find it amazing that people will spend more on a car than they will on their own health.”
How to calibrate and count the industry?
When you look at longevity, it sits across three domains:
- Determinants – what you are are born with and the environment you live in
- Aging drivers – molecular drivers and mechanisms impacted by the determinants
- Diseases of aging – internal and external damage that manifests as an aging disease
This trajectory can be modulated by:
- Prevention of the impact on the molecular driver
- Renewal of drivers that have been impacted
- Treatment of diseases that have manifested
- Diagnostics at every stage
The domains of longevity
Longevity.Technology has spent a significant amount of time analysing the market to decide on the domains of longevity and deeply analysing the companies in the space – over 560 of them! All these companies sit within 25 domains of longevity.
Compiling these domains has allowed us to construct what we believe to be the definitive map of longevity in terms of its component parts – and it’s George Church-approved! This has enabled us to understand the industry and the companies in it in terms of capitalisation, clinical progress and journey to accepted therapies.
Looking at the market
In terms of the last five years, looking by our domains, you can see that cellular reprogramming has attracted a great deal of capital – much of that very recently thanks to Jeff Bezos and Altos!
Looking longer term, certain domains are not smaller – they are just earlier.
From 2020 to 2021 there was a doubling of the industry, and based on our data, we expect 2022 to exceed that – we’ll be publishing a report in January analysing 2022 and predicting what’s next! It should be noted that ‘the Altos effect’ does push up the numbers as its capitalisation was over $2 billion this year, and taking that out of the equation reflects the fact that longevity is suffering the same challenges as the rest of the biotech sector.
How is longevity shaping up?
Longevity investor activity has followed a similar trajectory to those of biotech and fintech, with a steep climb in 2020/21 which drops off in 2021/22. It will be interesting to see what happens as biotech capital moves more actively into longevity.
As Phil puts it, the longevity industry has formed – we may be in the foothills, there’s still a long way to go, but we have the vocabulary in place and we’re seeing encouraging and growing interest from the investment community. We now know aging is plastic, we know what longevity looks like – and that’s why we can change the healthcare model.