Japanese company delivers personalized longevity strategies based on biological age assessments.
Okinawa-based longevity startup Ekei Labs has successfully concluded a pre-seed funding round to advance its mission to change how aging is approached. The company aims to enable people to proactively manage their health based on biological age assessments.
Ekei provides personalized longevity strategies through a suite of services, including at-home biological assessments, tailored content, and lifestyle interventions. The company’s ekei.glytra product assesses biological age by measuring markers for chronic inflammation, with a focus on sugar-chain structures in our bodies called glycans. When we are young, glycans are usually anti-inflammatory, but become unbalanced as we age, ultimately losing their capacity to suppress low-grade inflammation – a process also known as ‘inflammaging.’
Ekei’s approach is based on continual refinement of proprietary sample processing methods to improve the precision and efficiency of testing procedures.
The funding round was led by Lifetime Ventures, a pre-seed venture capital firm in collaboration with the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST). The strategic partnership with OIST facilitates accelerated research in DNA methylation techniques, aiming to make biological age testing more accessible to the public.
“Aging is increasingly becoming recognised as a disease that is treatable,” said Koshu Kunii, General Partner of Lifetime Ventures. “With access to appropriate aging assessment and proactive measures of such treatment, we believe that Ekei’s product will empower users to live their lives on their own terms free from the chronological clocks.”
Ekei is targeting the global challenges of aging societies and declining populations, which it says are of particular concern in Japan. Beyond its scientific pursuits, Ekei hopes its investment will serve as a catalyst for local economic growth in Okinawa, a recognized Bue Zone. The startup aims to stimulate further investments in the region, as it seeks to become a global hub for longevity research.
“We are immensely proud to be funded by Lifetime Ventures, as we reinforce our presence in Okinawa’s Blue Zone – home to some of the world’s longest-living individuals,” said Bilal Kharouni, CEO of Ekei. “This collaboration is a testament to our commitment to harnessing Okinawa’s unique longevity insights and being a part of the thriving OIST ecosystem.”