Five of our favourite interviews with thought leaders and investors on the opportunity presented by longevity.
From spending billions on research to calls for fundamental changes to way we deliver healthcare, this year we heard from a host of thought leaders who shared their views on how to make longevity a reality. Today we bring you five of the best.
Bell: ‘No health system in the world is currently sustainable’
When we spoke to Professor Sir John Bell, we expected to learn more about a new UK initiative to study of the health of five million citizens to enable more effective ways to prevent, detect and treat diseases. But what we got was a stirring call to action for a change in the way healthcare is conducted.
“You have massive waiting lists, hospitals are full, everybody’s unhappy, so what do you do?” he told us. “Train 40,000, new nurses and 10,000 new doctors. Really? How does that work? That’s what they did in the Somme, they just sent more people, and they get slaughtered by the system. There’s a fundamental problem with how we’re trying to solve the problem.”
Khan: How to spend $1 billion a year on longevity
Saudi-backed non-profit Hevolution has made waves in longevity circles with its commitment to spending $1 billion every year on supporting fundamental longevity research. In a two-part article with Hevolution’s CEO Mehmood Kahn, he shed light on how the foundation plans to do it.
“First of all, we are very much about extending healthy life, not just lifespan,” he told us. “I think if you ask anybody, with rare exception, they don’t want to live longer for the sake of living longer. ‘For the benefit of all’ means not only being all-inclusive, but how do you democratise these technologies and discoveries? If we can’t scale and democratise discoveries, and how to maximise the impact, then we should question ourselves: why are we doing this?”
Mellon: Longevity could be the best investment you ever make
When we spoke to British billionaire and longevity investor Jim Mellon, the Chairman of longevity biotech company Juvenescence provided us with an impassioned call for more investors to get behind the longevity movement.
“Investors should also recognise, especially if you’re in your 30s or 40s, that investing in longevity might not just be the magic bullet for your finances, but also the magic bullet for humankind,” he told us. “In fact, it could be the ultimate ESG investment because if you back the right company in this industry, you’re also doing fantastic things for humanity.”
Angermayer: Biotech investment is bouncing back
Another compelling perspective on the longevity opportunity was delivered by German investor Christian Angermayer. He was also keen to make it clear that longevity makes a lot of sense from an investment perspective – both financially and personally.
“What every single person really wants, so 100% of the total addressable market, is to be happy and healthy,” he told us. “And once you are healthy, you want to enjoy this life for a very long time. So practically, if we figure out these two things (happiness and health) these will be from my point of view some of the biggest companies in the world, because the market is automatically there.”
Steele: Our goal must be to cure aging
Bringing a more scientific perspective on the field, author Dr Andrew Steele provided a holistic view of key progress in the longevity field and why he believes the goal should be to “cure” aging. Using cancer as an example, Steele pointed out that researchers in that field are focused on curing the disease.
“I don’t see why aging should be any different,” he told us. “At least the aspects of aging that cause frailty and discomfort and distress and pain and disease and all these horrible things we want to get rid of. I don’t see why our goal shouldn’t be to minimise that human suffering as far as possible. And to me, that means curing aging.”