It’s a brave new world – but longevity needs to stay in the realm of the credible

ARDD Conference Chairs Alex Zhavoronkov and Morten Scheibye-Knudsen talk megatrends, altruism and longevity.

The largest conference on aging in the biopharmaceutical industry is set to take place 28 August – 1 September 2023 on-site in Copenhagen and online. Leaders in the aging and longevity field will come together to impart and discuss the latest progress in the molecular, cellular and organismal basis of aging and the search for interventions – it’s one of the must-attend events in the longevity space.

Longevity.Technology: As Alex Zhavoronkov says, ARDD is ‘truly the go-to place for investors and biotechnology companies and academics to come together and help build the industry’. We grabbed some time with Zhavoronkov and fellow conference Chair Morten Scheibye-Knudsen to find out some of the conference’s forthcoming highlights and why ARDD 10 is set to be the best year yet.

Morten Scheibye-Knudsen and Alex Zhavoronkov on…

Geroscience is a brave new world

It’s a really exciting program this year! We have expanded the Longevity Medicine from a workshop to a full day, and it’s one of the most exciting developments in the field – that we are progressing into human interventions, something that is set to become a bigger and bigger focus in the aging field over the coming years, so I hope we can spearhead that development.

The industry won’t move faster than the physicians, so we need to ensure we stay within the realm of the credible and within the realm of traditional drug discovery and development, without skipping clinical trials. It’s great to see that some of the biotechs that are developing dual purpose therapeutics are targeting aging and disease at the same time and are entering human clinical trials. We see this as the brave new world of longevity biotechnology coming to fruition.

Funneling forward-thinkers

DeSci is growing, although it’s definitely not yet mainstream! It’s an interesting approach to raising funding for the longevity field, and we can engage some of the more forward-thinking individuals in the crypto space and that can lead to real, meaningful change, because a lot of funding can be funneled in new startups and new research directions.

Longevity goes mega

ARDD will have some of the world’s most prominent investors in longevity on a investing in longevity panel – this conference is truly the go-to place for investors and biotechnology companies and academics to come together and help build the industry. I think we’ll see much discussion about some of the mega-investments that have been made of the last couple of years. We are likely to talk about the pharma attitude towards investing in longevity, and what kind of activities do pharmaceutical companies explore for longevity research, and how they use aging research as a platform.

VCs are surveying pharma to understand what the exit strategies are for some of their investments. We’re likely to see discussions about platform technologies for testing and developing longevity interventions, and we’re likely to talk about funding trends. This year we’re likely to see even more interest in investing in longevity because we have just launched Investing in Longevity 101.

An eye on the future

It’s really exciting that politicians are getting involved now, as well. The Danish Minister for Senior Citizens is attending, and this helps us label things in the right way. Political involvement shows it is beginning to be understood just how important this is for society. And also, going forward, we are getting smaller birth cohorts, meaning fewer young people taking care of more elderly individuals – it’s becoming more and more important to maintain health as we get older, and that’s why politicians are starting to look at this space.

Big changes for longevity in societies will come from two things – a Big Pharma company discovering a blockbuster drug or Government deciding that we need to invest in healthy longevity. The money is just so much larger at governmental level.

ARDD – it’s time to take this longevity journey because longevity is the most altruistic thing anyone can engage in. Extend everybody’s life by just one year and you create a billion life years – more than any doctor has ever saved in their lifetime.

Find out more about ARDD 2023 and bag your tickets HERE!