UK biotech valued at $500m will use public offering to move 5 life-extension technologies into phase 2 trials.
Juvenescence, a biotech incubator creating medical therapies for increased human Longevity, has moved its IPO to the second half of 2020. This is a postponement from an earlier public announcement slating the launch for Q1 2020. The IPO is set to be in the USA, either on the NYSE or NASDAQ. This is likely due to the offering of a series C to strategic investors prior to an IPO.
Jim Mellon, chair and founder of Juvenescence, has told Longevity.Technology that the company will use the proceeds from its public launch to take about five of its therapies into phase 2 trials.
The most clinically advanced companies in Juvenescence’s life-extension portfolio include tissue regeneration company AgeX, AI drug discoverers Insilico and the organ replacement start-up LyGenesis (which plans to replace failing organs with mini-organs grown in patient lymph nodes). There is also a collaboration with the Buck Institute’s Eric Verdin called BHB Therapeutics, which is developing a supplement to capture the benefits of the lifespan-boosting ketogenic diet.
With the cresting viability of life-extension technology promised to meet public demand soon, Mellon sees Juvenescence’s position as an early-market mover to be highly advantageous.
“There are a maximum of 10 funds focused on Longevity,” he said. “There’ll be 50-70 in the next few years and in 10 years’ time there’ll be thousands. The Longevity investment market is like the cannabis market – it will grow very quickly, but it will be much bigger.”
Before going public, Mellon has said that Juvenescence will undertake a Series C round with a handful of ‘high-ticket’ investors who are set to cover the whole round themselves. Mr Mellon has also insisted that he and his co-founders, Drs Declan Doogan and Greg Bailey, will remain in place as key stakeholders in Juvenescence. “We’re the biggest investors ourselves and have no intention of selling our stakes,” Mellon said.
Juvenescence is the world’s best-funded longevity platform, with a valuation set to shoot above its series B round of $500m by next year. Others in the space include Life Biosciences, a Boston-based incubator with an estimated value of $500m and Sergey Young’s $100m Longevity Vision Fund. Google’s life-extension platform, Calico, has also followed with a collaboration with pharmaceutical giant AbbVie; both companies have pledged $1bn to investment in longevity research.