Longevity investment bulletin: Global funding revealed, new SPAC, Recursion, Celularity and more

The latest longevity updates from our investment news desk.  

Longevity.Technology’s industry-defining 2022 Annual Longevity Investment Report was published this week. The full-year report on the state of investment in the longevity sector found that global longevity investment hit $5.2 billion in 2022, out-trending biotech and fintech.

The report tracks investment data in public and private markets from the start of 2013 to today, segmenting financing activity by location, domain and stage, following recent trends and identifying the key spaces and top players in longevity. Check it out!

New longevity SPAC announced

Longevity Biomedical revealed its plans to create a Nasdaq-listed longevity biopharma company via a SPAC. The transaction, which is expected to compete in the second quarter of this year, will swell the coffers of the combined company with proceeds of $85.4m in cash.

The money will be used to complete a retinal vein occlusion Phase II study, begin a Phase III study for its injectable tissue regeneration therapy and conclude a Phase III study for its ultrasonic device for treatment of ischemic stroke. The cash will also fund pre-clinical studies for Longevity Biomedical’s biosynthetic cornea.

“The proceeds from this transaction will allow [us] to reach significant clinical development milestones for our four leading technologies that have demonstrated successful results in clinical studies,” said Bradford A Zakes, CEO of Longevity Biomedical. “In addition, [we] will retain an opportunistic, visionary approach to future health advancements in the areas of health monitoring and digital health solutions.”

VitaDAO lands $4.1 million

VitaDAO, the collective for community-governed and decentralised drug development, announced a $4.1m fundraising round from strategic contributors including Pfizer Ventures, Shine Capital and L1 Digital. The round also included Balaji Srinivasan, the former CTO of Coinbase and General Partner at a16z, and Joe Betts-LaCroix of Retro Biosciences.  

The proceeds from the fundraise will be used to fund further longevity research projects and precedes the much-anticipated spin out of VitaDAO’s first biotech startup, which is scheduled in the first quarter of 2023.

Celularity reveals strategic review

Placental-derived cell therapy company Celularity (NASDAQ: CELU) announced the results of a strategic review of its 2023 key initiatives, including pipeline prioritisation and targeted expense reductions.

“As we invest to scale production of our commercial biomaterial products to meet expected demand in the United States and the Middle East, we are prioritizing our most promising cell therapy product candidates and programs, and are rebalancing our workforce and identifying targeted expense reductions to support these priorities,” said Robert J Hariri, Celularity’s CEO, Chairman and Founder.

Recursion releases new drug discovery tool

Clinical-stage biotech Recursion (NASDAQ: RXRX) announced the public release of MolRec – an interactive internal tool to explore the company’s proprietary maps of biology and chemistry. In addition, Recursion released RxRx3, its largest open-source cellular imaging dataset to date, spanning approximately 2.2 million images across the human genome and 1,600 commercially available compounds in a single cell type.

“With the release of MolRec and the RxRx3 dataset, anyone in the world can now explore some of the same insights that our scientists are using to generate novel therapeutic hypotheses and advance new discovery programs,” said Ben Mabey, CTO at Recursion. “MolRec represents a small portion of many applications built upon our proprietary datasets that are helping us industrialize the drug discovery process.”

Mikra upgrades CELLF product

Mikra Cellular Sciences has begun commercial scale production of a new and improved version of CELLF, its nutraceutical gel for cellular health. The subsidiary of Lifeist Wellness Inc. said that improvements included significantly better taste, sachet design and packaging.

“The evolution of CELLF was a necessary step to solidify it as Mikra’s flagship product and set the internal mindset that the key to business longevity is the absence of complacence,” said Faraaz Jamal, CEO of Mikra and COO of Lifeist. “This is only the first of many strategic, iterative improvements we will make to our product suite to ensure our delivery meets or exceeds customer expectations.”

Yuva wins aesthetics technology award

Mitochondrial health company Yuva Bio presented at the recent Aesthetics Tech Forum in California, winning the People’s Choice Award. More than 400 attendees voted, primarily aesthetics industry executives, dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons.

Image by jcomp on Freepik