Longevity investment bulletin: Sofinnova, Aviceda, NRG Therapeutics and more

The latest longevity updates from our investment news desk.

Sofinnova launches digital medicine strategy

Life sciences VC firm Sofinnova Partners announced a new investment strategy focused on digital medicine. Sofinnova Digital Medicine will back entrepreneurs innovating at the cutting edge of technology and biology and help them scale and become global leaders.

“Digital medicine is revolutionizing the healthcare industry,” said Antoine Papiernik, Chairman and Managing Partner of Sofinnova Partners. “With our new partners, our network and our expertise across the healthcare continuum, we are uniquely positioned to help entrepreneurs develop digital products and services that will help patients, physicians and healthcare systems overall.”

The launch of Sofinnova Digital Medicine marks the firm’s sixth and newest strategy in its multi-fund platform of strategies spanning the life sciences sector, from seed to later-stage investments in the most promising and disruptive technologies.

Aviceda partners with Queen’s University Belfast

Clinical stage biotech Aviceda Therapeutics announced a strategic partnership with Queen’s University Belfast – founding Aviceda Glycotech, an oncology-focused spin-off company from Aviceda Therapeutics and Queen’s. The collaboration is aimed at developing the next generation of cancer checkpoint immune therapeutics in Belfast.

“It is critical that the biotechnology industry and academic institutions work together to foster innovation and accelerate drug development for diseases with significant unmet medical needs, and Queen’s is an ideal partner with a substantial track record in innovation to support us in this effort,” said Dr Mohamed Genead, CEO of Aviceda. “We are excited to work with the Queen’s team in realizing our vision of developing next generation glyco-therapeutics together.”

NRG Therapeutics unveils SAB

Mitochondrial dysfunction neuroscience company NRG Therapeutics announced the formation of its scientific advisory board. Chaired by Dr James Summers, the SAB includes Dr Melanie Leitner, Dr Kalpana Merchant and Dr Stevan Djuric, who all bring in-depth translational expertise in neuroscience and drug discovery across chemistry, biology and pharmacology disciplines.

NRG Therapeutics is applying breakthrough science in the field of mitochondrial biology to develop first-in-class treatments for Parkinson’s, ALS and other neurodegenerative disorders. Its approach is based on inhibiting the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) in brain cells through a novel mechanism of action, which has been shown to be neuroprotective in preclinical models.

“The breadth and depth of experience that Jim, Melanie, Kalpana and Stevan bring will be invaluable to our company as we progress toward the clinic,” said Dr Richard Rutter, NRG Therapeutics co-founder and CSO. “Developing life extending and life changing treatments for neurological disorders is challenging and we welcome their insights gained over decades in pharma, biotech, academic and not-for-profit organizations.”

Longevity investment down in Q1

Longevity.Technology’s Q1 2023 Longevity Investment Report provided an overview of longevity investment in the first three months of the year. The report looks at deals by stage, location and average size, identifies the top 5 deals, reviews M&A and partnerships, discusses longevity’s 10-year trend, and highlights some of the quarter’s biggest stories.

Compared with the previous four quarters, the report found that Q1 of 2023 saw the lowest financing activity among longevity companies, also marked by the fewest number of deals (10). The total financing for longevity in Q1 this year is one of the lowest since 2013, but, while the environment for new startups will clearly be tough for some time, longevity experts believe the question is not if the investment activity will recover, but rather when.

Tally nets $10 million seed

Consumer longevity company Tally Health announced it has closed a $10 million seed funding round, led by Forerunner Ventures, with additional participation by L Catterton, which incubated and initially backed the company, G9 Ventures and Second Sight Ventures. Celebrities including John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, Pedro Pascal, Whitney Cummings and others, have also invested in the round.

“We are thrilled to have attracted A-list celebrities to invest in our company,” Goldey told us. “Their interest and investment show that the conversation around longevity has transcended beyond the science and biotech community to become more mainstream. Everyone ages, and everyone wants to live better, longer.”

Tally, co-founded by Dr David Sinclair, aims to help consumers improve their healthspan and extend longevity at a cellular level. To achieve this, the company has developed the TallyAge epigenetic age test, along with personalized lifestyle recommendations and longevity supplements.

Clearday in SPAC merger

Robotics technology company Clearday announced a merger agreement with Viveon Health Acquisition Corporation, a special purpose acquisition company. The consummation of the transaction is subject to approval by stockholders and other customary closing conditions, including approval of Clearday for listing on the NYSE American. The proposed business combination is expected to be completed in Q3 of 2023.

Clearday has an integrated platform combining robotic companion care and AI-driven tech to serve the senior adult care sector. The company aims to become the industry’s API for aging in place, capable of expanding across the aging continuum to meet patient needs in residential care and skilled nursing facilities, and also as they age at home.

“We are excited to be partnering with Viveon Health as we leverage our operational experience in this sector and transform into an innovative and fast-growth longevity-technology company serving the needs of the aging population,” said Jim Walesa, CEO of Clearday.

Longevity AI emerges from stealth

Tel Aviv-based digital health company Longevity AI unveiled its platform that allows hospitals, insurance providers, and other medical organizations to track and monitor the health of their patients in real-time. Longevity AI revealed that it has joined forces with KSM, the research and innovation arm of Maccabi Healthcare Services, Israel’s leading health maintenance organization, to “model the aging process and slow it down with tailored medical AI.”

Using anonymized big data resources, the partners will conduct joint research designed to help medical professionals proactively prevent chronic disease – initially focusing on cardiovascular disease, the world’s leading cause of death.

“We want to be a co-pilot for doctors – giving medical facilities the tools to communicate with their patients because they may be seeing them 10 or 20 years before they even have a condition,” said Longevity AI CEO, Guy Leitersdorf.

New longevity alliance formed

Longevity companies NADclinic Group, BioStarks and Do Not Age have joined forces to develop innovative solutions that combine cutting edge diagnostics, therapeutics and longevity focused supplements and nutraceuticals.

With a focus on optimizing health, performance and longevity, the tri-party alliance is set to invest dedicated resources into longevity research. The alliance’s key objective to increase average lifespans and enhance overall healthspan for their customers and it hopes to become a world leader in optimizing human performance, placing consistent accurate testing at the core of its programs and business philosophy.

“As the world’s population continues to age, the alliance recognises the urgency of addressing the associated health challenges that come with senescence,” said NADclinic CEO, Iain de Havilland. “Our consolidated partnership will leverage the latest therapies, technology, and social strategies to help individuals lead optimal, healthier lives, with diagnostics and hyper-personalisation at the forefront of our collective strategy.”

Fountain Life COO on master-planned communities

Following the opening of its latest clinic, the COO of preventive health company Fountain Life explains how to create innovative healthcare destinations by partnering with real estate developers, hospitality management companies and other wellness-oriented businesses. Fountain Life aims to create a spa-like experience that is seamlessly interwoven with cutting edge tech that delivers precision diagnostic testing, and where prevention and healthspan are as much key tenets of the community as green spaces and well-designed layouts.

“Fountain Life has partnered with Tavistock on its Lake Nona center in Florida, and one of the reasons we partner so well with Tavistock, and the other mixed use live-work-play communities, is that Fountain Life is the perfect complement to everything they have going on,” says Fountain’s Shawn Buchheit. “What we do is on the front end – early detection, optimization of longevity, etc. We can leverage the ecosystem to facilitate that journey.”