Meet the investor: Sergey Young

Founding partner of Longevity Vision Fund

Longevity Vision Fund (LVF) is a $100 million venture capital fund investing in growth stages.

Longevity investments made

LVF has grown its portfolio to 18 companies that are leaders in their respective technology verticals. Our sector focus has two components: therapeutic platforms targeting the underlying causes of aging (gene therapy and editing, organ and tissue regeneration) and broader AI-enabled health tech supporting healthy life extension in general (AI in drug discovery, MedTech, and early-stage diagnostics).

Notable investments:

Tessera Therapeutics is pioneering gene writing, a new category of genome engineering technology designed to make every type of modification to human DNA, enabling cures for nearly every genetic disease. Its technology is capable to write an entire gene, overcoming critical limitations of gene therapy and gene editors like CRISPR.

Biolinq is a leading wearable biosensor platform based on a needle-free transdermal biosensor patch that is able to continuously measure blood biochemistry (including glucose, as well as potential multiple other analytes) without coming into contact with blood.

LyGenesis is an organ regeneration company that enables patients’ own lymph nodes to be used as bioreactors to regrow functioning organs within the body. LyGenesis’ liver regeneration program, which advanced to Phase 2a clinical trials, can upend organ shortage and transplantation problems by leveraging a single donated organ to treat up to 75 patients.

Why do you invest in longevity?

We are living at a unique time when the combination of science and technology can:

  • Accelerate drug development and hence reduce the cost of future treatments by a factor of 10-20.
  • Treat previously untreatable diseases – from rare genetic diseases to widespread cancer.
  • Slow down aging and potentially even reverse it.

The LVF team aim to be first movers in the field of longevity to help advance life extension innovations and investments at a much bigger scale than before. We have defined a differentiated and de-risked investment strategy that allows us to invest in validated scientific concepts with viable business models and a clear path to FDA approvals, as well as IPOs.

What areas of longevity are you most excited about?

First – gene therapy and editing. While it was initially targeted to rare diseases for proof of concept, rare diseases combined are not that rare – more than 300 million people have them. Today, therapeutic applications are moving to more widespread chronic diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases, which in total account for more than 50% of deaths over the age 50.

Second – organ and tissue regeneration. In the near future, organs will be bio-printed or grown inside patients’ own bodies. This will help treat a number of life-threatening conditions such as kidney and liver diseases, which in total represent over 80% of all organ transplantation procedures.

Third – AI drug discovery. It is speeding up the process of designing new drugs from several years to just a few months. A great example is our portfolio company Insilico Medicine, which has proven that its AI platform can design and validate a new drug candidate in under two months. This process could take big pharma companies 2-3 years without the use of such technology.

If you could change one thing about the longevity industry, what would it be?

I think one of the major bottlenecks is education. The science of aging is not broadly taught at medical universities. Therefore, there’s a lack of talent in this subject matter in the first place.

If more scientists and medical professionals specialized in the biology of aging and longevity medicine, there would be a positive impact on the healthcare system overall. There would also be an impact on policies that would begin to recognize aging as a disease (or at least a major risk factor), inspire innovation, and attract more investment capital to the field.

What is your personal longevity regime?

My personal longevity choices fit into 5 ‘buckets’ that are also part of my pro-bono corporate longevity program – Longevity @ Work – which I have been advising on and helping to implement at large corporations and institutions:

  1. Prevention of a disease is far more effective than its cure/treatment. Make sure to get comprehensive annual health check-ups and track your own health and physical activity with the help of modern wearables.
  2. Quit bad habits such as smoking, proven to shorten lifespan by at least 10 years.
  3. Proper nutrition is one of the key pillars of longevity. Follow a primarily plant-based diet, with caloric intake reduced by 15-25% from your usual eating habits – and practice intermittent fasting.
  4. Stay active with at least 10,000 steps per day, as well as regular and diverse work-outs and physical activities.
  5. Proper sleep and a positive mindset is important for health and longevity. Use gadgets to track and optimize your sleep and practice meditation.