Juvenescence’s Executive Chairman on demographic timebombs, the biotech mafia and ensuring founders get to participate in the upside.
It’s not long to go, now, before the Longevity Investors Conference kicks off in Switerland. One of the speakers on Day 2 of next month’s event is Dr Greg Bailey, the Executive Chairman of Juvenescence who will be presenting on Biotech Investment Opportunities.
Longevity.Technology: Just yesterday we covered the news that Serina Therapeutics and AgeX Therapeutics have entered into a merger agreement, so this is just one of the topics we were able to discuss with in a video interview Dr Bailey, who also reveals why he feels like the warm-up band for The Rolling Stones. We also found out about the relaunch of Cognitive Switch, Juvenescence’s ketone ester, why embracing prevention is so important and why founder scientists and institutions need to be treated fairly. Longevity? It’s time to start it up!
Greg Bailey on…
What’s next for AgeX
The recent debt cancellation cleans AgeX’s balance sheet, continues their New York Stock Exchange listing. It positions it as a clean entity to be able to look to do other projects, which we’ve been looking at for a while, to try and find other exciting things we can bring in. We’ve made a loan to a company that we think is very, very compelling, and we are going to try and see how we can work best with this company, which is called Serina. So, I think AgeX is positioned to hopefully see the glory days of before when it was trading at $2 and $3 a share.
All options are open – we are completely focused at both companies, in Juvenescence and at AgeX, on optimizing shareholder value. So what can we do that will be most advantageous? There’s enormous excitement in the area of regeneration, and we have some technology in that area and AgeX is looking to put that into a subsidiary that we finance independently to move forward on that where the major shareholder would be the parent company. I’m excited about their exosomes program and the fact that we’re going to be in clinical trials, hopefully very soon, for Huntington’s disease with Professor Leslie Thompson.
The times, they are amazin’
To me, being able to invest right now into antiaging and modifying longevity, is exactly at the inflection point that being given the opportunity to invest in generated AI was at three or four years ago – I think it’s gonna have that sort of explosion. We’re seeing it with some of David Sinclair’s work, we’re going to see some astonishing things out of Altos and BioAge. There’s a number of companies that are doing really compelling things right now that are going to explode the space. And I’m not comparing us with the end game – I think generated AI has enormous societal changes and economics associated with it, but just as far as the trajectory of the curve for next two or three years, this, to me, is the time to invest.
If we were able to raise the $140 million that I’ve alluded to, $25 million will be dry powder to look for other things. We just think this is an extraordinary time. We have an amazing drug development team, we would have cash, and I think we would be enormously good partners for scientists or institutions that have compelling products.
Keeping it fair
My track record, whether it was Medivation or BioHaven, has always been to treat the founder scientists and institutions well. I think the founders, now, have probably taken over $2 billion off the table and the institutions are well over $1.6 billion. So, treat them fairly, let them participate in the upside, I think, has definitely been my model historically and one I think will continue with Juvenescence.
VCs are trickier than the family offices. The family offices, I think, can be more open, but the VCs think that they can do it, which may not, be a predicament for Juvenescence and it’s not necessarily a predicament for a single product company. Because the VCs will say: ‘I don’t need to invest in a platform company, I can pick off the ones I’m most excited about’. And that’s certainly been our discussion with a number of them – ‘I’ll invest in this subsidiary, but I don’t want to invest in the whole thing’.
Family offices look at things in a very different way. We talked to one of the wealthiest families in the world, and the younger generation are very, very interested in longevity. Apparently, if you have a lot of money, you want to live longer. I know this may come as a shock to some, but they’re enjoying their time here!