| December 6, 2018

Life Biosciences: HealthCare Startup Tackling Aging

Biotechnology is an exciting field that uses biological systems to make technological advances. Companies around the world are developing new biotech tools for solving multiple health problems. In particular, the growing field of longevity research has become popular with healthcare startups that are tackling this area.

What is Life Biosciences?

Life Biosciences  is a healthcare startup based in Boston, Massachusetts that is taking a new approach to tackle the length of human life. They hope to dominate the drug maker industry that focuses on slowing down the process of aging. Ultimately, they plan to attack aging itself since aging is linked to several illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s and heart disease.

Co-founders David Sinclair, Chairman of Life Biosciences, and Tristan Edwards, Harvard researcher, are on a mission to “take on aging” with their healthcare technology

Edwards has a professional background in senior investment roles and brings extensive global financial capital markets into this business. Sinclair, on the other hand, specializes in artificial intelligence (AI), Aging Research, Longevity Research, and Biotechnology. Edwards moved to Boston with his family three years after meeting Sinclair where they engineered a “land grab” of researchers around the globe.

They publicly launched their company, Life Biosciences, in April of 2017 and have six subsidiaries across four continents.

How are they tackling aging?

Similar to Insilico, a company using deep learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to battle aging, Life Biosciences also addresses the complexity of aging by incorporating multiple differing companies into their business model (below). They are made up of a family of companies working towards a common goal: making life longer and better.

They are tackling eight hallmarks of aging including:

  1.     Mitochondrial Dysfunction
  2.     Altered Communication and Inflammation
  3.     Chromosomal Instability
  4.     Cellular Senescence
  5.     Loss of Proteostasis
  6.     Epigenetic Alterations
  7.     Stem Cell Exhaustion
  8.     Metabolism

By incorporating these areas into their research, they plan to increase life expectancy by targeting aging itself. Life Biosciences hopes to create longevity medicine that will treat the causes of aging while simultaneously targeting all aging-related diseases. Some of these diseases include: diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and macular degeneration.

Business Model

Life Biosciences has a unique model that involves setting up individual Daughter companies that independently and collaboratively conduct research . Each of these companies focuses on different aspects of slowing down the aging process on a cellular level.

Life Biosciences is the first and largest company committed to developing technologies and medicines for aging from all different aspects through their various companies.

Overview of the companies:

Senolytic Therapeutics: is developing new technologies to target “zombie” senescent cells that will allow stem cells to expand and renew tissues.

Jumpstart Fertlity, Inc: develops medicines to help improve cell quality and restore fertility in women. They are also focused on preventing DNA damage by reversing aging to help produce healthy, viable eggs.

Continuum Biosciences: is developing new molecules to help restore the metabolic engines of aging cells by reducing the damage done from free-radicals.

Animal Biosciences: researching new compounds to help prolong the youthful look of four-legged friends.

Spotlight Biosciences: is working on new technologies to enable the identification of novel peptides relevant to treating human diseases and aging.

Life Lab: serves as the company’s laboratory for executing studies to derive critical data. It is made up of a core team to help design, execute, and analyze various different studies.

LifeAI: helps to deliver data between consumers and caregivers. The platform allows the company to identify biomarkers and advance this research.

Lua: offers technology that seeks to improve medical service delivery by allowing consumers to interact securely through direct messaging and tele-conferencing about patient outcomes.

For more information about the companies, click here.

Reprogramming Biological Pathways

Nir Barzilai, Chief Medical Consultant of Life Biosciences and Director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York said that by reprogramming biological pathways, “You can change two or three of these [pathways] and impact aging significantly” (Nir Barzilai).

Senolytic Therapeutics Inc. and Jumpstart Fertility are two current Life Biosciences’ companies that were acquired at a very early stage. Others created in-house include: Continuum Biosciences, Animal Biosciences, Spotlight Bio, and LifeLab.

These companies focus on at least one area related to aging with the help of centralized communications platforms, LifeAI and Lua. LifeAI optimizes the scientific research and development that allows the company to identify drug targets and biomarkers. Lua aims to improve medical service delivery between the consumer and caregivers.  

How does Life Biosciences differ from other longevity healthcare startups?

Some heavily funded healthcare startups such as Unity Biotechnology focus primarily on just one aging-related disease, such as osteoarthritis. For instance, Unity Biotechnology is focused on killing senescent cells (i.e., dying cells that increase in the tissues of your body as you age). These cells build up in the body and contribute to various health problems that are related to achy joints, memory loss problems, loss of vision, and other effects related to aging.

In contrast, Life Biosciences approaches longevity from many different aspects. They aspire to own all the best aging research, drugs, and financing opportunities.

Investments in Longevity Research

Dozen of other ventures are competing in longevity research, including Unity Biotechnology a company funded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Many aging billionaires, such as Bill Gates and Google co-founder Larry Page are also investing in longevity research companies.

Life Biosciences is currently completing its second funding round, but has not disclosed how much money they have raised.

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Future of Life Biosciences

Life Biosciences wants to secure more financing, find more talented researchers, and improve their clinical strategy. By slowing doing the aging process that affects everyone, the company believes it will change the lives of billions.

They hope to target the cause of several diseases, including Alzheimer’s, that are due to aging. With their many different companies and technology, they hope to make progress in the field of longevity research.

 


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