30 August 2019

Investing in Longevity

An Australian billionaire has invested in a startup seeking to increase life expectancy

Natalia Peshkova, Forbes, 19.08.2019

The co-founder of Atlassian, one of the top 5 Australian billionaires, invested in the British biotech startup Juvenescence, hoping to find a way to increase human life expectancy. Research in this area is supported by other billionaires, including Jeff Bezos and Larry Ellison.

The British startup Juvenescence ("Youth"), working on the extension of human life, reported that during Round B it raised $ 100 million. The investors included Australian billionaire, co-founder of Atlassian IT company Mike Cannon-Brooks. He invested $10 million through his Grok Ventures fund.

Cannon-Brooks ranks fourth in the list of the richest Australians according to Forbes (215th place in the global ranking). His fortune is estimated at $6.9 billion. The round was also attended by British investor Michael Spencer, whom Forbes USA calls one of the richest businessmen in the UK (dropped out of the rating in 2009). Spencer, through his IPGL fund, invested $10 million in Juvenescence.

Juvenescence does not conduct its own developments, but strives to create a system of interconnected companies developing treatment technologies that will help strengthen people's health and prolong their lives. "We are actively looking for scientific founders exploring interesting areas of aging biology, and are working with leading research institutes to create joint ventures based on their intellectual property and our resources," the company's website says.

At the moment, Juvenescence has invested in 15 companies, including California-based AgeX Therapeutics and Fox Bio, which are working on human cell renewal technology. According to Forbes USA, the company employs about 20 scientists, pharmacists, artificial intelligence specialists and financial experts. Their activities are aimed at finding new treatments for cancer, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases and heart diseases.

Juvenescence was founded in 2016 and has since raised about $165 million from investors. The head of the company, Jim Mellon, said that the startup has already raised "more money than any similar company" and plans to continue to develop. According to the Financial Times, Juvenescence is valued at $500 million and may hold an IPO in New York next year.

Other billionaires are also investing in the development of life extension technologies, Forbes USA notes. Oracle founder Larry Ellison (seventh on the Forbes global list) has donated millions of dollars through his medical foundation to research in this area. The richest man in the world and the head of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, invested in the biotech startup Unity Biotechnology, and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, owns the research company Calico, which is trying to understand the processes that control life expectancy.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru

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