Billionaires are Rushing to Invest in Anti-Aging Research

A number of billionaires, including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, have invested in research that could prevent and reverse the ageing process in humans.

The mysterious new start-up Altos Labs, founded by billionaire entrepreneur and tech investor Yuri Milner, is being backed by Bezos and other billionaires. The company is focusing on biological reprogramming, a technique discovered in 2006 by scientist Shinya Yamanaka, which has been proven to reduce cellular and physiological signs of ageing in living mice and extend their lifespan by an average of six weeks.

Altos Labs has also appointed American scientist Richard Klausner, the eleventh director of the US National Cancer Institute and co-founder of Juno Therapeutics and GRAIL, as its CEO. It is also pursuing “biological clock” technology pioneered by ageing researcher Steve Horvath, which makes it possible to accurately measure the age of cells or whole organisms.

Other biotech companies hoping to prolong the human lifespan through cell reprogramming include billionaire-backed AgeX Therapeutics, UK-based Shift Bioscience, and US drugmaker Life Biosciences. So far, no ageing-focused companies have seen a reprogramming-based therapy advance into clinical trials on humans.

The global anti-ageing market is predicted to skyrocket from around $191.5bn currently to a whopping $421.4bn by 2030, according to a report by P&S Intelligence. With hundreds of millions of dollars being raised by wealthy investors to fund the reprogramming field alone, the coming years could prove promising for age reversal research.

Whether a breakthrough is possible in the coming decades remains to be seen, but companies like Altos and their financial backers are making the early bet that it is. If a breakthrough is possible, it will surely herald a new paradigm in human health and a new market in life sciences with almost limitless potential.

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