Inspired by British billionaire Jim Mellon, chairman of anti-aging upstart biotech venture Juvenescence, Sergey Young unveiled a $100 million fund on Monday to catalyze the development of a comprehensive solution to counteract the damaging consequences of aging.
“I’ve never looked like my age…and with my name, I think it was predetermined that I was going to work in the space (of aging),” Young told Endpoints News. The 47-year-old considers himself a product of Peter Diamandis — the man behind the non-profit XPRIZE and venture capital fund BOLD Capital Partners — and is in charge of all things longevity at both organizations.
Like Mellon, who penned Juvenescence: Investing in the Age of Longevity prior to the launch of the company Juvenescence, Young is in the embryonic stage of writing his own book designed to decode the science of aging for the masses. Meanwhile, his $100 million Longevity Vision Fund will back organizations who are working on technology to reverse the aging process and prolong healthy human life.
“Adding 20 to 30 healthy years on a person’s life is likely to be the largest market opportunity on earth. The convergence of Genome Sequencing, AI & Cellular Medicine will enable breakthroughs that will make 100 years old the new 60. I’m proud through our BOLD Capital partnership to support Sergey Young and the Longevity Vision Fund,” Peter Diamandis said in a statement.
Young did not disclose the deals his fund is currently exploring but laid out the areas he is interested in pursuing.
“We are currently working on 6 deals…and are looking at all the usual suspects in terms of themes” he said. These areas include early detection of serious diseases using ultrasound technology; early diagnostics for heart, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases; stem-cell and microbiome-based therapeutics; and big data as well as AI-based applications.
Unsurprisingly, Young is in dialogue with Alex Zhavoronkov’s AI shop at Insilico Medicine. Zhavoronkov has deep connections in the R&D space — last year he raised funds at the behest of Shanghai high-flyer WuXi AppTec, Singapore’s Temasek, Peter Diamandis and Juvenescence.
“We do plan to participate in the next round of funding to become a shareholder of Insilico,” Young said. It is a mutual appreciation society here at the Longevity Leaders Congress in London, where Zhavoronkov is heard introducing Young as a visionary fund manager to a conference attendee. Young, Zhavoronkov, Mellon and a host of others high-profile C-suite regulars involved in aging R&D have flocked to a hotel near the renowned St Paul’s Cathedral to discuss recent developments in anti-aging. In the first keynote panel of the day, vice president of Juvenescence-backed AgeX Aubrey de Grey ambitiously claims that that longevity space will eventually “dwarf the dotcom boom.”
But more funding is necessary, Zhavoronkov told Endpoints News at the conference. Other than Google’s anti-aging biotech Calico that has seen a large influx of funds, the field of anti-aging is ripe for investment, he said.
For long-time investor and venture capitalist Young, who has insight into the aging R&D effort within the US and to a lesser extent in the UK, China and India’s sizable populations pose compelling prospects for deals for his fund.
“In the next decade, advancements will allow us to be a lot more predictive and preventative in the most damaging diseases,” he said. “I’m thinking AI-enabled medicine will empower doctors…technological advances to improve sleeping and meditation will emerge — and these are an essential part of a healthy, long life, along with a plant-based diet.”