Greetings from age1 Longevity Venture Capital - Ask Me Anything!

A bit of a meta post, but some of you may have seen my username on this forum a few times. I think it’d be appropriate to share at this point that I’m Alex Kesin, a venture fellow at age1 – the spinout of Laura Deming’s Longevity Fund which launched in September 2023. Been stalking for a little over a year now and I have to say: I love this place! It’s been a really nice source of insight for me and I’ve always had pleasant conversations with members here.

Excited to share also that we’ll soon putting out more content in both video and written form - I’d be eager to hear what topics have been interesting y’all lately so we could take note of what to cover later this year! (Maybe this could be a bit of an AMA about the fund too if you are all curious, I know we’ve been a bit quiet online haha)


Hi Alex, and we welcome Age1 to the site. I’m really glad that you are finding the site interesting and helpful. I’m sure I speak for most of us here when I say we love what you guys are doing, and are watching closely to see where you are investing to see what new things may be coming down the pipe.

I’ll jump in with a quick and simple question because its currently very topical as the ITP annual round of submissions is ending in a month.

Last year you posted a great paper / Submission to the NIA ITP program on the idea of testing the semaglutide in the ITP. See here: Questions for Dr. Richard Miller (Summer 2023) - #63 by invivo

How did that submission go exactly? Did they give you much feedback on the submission? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think it got accepted. Did they give you a reason why? Did they give you any other guidance on ITP submissions?


The semaglutide proposal was indeed denied, to my dismay :sob: The gist of why it wasn’t accepted was 1) the ITP’s fear of the mouse C-cell thyroid tumor literature, 2) the difficult logistics of getting an oral formulation of semaglutide, and 3) the lack of evidence for semaglutide extending lifespan in mice.

A real shame imo! I certainly thought the data were compelling for it. Maybe we would have been better off submitting a DPP-4 inhibitor instead.


Thanks. Also - for anyone who is new to Age1, they are the leading Longevity-focused startup investor in the US (ok, they may also be the only one, but thats quibbling. Update: Actually there are a handful of funds like age1… like Cambrian, Longevity Vision Fund, Healthspan Capital, etc.) It is a new market segment, and Longevity biotech is hot right now as all the cover stories in the Economist, Businessweek, etc. demonstrate. There is even a course at Stanford University on the emerging market for longevity venture capital.

They’ve invested in many companies we’ve talked about here in the forums in the past… including Loyal for Dogs, Fauna Biotech, Navitor (one of the “next rapamycin” companies), and Unity (the senolytics company).

They have a company blog where they talk more about their focus and what they are doing… its a good read, here:

While most of us here are focused on the actionable things we can do right now to extend our healthy aging, investors like Age1 are focused on the next thing… the new products and biotechnologies that will be available (if the R&D efforts are successful) in the next 3 to 5, to 7 years. So getting their feedback on current longevity drug and therapies that are just starting to become real, would be really interesting because it gives us a bit of a look at the near future.


Hey Everyone, I’ve been chatting with Alex back channel, and he and some of his colleagues at age1 are willing to do an AMA (Ask Me Anything) with us over the next few days, which I think is a great opportunity for us to learn a little more about longevity technologies and the market that is developing for therapies.

For those of us here who may be unfamiliar with age1, we did a bit of a story on their launch a while back - so I recommend you read it here as a backgrounder: New Venture Firm Age1 Raises $35 Million Toward Early-Stage Longevity Fund

Also, in that thread are some links to recent interviews with age1 partner Alex Collville, which you may want to listen to, to understand their firm’s perspective on the market, and not duplicate questions he’s already answered:


Catalyzing moonshots in longevity biotech (Alex Colville, Age1)


Of course I’m interested in emerging technologies and compounds. I’m hopeful but not waiting. I’m hoping someone or 10 smart companies are working on the following

  • “digital twin” idea from scientific wellness (Nathan Price is now at Thorne working on this)
  • tracking my personal biomarkers over time to continually reprioritize my efforts (a better version of inside tracker or self decode)
  • access to expert advice and off label meds (like but with the above)

Good questions!

Our investment thesis is more in line with working in the world of therapeutics - i.e. supporting companies developing medicines to delay, replace, restore, or pause the aging process.

What you’re hinting at is more along the lines of consumer health - which is great in it’s own right! I for example love my Apple Watch and find its health insights really helpful for tracking my HR & sleep patterns.

-Alex Kesin

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I am pleased to see you engaging in this forum.

There is a lot of whinging that goes on about the FDA. However, realistically if we are looking for therapies and particularly combinations that work for Homo Sapiens then biohacking with multiple N=1 experimentation is a practical and evidence based mechanism for finding solutions. (which does not require a change in FDA policy)

I have spoken to various people about this, but there has been a general disregard for biohackers with a greater enthusiam for trying to get lots of healthy mice.

Now I don’t argue that there is no scientific value in animal experiments, but if we wish to actually improve human health rather than try to restrain any one disease then that is unlikely to be a single intervention (much that I think citrate has a lot going for it and Rapamycin as well).

My own protocol has apart from Rapamycin and Citrate over 15 HDAC inhibitors and over 14 AMPK activators as well as ATP boosters and other interventions.

Trying to do this with animal testing to identify optimal or even improved combinations would be very time consuming or expensive. However, there are enthusiastic self-experimenters willing to try out reasonably argued interventions simply because they would like to be healthier.

If we even just take the issue of Rapamycin there are dosing timing questions, dosing amount questions and accelerator (Grapefruit/Pomelo) questions.

Intelligent scientific self testers who keep good records are a useful way of finding some answers.


If someone from this forum passes the age of 120 (looking at you @desertshores ) then people will take self-experimenters more serious. Until then we are (rightfully so?) considered a bunch of anxious people taking medication off-label in the hopes of finding the holy grail of anti-aging.


To dovetail off what John is saying, Alex, how do you think the biohacker community at large can help move the industry forward faster? Are there things that we do here (or can or could do here) that might help your efforts in the longevity biotech arena? Does the data that people present here and n of 1, cases, provide any value to your type of firm? (in aggregate and as early leading indicators, for example).

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I recognise there is truth in what you say. I am myself quite surprised at what changes I have been able to make over the past few years. Much that I have a white bushy beard a lot of function changes have occurred.

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Those changes are too small to be significant. What I’m talking about is something undeniable, like visibly becoming younger over just a few years of treatment.

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This is a useful discussion.

What changes are you referring to.

Why are they not material?

Like some already healthy 80 year old suddenly having the performance of a healthy 30 year old.


Yes, but this appears to be about me not some random 80 year old.

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It wasn’t about you, but if I may give honest feedback.
From your pictures, you certainly lost weight and gained some new black hairs. But if your treatment was THE silverbullet for aging, you should look physically younger which you don’t. With dutasteride, minoxidil and tretinoin you would’ve likely recovered far more black hair and gotten rid of some of the wrinkles over a period of 4 years than with your current treatment.


What I enjoy about this forum is the openness to investigate interesting science that is often critically overlooked - just take rapamycin for example :wink:

I’d say the usual discussions regarding sharing papers about interesting drugs, pathways is very helpful!! Nuanced dialogue about early leading indicators is always useful too.

-Alex K


The really interesting approaches are those that promise one-shot, top-down rejuvenation:

  1. Michael Levin – He’s done a lot with regrowth of limbs and other amazing bioelectrical phenomena. His work with planaria reveals that their genome is full of garbage but that doesn’t affect them. Bioelectricity is the primary determiner of the physical form of that species. Maybe it would work in humans too, and bioelectricity could be the means of directing the body to rejuvenate.

  2. Harold Katcher – E5 rejuvenated old rats by several measures. He speculated that, if it worked in humans, a treatment could last several years then the next could set time back for another several years, and so on. Maybe a combination of E5 and plasma dilution could reduce the volume of E5 needed, thus making it more commercially practical.

  3. David Sinclair - He and others have rejuvenated mice, without cancerous side effects, using intermittent application of all four of the Yamanaka factors, or by application of three of them.

  4. George Church and Noah Davidsohn – They have used genetic modification to rejuvenate cells, delivering to specific cells via virus and other methods. There is the possibility of finding types of cells that, once rejuvenated, will modify all the rest of the cells in the body.

Those are some categories that occur to me at the moment, but there are bound to be more. Rapamycin, supplements and healthy lifestyles can keep us propped up while we’re waiting for a real one-shot, top-down rejuvenation treatment. Brought to market, no piece-meal interventions could survive in its shadow. Forgive me for stating the obvious.


@invivo the list of efforts/projects by @argonaut above are what have gotten people very excited here. Are you guys invested in any companies working in these areas?
Do you have a feel for the timeline for any of these projects above to actually get to market (if all goes well)?

Also - some other random questions:

  1. What is the typical size of your investments? Are you guys only seed and series A focused? From an investment perspective, how much of your focus is SF Bay Area, vs. other areas? Do you see other geographic areas becoming more active in the longevity biotech startup space?

  2. What does your company think of mitochondrial transplantation as a general area of rejuvenation? Is that a general area that you guys are bullish on? Or is the science still too early?

  3. What companies in the longevity biotech industry, broadly speaking, do you think are likely to introduce products to market in the next few years? From the sounds of things - it seems likely that Loyal is targeting 2026 for their dog IGF-1 lowering product, and BioAge sounds like they may be out in a couple of years with their muscle / sarcopenia drug in a similar timeframe if all goes well. Are there other ones you’ve heard of that look interesting and perhaps available in the next three years?

  4. What is the general thinking inside your company about off-shore projects like Minicircle and the Follistatin / plasmid gene therapy? Do you think that off-shore approaches are more likely in the industry, do you think it will speed up delivery of safe and effective longevity products? Or do you guys see it as too risky and potentially a black eye for the industry if something goes horribly wrong and someone gets seriously injured or dies in these types of projects?

  5. Are you hearing any rumors about progress or lack thereof (or is it far too early) in Altos labs? How about Calico and ISRIB, or other molecules? Calico seems like a very slow beast and most people I’ve talked to have written them off, but are there other opinions out there I’m not hearing?

  6. What is your company’s take on the issue of the FDA and the lack of “Aging” as a condition that they recognize as an endpoint to target. Does your company think that this is, or is not, a factor in slowing the approval of new drugs targeting aging? Or is the current approach of targeting an age-related disorder (e.g. muscle wasting / sarcopenia, cancer, etc.) fine and is a reasonable path to get FDA approval?

  7. I know that Alex Colville worked in a family office previously. Does he have any insights into why the projects like TAME (Targeting Aging with Metformin) clinical trial are having such a difficult time getting funding from high net worth individuals interested in aging, or a similar type of project on rapamycin? Is it just that its not likely to have as big an impact on longevity compared to the moonshots that Altos and others are doing? Or is the lack of a financial return a key issue?

  8. I know that most of your team is probably under 30 years old, but is anyone on your team doing anything interesting in the way of personal longevity efforts, and willing to share them?


@invivo , I see that your background is partly in data science. Do you (and your people at your company) see opportunities for Biohackers to contribute to speeding the progress in the longevity field?

I’m wondering if there is a missed opportunity right now via Biohackers like the people here, but somehow aggregating better / cleaner data in a controlled fashion so that we can get more data and then work with longevity researchers (academic groups) that can parse out what the real benefits or downsides are of the compounds / drugs that people are taking and using.

I’ve thought about doing a proposal to Hevolution fund for a Biohacker’s Longevity App that allows you to easily track your results (i.e. data from Fitbit/oura/GCM, etc.) , and your interventions (longevity oriented supplements, drugs, therapies like plasmapheresis, etc.).

I’m thinking that over time, with enough people, it might gain some meaningful data. I spoke with Andrea Maier (NUS) at the recent Longevity Summit and she liked the idea and was interested in partnering. But I’m still unsure about it… and I don’t have the time right now, but it seems like a reasonable way to go, given our constrains in this market segment. I’ve done an app like this for a Pharma company looking to validate real-world outcomes on a new drug (Patient reported outcomes are a big thing for the FDA; they want to see a measurable improvement in quality of life for patients, so this type of app was going to be very helpful for them, and I think the same is true broadly across the Pharma industry). We could integrate these forums right into the app, so it would be an app that you interact with frequently.

Do you see much potential value for data like that - or is your impression that the data from biohackers is too dirty, too many compounds being used, too many confounding variables…?

We’ve done polls in the past of people here to get some data, but obviously this is a less than ideal approach to tracking people. Ideally you’d want longitudinal data over a 2 to 5 year period, with the ability to track changes to a given person’s regimen, and outcomes over time.