Highlights from the 2023 Longevity Summit

Here are some highlights from the conference, including some slides from the company presentations I found most interesting and potentially helpful in aging and longevity.

Note, unless otherwise mentioned, you should expect that most of these companies are fund-raising these days. Accredited investors writing large checks, and venture capitalists should definitely contact these companies if they are interested in this area; I think these companies have the potential to really move the needle in longevity biotech. Each of the companies below have already had their seed or series A round, and are planning additional funding.

Note: if you just want to view the slides easily, you can click on any of the images to make it larger, then arrows on the left and right of the image will allow you to navigate through the entire set of images.

Morning at the Buck Institute and the future is bright:

The Buck: https://www.buckinstitute.org

Oviva Therapeutics

https://www.ovivatx.com

The company Oviva is a biotech startup that is focused on extending the healthy fertility of women, as well as ovarian function for healthier longevity. The company seems well on its way, and could really help improve women’s health in many important areas. Following is a highlight of their presentation.

A conversation that came up at the conference in the Q&A with some of the speakers. We hear a lot about all these billionaire guys who are investing in longevity. Why are there no women billionaires (think MacKenzie Scott, Laurene Powell Jobs, etc.) investing in female longevity? They need to start!








BioLumen

https://biolumen.tech

Buy their product here: https://www.monchmonch.shop

Robert Lustig was presenting on Biolumen’s unique type of fiber supplement. One thing I discovered was that Biolumen is already selling their product, and that it is really competitive with some of the products like Acarbose that help manage blood sugar peaks. I will report back when I find out how to purchase their product, because its not obvious from their website that they are selling it. (Note: I’ve found it, here is their site for buying the product: https://www.monchmonch.shop )

I really like the look of the product, and think the company will be successful (they are currently fund raising, for a series A). Robert said their product has tested better than Inulin for SCFA production, and much better than Acarbose, in that it causes no Gastro intestinal issues. I look forward to trying it and reporting on it in the future.





Mitrix

Perhaps the most interesting slide in the Mitrix presentation was the Age Reversal slide where they talked about how administering their new mitochondria to mice resulted in significant rejuvenation effects, with youthful hair growth, better cognitive performance, etc. Exciting results! See the second to last slide below from Mitrix.









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Thank you so much for taking the time to post these for us! I’m really grateful to be a part of this community🙏

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I especially look forward to the Biolumen product, as I am always looking to futher stabilize my blood sugar. I hope Mitrix can move development along quickly.

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More updates from the conference:

Rubedo Life Sciences

Rubedo is doing extremely interesting things in the senolytics market, and they are raising a round of funding right now (so if you’re a serious investor/venture capitalist interested in senolytics, I recommend you give them a call).

The reason I think Rubedo may be interesting to the people here in the forum is because of their message on how the understanding of senescent cells and senolytics has changed over the past few years; since the early days and early research done by James Kirkland. In fact this was the key Message Marco Quarta spent most of his presentation covering.

The researchers realize that the hope for a universal marker for senescent cells, and therefore a universal senolytic (or mix of senolytics, as Kirkland has done) is really seen as a historical fantasy. We’ve seen many instances of the problems companies have had in developing senolytic therapies, as demonstrated most recently by Unity Biotech, which has struggled to get a product that works.

Now the understanding (as conveyed in many points in this presentation by CEO Marco Quarta of Rubedo, is that the world of scenescent cells is now recognized by its complexity and heterogeneity. The companies are now recognizing that there are different scenescent cell types unique to different tissues, different cell types and different diseases. Its much more complex than was hoped for in the early and simple days of Kirkland’s early research.

The hope that by taking Dasatinib and Fisetin to clear out your senolytic cells every year or two as you get older, really has been supplanted by the belief that there will likely be uniquely targeted senolytics developed for different tissue and cell types, and used in different disease types.

Here are a few slides from Marco’s presentation that convey the message above:

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OneSkin

Allesandra Zonari, Chief Scientific Officer for OneSkin, gave a pretty standard overview of OneSkin’s technology, products and test results. I don’t think this has changed much in the past year or so. The company seems to be doing well (no fund raising planned), the products (they now have 4 products) have been well received and are selling well, and the entire team seems to be enjoying their new lives in San Francisco, where OneSkin is based now (having moved from Brazil).

What I found interesting was some of the information conveyed in discussions I had with Allesandra after the presentation that I think people may be interested in, because of the frequent discussions around skin and hair health here.

I asked her briefly what her opinion on use of tretinoin/Retin A products and the potential for stem cell exhaustion (because tretinoin ramps up the skin cell turnover) and whether that might be a problem. She said she was concerned about this, and especially among younger women aged 20 or so who might be using it for many decades. She was less concerned about use in older people.

OneSkin has identified some new peptides that seem to be very helpful in growing hair, so they are now investigating that as a new product area, so if that early research is validated in small clinical studies, we seem likely to see a product in this area in the next year or two.

I also asked Allesandra about their research they published on their OS1/Peptide 14 in which they also tested Rapamycin and compared results. We’ve discussed this in the past on the forums, but I had not had a chance to talk to the founders about the research.

Of course, they just picked a rapamycin cream solution formulation that had been published in previous research (and made no attempt to see what the optimal dosing level for rapamycin in skin aging might be, as should be expected). This was an in vitro test also, so its not clear exactly how close the results would have been in an invivo / human study.

The rapamycin, as was used in the dose level specified, resulted in a reduction of skin senescent cells that was approximately the same as was seen with the OS-1/Peptide 14 product from OneSkin.

Additionally, Rapamycin reduced the biological age of the skin samples by about 2 years, compared to a 2.5 year reduction in biological age by the OS-1 Peptide (they used some skin biological clock measures, I’m not sure how well-validated those clocks are).

The biggest difference between the OS-1 Peptide and the rapamycin skin cream was (as might be expected) was that the Peptide OS1/Pep14 resulted in growth of collagen and epidural thickness. Rapamycin did not do this, but rapamycin is a compound that slows cell division and growth, so of course rapamycin would not be expected to do this.

Given the recent and ongoing research into the heterogeneity of senescent cells, it seems reasonable to expect that the OS-1 peptide and rapamycin topical cream would target different types of senescent cells (they are very different types of compound after all) and I’m thinking that the best solution today for improving the biological age (and slowing senescence) would likely be to combine both approaches.

That is, use the OneSkin OS-1 product which reduces inflammation, and senescent cells, and helps increase collagen and epidermis thickness, but also use rapamycin cream (with other potential senolytics like dasatinib, etc. to help reduce further the senescent cell burden, and inflammation. So, thats the approach I’m planning to take.

Related discussions:

Here: Reversing Skin Aging at the Cellular Level (Carolina Reis Oliveira and Alessandra Zonari, OneSkin)
Here: How to Reverse Skin Aging - #78 by AlexKChen
Here: Senolytics Topically Administered to Skin for Antiaging Effects
Here: Rapamycin May Slow Skin Aging (Drexel U. Study)
Here: DIY Rapamycin skin cream












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they are all from Brazil which is kind of interesting. I am waiting for Gisele’s endorsement. It is used and touted by David Sinclair.

I’m up for trying OneSkin on my face and hands. Has anyone here tried it? I’ll use it in combo with my homemade rapamycin skin cream. Justed ordered.

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Renewal Bio

Probably the most talked about presentation on Day 2 of the Longevity Summit, and the most interesting and science fiction-like development, was the RenewalBio presentation done by Omri Dori.

This new company is based on stem cell science done by Jacob Hanna of the Whitehead Institute in Boston, and some other in-licensed intellectual property.

The analogy used by Omri was that of a house (or cars). We see around the world (especially in Europe) many houses that can last 200, 300 or even 500 years. Its not because the entire house lasts that long from initial build, its because we are gradually fixing, repairing and replacing things on that house to make it last much, much longer. He suggests that his company is taking a similar approach to longevity.

The company uses artificial uteruses to grow embryos (from adult stem cells, so these are new embryos created without sperm and egg cells), which they put into artificial uteruses (still very much a developing field) to grow the synthetic embryos, or what they call a “stembroid” for a number of days letting it develop “naturally”, so as to have the cell develop into the normal array of tissue types and even organs.

Omri mentioned that someone in the group had presented their research to a group of religious experts and since there is no sperm/egg used in the entire process, there was (from a religious perspective) no “life” in these “synthetic embryos”.

In the more immediate future, these cells could then be used for autologous HSC transplants, such as are needed in Leukemia, and many other illnesses.

Its fascinating science and vast potential to help people live healthier, longer lives. The limit for this approach (leveraging natural process to “grow” emryos, and even entirely new organs, etc. is, as Omri suggested in his talk, more limited by the “Overton Window”. (what society / government considers acceptable today) than any technical limitation.














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Yes, I’ve been using it since it launched and it made a huge difference for me. I use all of their products now, but it is pricey. I think you can use it for a month or two, then use it less frequently as you’ll see the most effect after about the first month.

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WOW. This is pretty incredible.

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Thanks for the great information and for bringing Longevity Summit to all us that couldn’t attend.

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Vincere Biosciences

Vincere Biosciences is another mitochondria-oriented startup doing extremely interesting work. Spring Behrouz, PHD did an superb presentation on the company’s Mitophagy promoting drug they are working on. The concept here is that as you get older your body’s ability to trigger mitochondrial autophagy degrades, so you have these poorly working mitochondria lying around doing little, but using energy and slowing healing, contributing to disease, etc. Their candidate drug helps trigger autophagy in these damaged mitochondria (but not in the well-functioning mitochondria) and this allows the cells and organs to function better, heal better, and reduces disease risk and disease processes. It even helps (mice) live longer.







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Are you looking to fund clinical trials for this?

Are you talking about Vincere BioSciences?
They are getting close to human clinical trials.

I forget what their funding status is. Most of the companies at the conference are startups and extra funding right now is good (because its a bit of a “nuclear winter” in biotech funding right now broadly… VCs have pulled back on their biotech investments this year. But I think the Longevity segment is better than most Biotech segments in this regard.

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Fauna Bio

I love what this company is doing… so many fascinating “features” have evolved in other mammals that would be great in humans (in my opinion), or benefit people in disease conditions.

Ashley Zehnder covered their research in the 13-lined ground squirrel (that hibernates in some amazing ways) in her presentation last year, which I also loved. See here for that presentation: The Longevity Summit, News & Update - #10 by RapAdmin

In this year’s presentation she mentioned they are looking at the Spiny Mouse as a model organism they may be able to learn from. The Spiny mouse has an amazing ability to regrow and regenerate many parts of their body quickly and with no scaring (rare in the mammal world).

If you sever a Spiny mouses’ spinal cord, 6 weeks later its regrowing quite well and the animal is walking again. When you do this to a lab mouse… it is of course still paralyzed and unable to walk.

Ashley’s message was that we humans have these same genes in our body as part of evolution, we just don’t express them (turn them on). So if we could learn how to turn these genes on again, we could get similar benefits and regrowth abilities.

Autotomy and tissue regeneration

All studied species of spiny mice, Acomys kempi, A. percivali, A. cahirinus, A. dimidiatus, and A. russatus, are capable of autotomic release of skin upon being captured by a predator. To date, spiny mice are the only mammals known to do so.[8] They can completely regenerate the automatically released or otherwise damaged skin tissue – regrowing hair follicles, skin, sweat glands, fur and cartilage with little or no scarring. It is believed that the corresponding regeneration genes could also function in humans.[9]

In a research article published on May 16, 2017, in eLife, a team from the University of Kentucky described the role of macrophages in epimorphic regeneration.[10] The subtype of macrophages found in African spiny mice produces a different immune response than the subtype that elicits scarring.

One of the questions Ashley got after the presentation was what about looking more broadly at other organisms that have very interesting biological adaptions. Apparently there is the African Lung fish that can lie dormant in the dry mud for years (up to a decade?), and then be revived when the water returns after a drought. Another example this questioner cited was an insect that (I think he said) could be frozen solid, and later revived. Is Fauna bio looking at those types of things for additional opportunities for learning and potential use in humans. Ashley replied that moving beyond mammals is a heavier lift than they are interested in. These organisms cited - fish and insects, are much, much further away evolutionarily from humans, so it would be much harder to translate to humans for benefit. That timeframe required for that type of R&D is far beyond the scope of a startup company (and perhaps any company).

Related Reading:















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Very provocative research, trying to tread the line of acceptable morality. I don’t believe that not being from an egg and sperm makes it more moral, but I do think how long it develops, particularly in the brain, would guide how I feel about it. I’d have additional concerns about how it is used and who owns it.

Still, I see the attraction of a stem cell or tissue bank made out of your own stem cells. I’d use it if I felt comfortable with the process.

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Good points. There are actually many discussions about these issues in the longevity science field right now.

Please give me your feedback on the following thought experiment. If the embryoid had a special gene knockout that prevented the growth of the brain above the brain stem (I suspect you need some basic brain function to keep the body operating), would you have concerns about using organs tissues or other products from the stembrio for regenerative medicine?

Let me take the thought experiment even further. How would you feel about using the entire body grown from a stembrio that comes from your adult stem cells for a possible head transplant to this new body. You can imagine that technology such as is being looked at by fauna biotechnology that allows clean regrowth of spinal cords could solve the problem of attaching a head to a new spinal column and spinal cord. How would you look at that scenario?

These are the type of conversations I’ve had with some of the biologists who are working and following this area closely.

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I would be OK with it as long as I didn’t think about it too long. :wink:

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RapAdmin. You wrote:

“The hope that by taking Dasatinib and Fisetin to clear out your senolytic cells every year or two as you get older, really has been supplanted by the belief that there will likely be uniquely targeted senolytics developed for different tissue and cell types, and used in different disease types.”

Is this statement based on your discussion with the presenter and is it is opinion or based on his research? Not trying to be snotty, just seeking clarification. Thanks

How would you feel about using the entire body grown from a stembrio that comes from your adult stem cells for a possible head transplant to this new body.

To be honest, I’d do it right now. Even though I’m not quite a senior, and in generally good health, the longevity and health advantages of, say, a 25 year old (equivalent) body would be awesome. However, I’d insist that the grown body never had a brain, although there are gray areas like the brain stem, etc. And I’d want complete legal ownership throughout the growth process.

Good questions!

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