For anyone else living in the SF Bay area (or New York) - Loyal has some great aging science talks with local founders and scientists, etc. If you live in the Bay Area, work in biotech or related fields and like the nitty gritty science - try to check them out:
Loyal Seminar Series - next event Nov. 16th week in NY City
I attended the Sept. 29th event - the speaker was the Kristin Fortney founder of BioAge - they have three main drug targets in process right now. They use their proprietary proteomics / biomarker platform for identifying key pathways to target from longterm human blood etc. data , then look at human healthspan/lifespan data from large datasets they have gained access to, and then do drug target validation using mice, and finally they in-license de-risked drugs from the major drug companies that have been safety tested in a phase 1 clinical trial already but which did not come to market for some other reason.
Their first product, with a little luck, could be on the market in two years. When asked about their drugs in comparison to rapamycin, she suggested there are hundreds of likely targetable aging pathways that drugs will be developed for - so lots of opportunity for companies to develop new drugs and new businesses. She believes that the future will be an array of drugs that target many of these key pathways - and people will take a number of these drugs at once, so many of the drugs will be complimentary, not necessarily competitive.
One of the Loyal company employees, when I asked about how these new drugs will compete against rapamycin (and its great results in animal trials and growing human adherents) responded with another comment that I thought was very true. She said that rarely is the first drug that comes out in any given category the “best” drug. (e.g. mTOR inhibitors in the case of rapamycin, but the same could be true of statins, or many other classes of drugs).
The most effective drug is typically one of the following drugs - so being first to market is not nearly the big deal that it is in technology markets. This suggests that unlike in many disease oriented drug markets, where there is a winner take all type of mentality and market evolution, in the anti-aging drug space there will be many, many viable market segments for drugs. I can see a future where there may be 4 or 5 mTOR inhibitors that are viable, there may be another group of competitors in the senolytics market, another group of competitors in the blood glucose modulation/(SGLT2 inhibitors?) market segment, and still others in the chaperone-mediated autophagy segment of the market. And people will be able to pick and choose what combination works best for them based on their specific health concerns, their biology and the cost/effectiveness tradeoffs that will have to be made (for example, while new, and more effective mTOR inhibitors may enter the market - they will be priced very hight compared to rapamycin, so then you’ll have to decide if paying an extra $5K a month for the very best mTOR inhibitor is worth it compared to the virtually free cost of rapamycin.
And of course - in addition to small molecule drugs there will be other approaches, specifically right now the blood plasma/young blood science is evolving quickly, as is cellular rejuvenation / stem cell / Yamanaka factor therapeutic area. So all these may become available over the next decade and the mix/match/combination issues are going to be very difficult to optimize for the individual. Stay tuned…