Longevity Book Guest Author
Round Table Summary
On October 13th, Longevity Book guest author, angel investor, entrepreneur and bestselling author of "The Patient as CEO: How Technology Empowers the Healthcare Consumer" joined Dmitry Kaminskiy (General Partner of Deep Knowledge Group) and several guest contributors to “Longevity industry 1.0: Defining the Biggest and Most Complex Industry in Human History”, including Kate Batz (Managing Partner of Longevity.Capital), Sergey Balsanyan (CEO of Longevity Card) and Franco Cortese (Director of Aging Analytics Agency), to moderate a discussion centered around the recent launch of the book, and several of its major topics and ideas.
In her introduction Robin noted that she has known both Kate and Dmitry separately for a number of years, and was delighted (but not exactly surprised) when she found out that Kate had left her previous career as a corporate lawyer to more actively participate in Deep Knowledge Group’s various activities within the Longevity industry, which she had been following informally for a number of years. Both being based in San Francisco, Kate and Robin frequently ran into each other at various frontier-technology focused events and meet-ups.
Meanwhile, Robin also recalled the notable level of synergy between the ideas and worldviews of herself and Dmitry Kaminskiy when she first met him at a conference a number of years ago. In her own words:
“When you work in frontier fields that go against the current status quo, and strive to push forward new paradigm shifts in established domains as complex as biomedicine and healthcare, the majority of people you meet are resistant to change, and you have to expend a lot of effort to show them why your way is the way of the future. This is why it was such a breath of fresh air when I first met Dmitry Kaminskiy, who completely got it. He had already read my book, The Patient as CEO, and given that he was already pushing forward the agenda of a paradigm shift from treatment to prevention, increasing emphasis on preventive medicine for national healthcare systems, and the practical implementation of Longevity technologies to increase Healthy Longevity not in ten years, but right now, I had to say very little to get my point across. And, given that he was an entrepreneur and venture capitalist advancing the agenda of health as new wealth, the idea of the patient as the CEO, and the individual as the manager of their own wellness, my thoughts were completely intuitive to him from the very start. Thus, when Kate approached me about writing chapters for their upcoming book, I was delighted to contribute, and I’m glad to do what I can to help such a novel and important book aiming to bring the major insights and near-future trajectory of the coming Longevity revolution to the public.”
During the discussion, the panelists discussed a wide variety of topics covered in the book, including:
Deep Knowledge Group and Longevity.Capital’s unique focus on not just traditional and well-accepted Longevity subsectors like Geroscience, Regenerative Medicine and P4 (Precision, Preventive, Personalized and Participatory) Medicine, but also its intersection with Tech and Financial sectors;
Predictions and timelines for reaching Longevity Escape Velocity, and the new norm of 120 year lifespans and 100-year healthspans;
Hype vs. Reality in the Longevity industry
The ethics of Longevity, and why the Longevity Industry’s moral implications are much clearer than many other industries, given that the natural and logical outcome of success (and profit) in the industry will be adding extra years of health, vitality and well-being for humanity;
Whether Longevity therapies will be limited to the wealthy, or whether we can expect rapid scalability and democratization similar to other technologies like smartphones
The motivations behind Dmitry Kaminskiy’s #1 million prize to the first person to celebrate their 123rd birthday
Why traditional methods of validation used in BioTech are not suitable for the Longevity Industry, and why a fundamental shift towards a more modern, sophisticated and human-centered approach to Longevity trials and testing is needed
Biomarkers of Longevity as Tangible Metrics for Investment Decision Making, InvestTech and InsurTech
How Longevity is quickly becoming a major part of national governments’ political agendas, the international race to optimize population-level Healthy Longevity, the causes behind countries that have been very successful in optimizing national healthspan (like Singapore) vs. those that have been massive unsuccessful (like the USA)
How countries will soon begin to compete with each other to become integrated Longevity MegaHubs, providing incentives to attract Longevity companies, entrepreneurs and investors into their soil, similar to countries competing to become tax havens for the wealthy in the past, and to attract HNWIs by appealing to their increasing realization that Health is the most precious asset
How COVID-19 is actually fueling Longevity industry growth, with many investors switching their attention from traditional markets like real estate and tourism toward Health-focused sectors
How underappreciated and market-ready technologies like AgeTech can have an immediate positive impact on the quality of life of the senior generation, and help transform many pressing societal and socioeconomic issues of our time from (including ageing population, senior social care, the economic burden of aging population, and COVID-19 in the elderly) from challenges into opportunities;
The rise of Longevity-focused financial institutions and instruments, including Longevity Banks, ETFs, stock exchanges and derivatives
The emerging paradigm of Health as New Wealth and Longevity as the most precious asset class, the need for new technologies to enable wealthspan extension in lockstep with healthspan extension,
The pivotal role that Longevity Banks and FinTech companies have to play in neutralizing ageism and financial exclusion and exploitation of the Silver Generation within the financial products and services industry;
Below, interested viewers and readers can find a more structured and topic-specific summary and index of major take-aways from the roundtable.
Robin Farmanfarmaian on Meeting Dmitry Kaminskiy & Kate Batz
Robin: When Kate came to me and told me about this book launch of Longevity Industry 1.0, I was so excited. I go way back with Kate because we both are working with cutting edge technologies, and we are both in Silicon Valley, so we bump into each other all the time now. I also already know Dimitry. And when she came to me I said I would absolutely love to contribute to this. We all think very similarly about cutting-edge technologies and Longevity. And so what I did is that I contributed to the FemTech chapter as well as precision medicine. When we talk about precision medicine, it is not just the treatment based on the individual necessarily. I consider personalized medicine to be a form of precision medicine when you want it, where you want it, and how you want to receive it, because it is no longer necessary to just go to a hospital to have access to things like IV medication or clinical trials -- instead of going to the ER for earache, you can now deal with it it at home, and we have the tools for that. Remember this: it’s health care when you want it, where you want it and how you want to receive it.
What Robin Farmanfarmaian Is Working On Right Now
Robin: A technology company I’ve been working with currently is called Combolytics. What they have is a supplement that will clear senescent cells. Now, if you know a lot about the Longevity Industry you probably have heard of senescent cells, and the implications of that on aging, but also on neurodegenerative disease and autoimmune disease are huge. So if you haven't heard of senescent cells - they are simply the cells that have stopped dividing. You think they just kind of sit there and do nothing, but in fact, they sit on the sidelines and scream “danger danger” to all the other cells, and that creates inflammation, so by clearing it we can actually reverse the clock.
Another company I am working on is Extherma. It is very cool because of its cutting-edge cryopreservation. Now, why you care about cryopreservation is because of things like organ transplants or cell therapy, and we are able to keep a heart at negative 5 degrees Celsius for more than 24 hours. Really big deal in the world of organ transplants, because most donor hearts go unused - about 80% -- but the big deal is Longevity. Because what is being worked on in tandem with companies like LongBio Technologies, are 3D printed or tissue-engineered vascularized organs.
So imagine at the age of 50 or even 40 or 60, switching out your heart when you need a heart because it is aging or switching out a liver because you need a new liver by using your own stem cells, and that's where cryopreservation really helps in the Longevity Industry because we can’t keep things like a backup heart for Robin a backup liver for Kate.
Some other cool companies I have worked on including things like Mindmaze which is virtual reality for brain stroke and brain injury rehabilitation, which is very cool because we are really retraining the brain in the world of virtual reality.
One last thing I want to mention, because it is very cool. There is a company called Actavalon and we had three small molecules that were discovered through machine learning. So you have been hearing about AI for drug discovery -- we did it. What we were doing is repairing p53. Now a part of the cell called p53 -- that is damaged in more than 50% of all Cancer cases. So, if you are able to get p53 back -- just to repair it -- will be able to kill the cell which causes cancer so it is the body's own way to destroy cancerous cells, so by being able to do that you can potentially cure more than 50% of all cancer.
Robin: So that's crazy right? That I am working on neuro and organ transplants and clearing senescence cells, and I have invested in things like inhaled insulin for diabetes. You know when you meet someone as absolutely crazy as I am, there has to be a back story. Of course with me, at the age of 16, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. I had 43 hospitalizations, 6 major surgeries, three organs removed by the time I was 26. This was seven years after I had my entire large intestine removed, and my doctors were all telling me that I was cured. But I wasn't, I was in extreme pain.
So after a period of time after upping my opium dose, eventually I was on 80 grams a day of methylene. This is a gigantic dose of opioids. I absolutely hated the drug. I went to my doctor and said I need to be off this medication, I don't think it is doing anything and is actually causing a lot more rebound pain. She said the next step can be to surgically implant a morphine pump into your spine. I was 26 years old and essentially a shut-in. I couldn't function and couldn't work, going to the grocery store is the hardest thing I could accomplish in the entire week and they were telling me that this was the rest of my life. I said absolutely not, so I fired my entire healthcare team.
I went home that night and dropped that methadone dose by 40% and went on to heal for a week by myself. And went on to rebuild my team with doctors and health care professionals that work with me as colleagues. This ended up helping me diagnose correctly and put me on a medication called remicade. Within 24 hours of that first dose I went to remission. Happened overnight, and that happened because I took control of my health by myself. You know, the whole patient as CEO thing. This is real. This can save your life.
Kate: We think it is extremely important to address the issue of Longevity at the government level. We have been publishing our analytical report on this since approximately 2015. These reports are open access and we really want to make a global impact in terms of changing the focus from sick care to preventive care. And as a part of that initiative we produced several reports. The one you can see here is the Global Longevity Governance Landscape where we essentially compare 50 countries in terms of their Longevity effectiveness. Factors include 200 parameters that we have to sum them up. There are several factors such as economy, politics, environment, health care and there are a bunch of other subsectors involved that are measured. And based on that, we rank the countries and can also provide recommendations on their existing situation. We are proud to actually be on the forefront of the global Longevity movement on the global level. We are amongst the co-founders of the All Party Parliamentary group in the UK Parliament. Here you can see Dimitry and a few of our colleagues on the launch date, which is May 7th, 2019, when Dmitry and Aging Analytics Agency, which is an affiliate, studied the group and we were very pleased to see that the government actually use Longevity as a very important objective and that they are committed to extend and life span and hopefully healthspan as well by at least five years. It is a government initiative.
Kate: We are also focusing on many regions and efforts including in the United States. Last year we were honored to produce a special case study on Longevity in the USA jointly with the Metabesity conference series, an original study in the United States which analysed health outcomes in the United States compared to other countries.
It is probably not a big surprise but despite the fact that the United States spends the most on healthcare which is close to 20% of GDP, unfortunately, it can not boost either the longest lifespan or the healthspan. In this diagram, you could see the leaders in life expectancy but then more importantly the US really lags behind developed countries in terms of healthspan.
So comparatively how much healthspan, essentially meaning disease-free years, do you have within your life? I think this chart sums that up pretty well because compared to Singapore it is definitely amongst the leaders in Longevity of its citizens while spending only 4.5 % of its GDP. The comparison here is such that not only do Singapore citizens live much longer, which is 80 2.9 years versus 78.5 years in the United States, but their healthspan is much longer as well.
We always try to give recommendations to various governments including the United States, in open access format, and we are very happy to contribute to these global efforts.
Kate: I would like to touch upon an open access report that was published last year and was the first analytical report that I led. It was developed for the Longevity Industry in California. It was our first regional study for the United States. We have done one for Singapore, for Switzerland, for the UK, Israel and a number of islands countries. California is one of the innovation capitals of the world if not “the”. So what we have done is, we analysed all of the top players in the field of Longevity: highlighted companies, investors, research labs, nonprofits as well as government organisations, with a focus on health and healthspan.
So we profiled these companies, this is again open access and is also an interactive mind map that accompanies the report that can tell us “Hey, look who’s working on AgeTech or NeuroTech or generic medicine.” It is actually a very cool way to visualise the report.
In terms of companies, we plotted this segmented map according to our vision of Longevity. In this, say someone is interested in AgeTech, they can see companies in that sector only, so it is very helpful. This is just a brief comparison of California versus the rest of the world in terms of key players.
Kate: And then I would like to briefly touch upon the so-called Longevity hype in Silicon Valley. As we all know and I mentioned earlier, I am anxiously waiting on Google, who promised to solve the problem by 2050. Unfortunately this likely is not the real case, however, we definitely observe a great success in significant life span expansion of model organisms, such as the worm’s average lifespan increase by five hundred percent, and mouse lifespan expansion by 24%, so there are definitely advances there.
But here is the problem: It is important to do scientific research, but we cannot ignore the fact that men are not mice and there is a huge issue of transferability of success of animal clinical results into human clinical trials. There is a staggering failure rate of over 90%. So obviously it is not working perfectly. And there is also something called the replication crisis, when even successful experiments cannot always be replicated.
Basically there is a huge discrepancy in complexity between model organisms, and humans and system biology. Machine learning needs to be used to translate the relationship across species. And the conclusion is that instead of humanized animal models, a great success will come from humanized computational models derived from animal experiments.
Our conclusion on California is that it is obviously a very important region in science, however there are many such regions globally which also focus on Longevity, but their focus is not just biomedicine or model organisms or R&D but on AgeTech and P4 medicine also.
The problem is there is such overexcitement regarding biomedicine’s success on life extension, when lifespans are extended 500% longer in model organisms, leading to investment in companies that follow that model. Then, when the corresponding results do not translate into humans, that can actually create the nuclear winter in the Longevity Industry as a whole, because the perception will be: “hey, this guy did not achieve anything in humans.”
So there are a few aspects that we would like to mention in terms of what we can actually do in human life extension. There are in our view four pillars:
Pillar 1 is the classic approach: It is an experiment with so-called model organisms. Where there is a great success, as we see, but in the end, there is this issue of transferability.
Then there is pillar 2, which is biohacking and quantified self. This is the opposite because this is people who are applying cutting edge therapies. Not always FDA approved but, actually experimenting on themselves and increasing their lifespan.
Then there is pillar 3 which is age-related disease research and is doing very well because of the advancements here, including in terms of treatment of cancer.
And finally, pillar 4 is data science and mathematical technologies for Longevity. Personally, we think this pillar holds the greatest promise. And also simultaneously it is probably one of the fields very much under the radar, which needs to be changed, because we cannot ignore the fact that the biology of aging is an extremely complex process. There is a huge amount of data, and therefore it is extremely important that everyone generate and analyze this data to get started, but it can also produce new net positive results, so our position is that the Longevity research pillar 4 will be more of a data generation problem of aggregation, generation and analysis more than anything else.
In terms of prognosis, we expect the experiments with model organisms to continue to succeed. and we sincerely hope that that will be successfully translated into human trials as well. Biohackers will continue to do their thing, and of course, there will be more advanced technology coming up. Age-related diseases obviously are doing very well right now, and I said, the greatest promise will be in AI, and we are hoping to contribute to this “pillar” and encourage others because this is where we see the greatest promise.
Kate: And lastly I would like to touch upon AgeTech, because here we really do not need to reinvent the wheel. Older people live here and now, and there are 1 billion of them, visualized here as a separate continent. And their life can be improved now - we do not need to reinvent the wheel whatsoever. It may not be on the biological medicine level, but definitely on a personal level. On that level, you can address loans and other issues. Now on the slide, we see our open access analytical report. This report is on the UK AgeTech ecosystem, as the UK is one of the pioneers in the field and we will come to examine it as one of the key players in the industry. We also have in the analysis various summaries of R&D ecosystem, landscape, and corresponding platform.
Sergey: Good Afternoon everyone. Thank you for joining us today. As Franco mentioned, my name is Sergey Balasanyan and I am a founder of Longevity Card. In the book I have contributed the chapter on Longevity FinTech, and let me share with you the key take-aways from the chapter. First of all, Health is the New Wealth, and the customer's financial wellness very much depends upon their state of health. Covid19 proved it by making people rethink their priorities and understand that health is the most precious asset. In the next few years we will see the rise of integrated FinTech and health platforms that will use AI and data science to totally design financial and wellness markets in order to integrate a synergistic blend of health issues: preventive medicine, Longevity, AgeTech, and financial well being.
In regards to AgeTech, the older generation holds the lion’s share of deposits in the banks globally, which is being ignored by modern challenger banks and most parts of the traditional financial institutions. And this means that FinTech companies and banks should be fully capable of on-boarding AgeTech, and this to fully integrated financial institutions for the future generations if they want to survive the havoc of the oncoming tsunami. It's quite clear that this global crisis will have long lasting consequences. People and financial institutions will get a new understanding of their priorities, whereas health and Longevity might get great attention and start to be considered the actual tangible and most precious commodity.
Sergey: In regards to AgeTech, the older generation holds the lion’s share of deposits in the banks globally which is like successfully being ignored by modern challenger banks or most parts of the traditional financial institutions. And this means that Fintech companies and banks should be fully capable to onboard AgeTech and this to fully integrated financial institutions for the future generations if they want to survive the havoc of the oncoming tsunami. It's quite clear that this global crisis will have long lasting consequences. People and financial institutions will get a new understanding of their priorities, whereas health and longevity might get great attention and start to be considered the actual tangible and most precious commodity.
Sergey: So what is Longevity Card? To put it shortly, it is the first step to creating a new era of Longevity-focused financial institutions. The Longevity banking card approach started during my work as an entrepreneur in residence at Deep Knowledge Group, when we collectively decided to marry health with wealth, by combining groups having significant expertise in the Longevity Industry, with my personal banking and FinTech background.
And this was done to transform traditional banking and encourage traditional banks to transform into Longevity and health-focused financial institutions. Later on, I conceived of Longevity Card as a specific entity. So Longevity Card combines cutting-edge financial technology and health integration in order to develop new financial products for the people who are planning to live extra-long lives and at the same time want to remain high functioning and financially stable throughout.
At the heart of the Longevity Card pilot product, which will be launched in November 2020, lies the AI-powered and health integration, which will analyse your day to day fitness activities, nutrition, and many other variables in order to provide customers their personalised health tips and also to reward them with Longevity points related to their healthy lifestyle.
And Longevity reward points can be redeemed as an additional discount and integrated into the card’s ecosystem which also helps fitness -- wellness and Longevity related products and services only from handpicked vendors which are validated by industry experts.
Sergey: So, in regards to the second product which we aim to launch in 2021, it will be more oriented for 65+ age generation and I consider it a real move toward financial inclusivity, disruption, and innovation. Because this product will include the implementation of AgeTech technologies such as prevention of financial exploitation: wage control and other technologies making banking safer, easier, and accessible for senior citizens. So we are aiming to make an impact on the post-pandemic world.
Sergey: So we are aiming to make an impact on the post-pandemic world. That's why we were probably recognized as the top 15 entrepreneurs in the post-pandemic world by safety, by the Times, because we are into accelerating the disruption in the financial industry. That's the reason why we firstly aim to make financial institutions friends of their customers, their health, and wellness coaches. This is why technologies such as HealthTech and AgeTech are implemented in Longevity cards for the future of banking. And secondly, we will unleash the market potential of the senior generation, a 15 trillion global retirement market. A generation which constitutes the world's wealthiest client for every financial institution.
Dmitry: I was lucky enough to get involved in this profession back in 2013. At that time we incorporated this company Aging Analytics Agency. And this company has grown and is specifically focused on the full scope of Longevity.
And actually, all the underlying information behind this book actually was aggregated by this company over the last 7 years. When I first attended the Big Data Science Magazine conference in Oxford, in 2014, at that time it was more similar to a meeting of members of a religious cult. And in those times the pursuit of aging research was yet to be considered credible by more traditional biotech scientists. Although in 2017 the actual progress in medicine achieved by simple basic AI applications, actually produced some significant results, and it was at this time that many important decision-makers started to pay very significant attention to this field.
This mind map was produced by Aging Analytics Agency in 2017 for the Business of Longevity. You can see here hundreds of companies, hundreds of investors, and the top 10 research hubs.
In those years in 2017 - 2018, one had to speak to the decision makers and biotechnicians for hours to convince them that Longevity is a separate emerging industry. In 2019 we saw significant change in the general perception, especially sections of the media and public, some of whom made themselves represented at the official launch party of the All Parliamentary Group for Longevity, who, over the last year produced a blueprint for the national Longevity economy for the UK.
Dmitry: The current size of the Longevity economy is around 17 trillion, with projected growth of up to 27 trillion in the next 6 years. However due to this covid pandemic, this might actually change for the best, and the industry can grow faster. Because for many relevant people, especially in finance, Health is becoming the New Wealth. What is more important than their life? They are beginning to understand that health and Longevity are the most precious asset much beyond any wealth asset.
By the way, a major part of the Longevity Industry compromises big financial institutions, including big consumer companies and big investment banks. And there are more than one billion people in the retirement lobby considered as the citizens of the “seventh continent”, which is, by the way the wealthiest continent.
Dmitry: Longevity presents us with extreme mega complexity. It brings us many challenges, issues, and at the same time opportunities. We are applying this framework to the Longevity Industry and at the same time, we are using various advanced data science techniques to improve the industry to overcome a lot of complexity as we have mentioned. This 3D cube is actually visualized from the cover page of the book. We from the very beginning have recommended applying the most advanced data science techniques to analyse these data.
We are applying different types of big data analysis using various matrices. Here are several screenshots to give you a general understanding. In particular, for example, we apply these simple tools and statistical models such as Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs). At the same time, other industries also are applying similar methods for achieving tangible validated forecasting of market readiness.
Meanwhile, in the next two months, we will launch a much more advanced Big Data analytics system which will be an investment analytics dashboard.
As I mentioned, in the year 2017 we started several industry profile reports with mindmaps. In the first mindmap we had around 310 entities in the first iteration.
This dashboard system will have approximately 50,000 data. So, that will be produced by Aging Analytics Agency open-source control system.
The overall idea is to profile all the players in their specific segments and subsectors of the Longevity Industry. In total there will be 50,000 as I said earlier. Then applying specific benchmarking techniques, to derive the most advanced, most capable companies, and with that, we are designing the optimal Longevity business.
As Kate mentioned, we will pay some attention to geroscience, regenerative medicine, P4 medicine and at the same time, we will also demonstrate our current research on Longevity WealthTech, AI Longevity and biomarkers of Longevity.
This is the bottleneck of the entire Longevity Industry. This biomarker R&D landscape was produced by Aging Analytics Agency. In November we expect the 2nd edition, which will be more expanded, more precise.
How can these biomarkers be applied for Longevity science?
As you know, 92% of drugs actually fail during clinical trials in traditional biotech - which is 10x simpler than cutting edge aging biomedicine.
Indeed, by our projections, up to 99% of drugs fail in the case of aging research, because the experimental platforms used for drugs for aging research were created years ago. They’re not up to date for 2020. So, therefore, there should be applied much more modern, sophisticated techniques for experimentation, tied to humans, not mice, worms or what have you. It should be about humans, and human Longevity, and life extension - prevention of human disease.
What exactly do I mean by “biomarkers of Longevity”?
I mean techniques - sophisticated data science techniques - capable of assessing the current biological age of any given individual, for providing assessment of and some preliminary projections for which interventions or drugs will be beneficial, or conversely: to provide negative input on human health and Longevity projections.
There are some projects which already have some panels of biomarkers, but we are estimating that by 2022, there will be sophisticated enough panels of biomarkers of Longevity to create a very tangible amount of leverage, for multiple players.
From my point of view, investing in aging research now, based only on evidence from mice etc, is like casino gambling.
But with Longevity biomarkers in use, investors will be assured of some kind of basic evidence from humans. This has nothing to do with dangerous experiments on humans. This is something altogether more advanced.
And now, for subscribers of the book, we will also provide a lot of biomarker-related news and content between this edition of the book and the next.
Dmitry: We will issue a series of articles on the matter of practical Longevity, where we will distinguish reality from the hype and let’s say -- fake technologies -- created by the food industry and various other industries. We will provide some insights into the reality, and whether and how for example food and sport provide life extension. If at all.
For example there is a widespread feeling that running is extending life - which is nothing to do with reality. Running, strictly, technically speaking, if anything actually shortens life. You will not find any professional runner among supercentenarians. Again, Aging Analytics Agency made research into supercentenarians. In this series of projects, we will provide actual practical, realistic assessments of diets, exercises, and many other topics, and this book will provide some input on this matter of hype versus reality. An entire small chapter in production.
Dmitry: Of course, once again, I would encourage everybody to read Robin’s book. When I read this book, I think about six years ago, I really became a super-optimist. Before I read the book, I thought there was only science of Longevity. After I read the book, I saw that there is also a medicine of Longevity. And that you can become your own director, not your doctor, you. Robin continues to be an inspiration to me.
Dmitry: As Kate mentioned, this woman, Jeanne Calment, actually died 23 years ago, in 1997. She lived 122 years and 6 months. And yes indeed I will provide a gift to the first person to celebrate their 123rd birthday. This may sound like science fiction, but Jeanne Calment had a genetic super-propensity for longevity, and since that time -- the 23 years since 1997 -- such great progress has occurred in biomedicine, that if she were alive now, apparently she would live several years longer than this record.
Currently we are witnessing this paradigm shift from treatment to prevention, toward a much more advanced, more sophisticated goal: precision health. If you want extra long living, you have to maintain precision health - to have those techniques and technologies.
Now, to create those technologies, by our estimations, there would have to be spent 1 trillion dollars over the next 10 years, for this R & D, advanced biomedicine, advanced techniques -- about 100 billion per year. This might sound extremely unrealistic, but now let’s compare it with some practical numbers. On current research, there is spent annually 150 billion dollars. So on average in the last 10 years that’s more than 1 trillion dollars. Cancer now is considered a treatable disease in most cases. 10 years ago however, cancer was considered something close to a sentence to death. Deadly diseases have become treatable diseases. Similar will happen in the next 10 years with aging, as a disease.
Dmitry: We are in this book -- Longevity Industry 1.0 -- paying quite a lot of attention to the Longevity finance industry. Why? Because of our commitment to ensure that 1 trillion is spent on Longevity in the next 10 years -- for that, Longevity science and technology should become a commodity. So, it should become investable, tradable and bankable. There should be created structured, modern financial instruments, products, and derivatives. There should be established new types of financial institutions, such as the Longevity bank, for example, Longevity exchange traded funds and specialised Longevity stock exchange.
The book in general is about two opposed megatrends: advancing biomedicine, and the aging population. We are considering several scenarios, of how to set the trajectory of the industry, so there will be a positive scenario. This book is about the current status of the industry, so we have a framework for the industry. The second book, which we are planning to publish in a year from now, will provide a blueprint for how to create an optimised trajectory for the industry and how to accelerate its development, to bring those technologies to humanity sooner rather than later, and at the same time avoid critical mistakes, roadblocks, and other needless complications.
Robin: Thank you for all of that information. That was amazing. And I do have a bunch of questions to ask you so would love to start there. So the first question is - one thing that’s clear throughout the entire book is the potential for the tech sector to really disrupt Longevity, but a lot of investors in the world of Longevity don’t actually think that way, but I know you guys do, so I would love, especially Dmitry -- what are your thoughts around that?
Dmitry: Well of course my thought is that artificial intelligence is the major tool, the major solution. Seven years ago when I entered the field, there was no AI at all, and even stuff like big data was a big abstraction. However, in these past seven years, the use of artificial intelligence in drug discovery, biotech research and development, became more practical, and progress accelerated, and it is inevitable that in the next 2-3 years AI in healthcare and Longevity will be recognized as a major component of the industry.
Robin: So Kate is the girl who controls all the money at Longevity Capital, so I would love to hear -- you're the money girl, right-- the one everyone wants to talk to -- entrepreneurs and all -- so I’ll love your thoughts on this.
Kate: I agree with what Dmitry and Franco have said, and I think what distinguishes us is we have this unique investment approach, focused not on biomedicine but also on the tech sector as well as the financial sector. Again I really am very encouraged there are so many things that can be done today, preventive medicine measures, precision medicine, and the advances happening there every day. As I mentioned, you can improve the lives of older people right now. The Covid pandemic emphasised the need for addressing the age factor - e.g. loneliness and related factors.
Sergey: Yeah, so, from the financial -- FinTech side -- of course the inclusivity of technology is crucial, but there is only also one more thing for the end customer - the lack of education. So, for example, just take into account that I have a grandmother. She’s 89 years old. So, five years ago, she didn’t want to touch the phone. And, after I showed her how to use it, she’s showing me now pictures every day. The same thing applies to inclusivity in FinTech etc. The drawback is the lack of education. For example there are books on how to use the internet - telecom companies issuing books to the senior generation. Because of this, they are getting more and more customers. So, yes, though are my two pounds..or cents.
Dmitry: Yes, I would like to add here, I would not agree with you about education being the only remaining drawback, there is the problem of ageism also. And the fact that financial institutions are suppressing the rights of old people, considering them as not only disabled physically but also mentally, which is not true..In reality what I see, and what we actually researched, is that old people are now becoming digital citizens very quickly. They are now starting to be quite able to use different mobile devices, however, the problem is that industries are not producing the devices which they can use. So, there is a communication divide. If there were more software specifically designed for old people, this would be a turning point for the FinTech industry. But of course we have this Longevity Card - I think it will be a first.
Sergey: I totally agree, excellent point. And for this particular case, to make a perfect seamless user journey, we are partnering with several national research universities, who will help us to develop this seamless user journey. So I totally agree with you, and thank you.
Dmitry: Yes, however, the Card is not only for old people but for everybody.
Dmitry: So Sergey, when is the Card to be launched in the US, by the way?
Sergey: In the US, we expect Quarter 2, 2021.
Dmitry: And the Card is in UK and Europe, right?
Robin: So I‘d love to talk a little bit about reaching age 120. Because I know I want to reach 120, but I want it to be very healthy, and I think a lot of people watching also want to do that. So I'm interested in the types of timelines you guys might have in mind for Longevity Escape Velocity. Where is your prediction on when the technology will be on the market that will help us reach 120?
Dmitry: Ok, I’ll take this. So, here’s the point. This is a term -- “escape velocity” -- used in space flight, to describe what acceleration is required to leave the Earth’s orbit. Now, what is the speed of acceleration in biomedicine development required for particular people to maintain their biological age? If I succeed at surviving 1 additional year, during that next year, what amount of progress applicable to my health will extend my life by at least one additional year? This is “Longevity Escape Velocity”. My prediction is that for people of our average age -- let’s say 40 years, the estimated time to achieve escape velocity is 2030. For someone like Franco -- who is 28 I think -- for him, this estimated time is 2027. For people who are now 60 or 80, this will be 2035, maybe 2040. It depends on the current state of your health, age and current biological age. In other words, younger people will achieve technological balance sooner because their system is still working well. Old people will have to survive a bit longer to achieve escape velocity.
But in general, normal life expectancy for people such as us, is absolutely beyond 100 years. For most of us it’ll be 120 years, and projections like 120-130 will become normal. In 2013 when I entered this field, you know, there was never anybody at any conference talking about 100+ lifespans becoming normal -- they were considered dreamers. Now the norm is to say 120 years. This is how public perception is changing. I guarantee that in 10 years people will be speaking about 200-year lifespans. Jack Ma of Alibaba already several years ago publicly pronounced that people would live up to 200 years.
Robin: Kate, a common criticism of the Longevity Industry, is that these technologies are only going to be available to the very wealthy. What do you think about that? Is there anything we can do to democratize it?
Kate: Absolutely. Excellent question, thank you. I think that any frontier technology, is initially only available to the very wealthy. Take a look at the human genome project. Sequencing a genome took billions of dollars, now you can get it done at a company such as 23 and me for under a hundred dollars sometimes, right? I think that today’s smartphone is the equivalent of a supercomputer from decades ago. So, the key here is that once we get started - yes while the original technologies will be available to the very wealthy, the level of investment would actually make it available to everyone. Very soon. So we’re not talking about decades here at all.
Robin: So kind of like the VCR, the TV, was back in the 70s, and now you can't even give a VCR away.
Kate: Yes. Exactly.
Robin: This book emphasizes that Longevity will be one of the biggest industries in human history but also one of the ones with the most ethical applications.
Dmitry: Yes. The Longevity Industry is very simple in terms of ethics. The only way to generate profit actually is to deliver health and actual life to people, and now we have the problem that there are no clear tools for assessing what is really healthy and unhealthy.
A few years from now, however, there’ll be sophisticated biomarker panels, and any doctor or any company selling some food supplement or some magic pill or whatever, any person with access to this technology, will be able to assess what is actually healthy and whether those magic pills will provide real benefits.
So, my point is, there’s room for crooks and some bad actors to push their bullshit fake products, but in five years, with these technologies, this could all be assessed in real time.
With that, the Longevity Industry will become the most ethical, because good players will be able to deliver good products, to deliver health and life to people, a thing more precious than any financial asset.
Robin: Awesome, Kate do you have anything on that? Kate: I agree, and I think especially in light of the pandemic, it is clear to everyone there is nothing more important than human health. Even seeing - surprisingly - the level of biotech investment increased substantially, and was very robust in Q1 and Q2 of this year. I completely admire your passion and mission to positively impact millions of patients globally, but longevity and human health actually affects every human being on this planet. So I think the implications are absolutely positive for every human.
Robin: We have a couple of questions coming in from our participants. First, what are the technologies that make drug discovery cheaper, and does the book cover this? This is one of the things that I talk about in my opening. So, we were able to get a small molecule to mouse trials with less than 10 million dollars. This is huge in the world of clinical trials. You don't ever get to mouse trials for something like that. Something else that will help with discovery is tissue engineering. Right now, about 20-40% of drugs fail in late-stage trials, just because they’re toxic to the kidney. So instead we can now do kidney assays or liver assays. Tiny little functioning cells from the liver that we can test drugs on before we even get to mouse trials, and find out if they are toxic to human beings, way before we spend any money getting it to that point of human testing.
Robin: What about the panel? In what other ways will technology make drug discovery easier and cheaper?
Dmitry: I think - once again - that data science and artificial intelligence are the most universal tools for moving forward.
There was also one interesting question in our chat, about whether countries will start to compete for the companies which are actually working in the longevity space. And we have a very clear answer to this. Aging Analytics Agency is already working for several years on the matter of Longevity governance. Comparing many countries and their companies. Over the last few years countries were competing for big wealth money lenders to provide them so-called tax havens. To create for them some kind of specific environment for their money. By the way, now countries are starting to compete for tech. To become tech hubs, the next Silicon Valley. My prediction in the next 3-5 years is that there will emerge several countries that will create the technological, legal and economic frameworks to attract longevity companies.
Dmitry: There is also one interesting question about neuroplasticity. NeuroTech is an essential part of Longevity. The major tissue in the human body is brain. Without healthy brains, without efficient neuroplasticity, we cannot talk about human Longevity. It’s no sense to have badly performing brains and well-performing bodies. My point is of course when we’re talking about Longevity and technologies for Longevity, we mean first of all technology capable of improving neuroplasticity. It’s one of the most important parts. In our portfolio we have NeuroTech Analytics. Their company was created a year ago, focused on analyzing the NeuroTech industry. In the next several months it will produce a second report on neuroplasticity. To answer simply the question: There are already technologies able to enhance neuroplasticity not only in young and middle aged people but also old people.
Robin: Nice. And the company I mentioned earlier, Mindmaze, is also indicated for use in aging and neurodegenerative disease, so really retraining the brain and creating new connections to combat aging.
Dmitry: By the way, I know Longevity Card just recently made a partnership with a NeuroTech company on that matter?
Sergey: Yes, we made a partnership with a leader in mental health. We’re very proud to partner with them because financial institutions should be responsible for the mental health of their customers. Mental health affects financial well-being.
Dmitry: Regarding mental health, there is also such a specific term as “psychological aging”, as opposed to just biological aging. So, to stay healthier you need first of all to be psychologically young, and so to focus on neuroplasticity is in some sense a priority over the health of the body, as brains and the central nervous system are much more challenging to repair.
Sergey: One more thing - I am more than happy that six years ago when I met you at an Oxford conference, I decided there and then to transition from conventional banking to Longevity banking.
Dmitry: Yeah, by the way, one of the major ideas behind the book was to help people to transition from traditional banking to Longevity banking. Kate is a good example, but we need hundreds of thousands of people. Because many people do not understand that although it is good to work in banking -- I myself worked in finance -- working in Longevity every day brings its own special sense of purpose. There is always something to be done, and I always know what to do next.
Fintech 2.0 : The Integration of Age Tech and WealthTech
Sergey: In regards to AgeTech, the older generation holds the lion’s share of deposits in the banks globally which is like successfully being ignored by modern challenger banks or most parts of the traditional financial institutions. And this means that Fintech companies and banks should be fully capable to on-board AgeTech and this to fully integrated financial institutions for the future generations if they want to survive the havoc of the oncoming tsunami. It's quite clear that this global crisis will have long lasting consequences. People and financial institutions will get a new understanding of their priorities, whereas health and longevity might get great attention and start to be considered the actual tangible and most precious commodity.
Longevity Card Pilot Project : The Longevity Marketplace
(AI, AgeTech,WealthTech, mHealth)
Sergey: At the heart of the Longevity Card pilot product which will be launched in November 2020 lies the AI powered and health integration which will analyse your day to day fitness activities, nutrition and many other variables in order to provide customers their personalised health tips and also to reward them with longevity points related to their healthy lifestyle .
And longevity reward points can be redeemed as an additional discount and integrated into the card’s ecosystem which also helps fitness -- wellness and longevity related products and services only from handpicked vendors which are validated by industry experts.
Longevity Analytics 2.0: Using Big Data to Identify Longevity Companies and Investors
Dmitry: Longevity presents extreme mega complexity. It brings us many challenges, issues and at the same time the opportunities.
We are applying this framework to the longevity industry and at the same time we are using various advanced data science techniques to improve the industry to overcome a lot of complexity as we have mentioned. This 3d cube is actually visualized from the cover page of the book. We from the very beginning recommend to apply the most advanced data science techniques to analyse these data.
We are applying different types of big data analysis, specific matrices. These are the several screenshots to give you a general understanding.
In particular for example, we apply these simple tools and statistical models such as Technology Readiness Levels. At the same time different industries are applying these simple and logical tools specially to help the investors and de- risk them via technology readiness level and tangible validated forecasting of market readiness.
At the same time in the next two months we will launch a much more advanced Big Data analytics system which will be actually an investment analytics dashboard. As I mentioned in the year 2017, we started several industry profile reports with mindmaps. In the first mindmap we had around 310 entities in the first iteration. This system will have approximately 50,000 data. So, that will be produced by Aging Analytics Agency open source control system.
The overall idea is to profile all the players in their specific segments and subsectors of the Longevity industry. In total there will be a 50,000 in total as said earlier. Then applying specific benchmarking techniques, to derive the most advanced most, capable most, let's say tangible companies and with that we are designing the optimised longevity business.
As Kate mentioned, we will pay some attention to geroscience, regenerative medicine, P4 medicine and at the same time, we will also carve our current research on longevity wealthtech, AI longevity and biomarkers of longevity.
Longevity Industry Trial and Validation: A More Modern Approach
Dmitry: This is the bottleneck of the entire longevity industry. This biomarker R & D landscape was produced by Aging Analytics Agency. In November we expect the 2nd edition, which will be more expanded, more, let’s say, precise, but how these biomarkers can be applied for longevity science -- as you know -- 92% of drugs actually fail during clinical trials in traditional biotech - which is 10x more simple compared with longevity industry \ aging research.
By our projections, up to 99% of drugs fail in the case of aging research, because the experimental platforms used for drugs for aging research were created years ago. They’re not up to date for 2020. So, therefore, there should be applied much more modern , sophisticated techniques for experimentation, tied to humans, not mice, worms or whatever. It shall be about humans, and human longevity, and life extension - prevention of human disease.
Why am I talking about biomarkers of aging and longevity? What exactly do I mean?
In particular, we mean, these techniques - sophisticated data science techniques - capable of assessing the current biological age of any given individual, for providing assessment of and some preliminary projections for which interventions or drugs will be beneficial, or conversely: to provide negative input on human health and longevity projections.
There are some projects which already have some panels of biomarkers, but we are estimating that by 2022, there will be sophisticated enough panels of biomarkers of longevity to ignite a very tangible amount of leverage, for multiple players. From my point of view, to invest in aging research now, based only on evidence from mice etc, is like for investors to play in a casino. [With the biomarkers approach] investors will be ensured of some kind of basic evidence from humans. I am not talking about making dangerous experiments on humans. I am talking about much more advanced techniques for experimentation.
And now, for subscribers of the book, we will also provide a lot of original content between this edition of the book and the next.