‘Necessity is the mother of invention’, and that’s why we understand that longevity is significant at this time. Better hospitality and environmental conditions pave the way for this, yet there are obstacles to attaining complete success. Longevica is a life science company researching the mechanisms of healthy aging and life extension. They have discovered a set of compounds that showed a significant life extension effect of 16 to 22%. They are also launching an open innovation platform that will allow scientists and research institutions across the world to test drugs of their choice in full-scale pharmacological screening experiments. Have a more insightful view on the vision of this biotech industry through our interview with Ainar Abdrakhmanov, CEO, Longevica.
What is the startup / product / venture about? Give us a brief description of it.
Longevica is a life science company researching the mechanisms of healthy aging and life extension. We harness objective scientific research, clinical studies, research collaboration, and technology to develop novel, proactive therapeutic interventions to improve health and quality of life, prevent age-related disease, and facilitate the productive extension of lifespan. We pioneered longevity data-driven screening studies, assessing the long-term effects of 1033 pharmacological compounds covering the entire spectrum of modern pharmacology on the lifespan of 20,000 long-lived mice, and discovered a set of compounds that showed a life extension effect of 16 to 22 percent. We are launching a new research study and open innovation platform that will allow scientists and research institutions from across the world to test drugs of their choice in full-scale pharmacological screening experiments. The entire Longevica dataset will be open for data mining, experimentation, and analysis to researchers on the platform in real time.
How many co-founders are there? Please introduce them and their backgrounds.
Alexander Chikunov, Co-founder
Alexander is a founder, investor, philanthropist, and humanitarian whose determination to make a positive contribution to the world and humanity’s future led to his co-founding of Longevica in 2009. Prior, Alexander directed a state-owned national energy company with $20B annual revenue and 200,000 employees. There, he led sweeping energy industry reform and strategic infrastructure reinforcement. Alexander is also the co-founder of the Institute of World Ideas (IWI), an organization promoting global sustainability by building a bridge between scientists and leading decision-makers.
Alexey Ryazanov, Co-founder
Dr. Alexey Ryazanov is a Professor of Pharmacology at Rutgers University and a biochemist and molecular biologist whose discovery of alpha-kinases, a class of protein kinases that include elongation factor-2 kinase (eEF2K) and channel-kinasesTRPM6 and TRPM, is the foundation for Longevica’s research approach. Dr. Ryazanov led Longevica’s groundbreaking 3.5 year study which led to the discovery of three high-performing classes of compounds that showed a statistically significant life extension effect of 16-22%. A student of Alexander S. Spirin, Dr. Ryazanov’s interest and education in biology began at a young age. He is a pioneer in the longevity science field, a leading researcher in the field of protein synthesis and magnesium, the recipient of +$20M NIH research grants, and holds 10 US patents.
Ainar Abdrahmanov, Co-founder, CEO
Ainar is an experienced global entrepreneur with expertise in Asia, Southeast Asia, and US markets. As Longevica co-founder and CEO, Ainar is replacing an outmoded, costly research model with a novel, circular scientific research ecosystem and open-source, end-to-end platform where Longevica’s dataset will live and scientists can participate and collaborate in a new research study. Ainar’s approach will eliminate traditional barriers and facilitate open innovation to advance research, accelerate discovery, and expedite access to transformative aging interventions to all humans. Prior to leading Longevica, Ainar founded Babystep and babystep.tv, a parenting education content and child developmental products provider operating in the US, China, Korea, and India. Native language content was developed in large-scale partnership with global parenting experts and distributed on platforms including AppleTV, Baidu, WeChat, and Youku. Ainar is also the founder of ChinaHow, a global club of company leaders focused on disruptive business growth in China e-commerce.
How did you come up with the idea? What motivated you to do this?
Transformative technologies are enabling scientists to solve problems that were previously thought to be unsolvable and there are many promising hypotheses around understanding and altering the biology of aging. However, there is a costly, bureaucratic, and siloed scientific research model that creates a bottleneck in the testing of these new ideas which is impeding progress in the longevity science field. We can achieve healthy life extension, but it will not be realized in a vacuum and outmoded models and paradigms must be disrupted.
Longevica is developing an open source, end-to-end platform designed to reduce or eliminate traditional research barriers, facilitate a new open innovation ecosystem model, and support new research. The entire Longevica dataset, conducted over 11 years with $13 million in investment, and data from our ongoing experiments will be available to the scientific community on our platform, with data integration capacity and modeling and data analysis tools. The platform will host a public database including marked up data on most longevity-related experiments on mice, published and unpublished. Even the platform code will be publicly available on Github.
Who is your target market? Why do you think your product will appeal to them?
The Longevica platform is end-to-end, providing direct-to-consumer access to Longevica novel health products and ongoing education. Our platform will also provide access to validated longevity products and interventions designed by scientific collaborators. We invite our “consumers” to become “participants” with engaging education and data feedback tools. Voluntarily shared user data is then fed back to our scientific community on our platform to facilitate new hypotheses, experimentation, and discovery. With this model, we are creating a circular ecosystem for how longevity scientific research is advanced, discovery accelerated, and access to transformative developments expanded. We believe that life extension interventions should be readily accessible to everyone, because if we’re going to “crack the code” to a longer lifespan, then we want to live longer in a world where all humans benefit from scientific discovery.
Who are your competitors? How are you different from them?
Maximum lifespan for any species is determined by the rate of aging inherent in its genes and by environmental factors. There are many scientific approaches to understanding and altering the biology of aging, including genomics, cell therapy, and toxin elimination. And there is a growing number of companies in the longevity space, ranging from Calico and Unity Biotechnology to early-stage biotech startups. Most of these companies are coming at it with favorite theories and then working on proving them. Longevica’s research is focused on experimental examination of known pharmacological compounds to understand and harness the mechanisms behind their effects on biological damage and aging. By engaging in practical testing of existing pharmaceutical compounds and their effects purely agnostically, we’ve already found drugs that have statistically significant life extension effects, for the first time in history since rapamycin, and are now conducting deeper research to understand the reasons behind it.
The goal of our platform is to help researchers conduct screening experiments and turn their discoveries into safe, validated consumer health products. With our expertise in the process and monetization we can help them produce market-ready products much faster and more efficiently, allowing them to focus on the science.
What are the future plans with the product/startup? Any new features you are planning on?
promising classes found by our team in our initial experiment, to be conducted at Jackson Laboratory, a leading biomedical research institution. In the spirit of open innovation, we are inviting scientists and research institutions from across the world to test drugs of their choice in full-scale pharmacological screening experiments. Our platform will provide control groups while managing operations and administrative costs, making screening trials more affordable, and support a new ecosystem model that provides a space where collaboration is fostered and experiment data collection and analysis are accelerated. Our goal is to vastly increase the volume of research and pace of discovery. Applications open in January 2022.
Also in January, we will begin constructing a public database, to be hosted on Github, including marked up data on most longevity-related experiments on mice, both public and some which haven’t been published yet.