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Aubrey de Grey

Aubrey de Grey
Aubrey de Grey
English author and biomedical gerontologist, currently the Chief Science Officer of the SENS Research Foundation.

How will your research contribute to extending healthy human life?

Our work focuses on rejuvenation — repair of the damage that the body does to itself throughout life and that eventually causes the diseases and disabilities of old age. We are engaged in the early-stage, proof-of-concept research that will reassure the world that it is now reasonable to view the defeat of aging as a realistic, foreseeable goal.

What were the major breakthroughs made by your laboratory or companies?

The most recent one was that a group we fund at Yale University published, in Science magazine, a critical first step in our strategy for eliminating age-related hypertension (as well as wrinkles and presbyopia). Recently we have also published breakthroughs in treating cardiac amyloidosis, which is the main cause of death of supercentenarians, and also atherosclerosis, the leading cause of death in the western world.

Can your research be commercialized in the future and is there any way to invest in this research today?

Absolutely! In the past year, we have already spun out a few of our key projects to visionary startups, and any investment-minded supporter of this mission is welcome to contact us to learn how to get involved in that way.

In your opinion, what are the most promising companies contributing to longevity research today?

Other than the startups I just mentioned, the most important companies are ones that would not necessarily describe themselves as contributing to longevity research, because their activities have great relevance to specific diseases, which tends to get people’s attention more! Examples include Immusoft, which make a type of white blood cell into an in-the-body drug factory, and Insiloco Medicine, which are identifying new therapeutic pathways with state-of-she-art AI-based analysis of metabolic pathways.

Do you think there will be significant breakthroughs in longevity research in the next decade?

That is as good as certain to happen. We are making significant breakthroughs every year, in fact — but in the next decade, I think it is very likely that the breakthroughs will advance from significant to dramatic, with the ability to genuinely rejuvenate rodents in the laboratory sufficiently to extend their life by far more than we can do today when starting an intervention in middle age.

Do you think it is a good time for iVAO to get into longevity business and invest in biotechnology in general?

Of course! Look at today’s anti-aging industry — it’s huge, despite being built entirely on products that basically don’t work. Think how big it will be when it has products that DO work. And the companies which will win then are, as always, the ones who are best prepared to respond when the market explodes. iVAO has the advantage of visionary leadership and connections with the leading scientists whose work will underpin those products, so it has the potential to play a very major role, with all the financial advantage that entails.

Can you say a few words about the upcoming conference in St. Petersburg? What are your expectations?

I’m delighted to be involved in this conference. It’s an honour to be among such distinguished scientists. I’m sure that the meeting will lead to many insights and collaborations that will have great value for longevity research in the future.