It is always good to report on positive news for a change, and today is one of those happy occasions. Michael Greve, founder of Forever Healthy and Kizoo, has commited €300 million (just over $360 million at the time of writing) to support the development of rejuvenation biotechnology startups.
More support flowing in for technology to increase healthy longevity
There has been a steady increase in interest and funding for the field of rejuvenation biotechnology in the past few years. One of the key figures behind this is Michael Greve, the billionaire founder of Kizoo Technology Ventures and the non-profit Forever Healthy Foundation.
Michael Greve has become a tremendously positive force in the longevity movement, and his actions have funded a number of promising biotech companies focused on addressing the reasons we age.
He is also one of the driving forces behind the excellent Undoing Aging Conference held in Berlin. The Forever Healthy Foundation and SENS Research Foundation will be joining forces once again in May 2022 to host the premiere aging research conference in Europe, and we cannot wait to be there!
Funding the drive for increased healthy longevity
So far, Kizoo has funded grapeseed.bio, a life science accelerator program for startup companies targeting aging, Lysoclear, a company developing a novel molecular repair therapy to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and restore lost vision, and Oisin Biotechnologies, a company developing a plasmid-based senescent and cancer cell destroying treatment.
The company is also funding AgeX Therapeutics, a biotech company developing tissue rejuvenation technology by targeting telomerase and tissue regeneration pathways, FoxBio, a company developing senescent cell-destroying therapies known as senolytics, and Elevian, which is developing therapeutics to stimulate regenerative capacity in our cells which is lost during aging. Kizoo is also supporting Turn Biotechnologies, which is developing therapies to reprogram aged cells back to being young cells using a technique known as partial cellular reprogramming. Partial cellular reprogramming has already been demonstrated to work in living animals, and now the race is on the translate that safely to humans.
Kizoo is also supporting LIfT Biosciences, which is aiming to create a cell therapy that can destroy all solid tumors regardless of strain or mutation; this company is using innately cancer-killing neutrophils to achieve what could potentially be a broad cancer therapeutic. In the cancer area with them is MAIA Biotechnology, which is focusing on creating cancer therapies that target novel pathways.
The SENS Research Foundation spinoff company Underdog Pharmaceuticals has also been supported by Kizoo. This company is targeting an oxidized form of cholesterol that accumulates inside macrophages, which eventually kills them and leads to the formation of plaques, the basis of heart disease. If successful, the harmful form of cholesterol could be removed from the macrophages, allowing them to return to healthy operation and ultimately keep our arteries healthy and free of plaques.
Recently, Kizoo funded the startup Revel Pharmaceuticals, a company based on a decade of research at Yale University seeking to break crosslinks in collagen fibers. Collagen provides our skin and tissues with structure, but as we age, it increasingly fuses with glucose to create stiff inflexible bonds known as crosslinks. These crosslinks cause our tissues to stiffen, including muscle, skin, and arteries, with disastrous health consequences, such as high blood pressure, lung damage, and skin wrinkles. Successfully breaking these crosslinks would remove that stiffening and restore tissue to healthy form and function.
Kizoo has also funded Cellvie, a company working on making mitochondrial transplantation a therapeutic reality. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell, but as we age, they become increasingly dysfunctional and produce rising amounts of harmful free radicals, which can damage cells and mitochondria themselves. Cellvie plans to solve this problem by sending in fresh mitochondria to populate our cells and restore efficient energy production.
Last but not least, Elastrin is working on the issue of tissue and organ stiffening due to organ calcification thanks to support from Kizoo. This company is developing therapeutics that aim to restore calcified tissue and organs to a youthful, supple state again. Elastrin plans to target and restore degraded elastin by removing the harmful calcification that stiffens arteries.
As you can see, Kizoo has been instrumental in supporting the launch of a number of biotech companies targeting aging, and we are excited to see what else this injection of cash will bring.
The press release
Michael Greve, founder of the Forever Healthy Foundation and owner of Kizoo Technology Ventures, announced today that he will make available an additional €300 million to be invested in rejuvenation biotech.
The funds, to be deployed via Kizoo, will be used to create and support more startups in the rejuvenation space. They will also allow Kizoo to maintain a strong commitment to its key startups during follow-up rounds and to advance the therapies from clinical development to public availability.
With this €300 million commitment, Greve and Kizoo double down on their mission to accelerate the advent of rejuvenation biotechnology by doing lighthouse investments in entirely new, repair-based approaches that treat the root causes of aging and thus overcome age-related diseases. Through the creation of successful companies, they seek to inspire scientists, investors, and the general public by demonstrating that human rejuvenation is not science fiction anymore and that the resulting therapies are affordable and uncomplicated.
Technologies pioneered by Kizoo’s startups include removal of arterial plaque, decalcification of aged tissue, breaking of protein-glucose cross-links, and delivery of new mitochondria to aged cells – all aiming to prevent and repair common age-related conditions such as myocardial infarction, stroke, high blood pressure, tissue stiffening, skin aging, and loss of muscle function.
“I am really grateful that we can use the funds we have created with our highly successful technology ventures to contribute to the quest to get aging under full medical control and to make age-related diseases a thing of the past. For me, it is a worthy cause that is exciting in a technological, commercial, and above all, a humanitarian way” says Michael Greve.
Greve expects that the new funds, in combination with the strong, multi-round commitment of Kizoo to its key startups, should trigger co-investments of up to 3-4 times the initial amount, resulting in a significant acceleration of the development and public availability of the therapies.
For more information, please visit: forever-healthy.org
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