VitaDAO, a decentralized organization funding early-stage longevity research and biotech start-ups, has announced the successful closing of a $4.1 million funding round dedicated to financing future longevity projects and furthering its commercialization and licensing strategy for IP-NFT assets.
Key contributors to the fundraising round include Shine Capital, L1 Digital, decentralized science and Web3 organizations Beaker DAO and Spaceship DAO, longevity enthusiasts including Balaji Srinivasan (former CTO of Coinbase and General Partner at a16z) and Joe Betts-LaCroix (Retro Biosciences), and traditional pharmaceutical company Pfizer Ventures.
A fundraising round to advance longevity
VitaDAO’s $4.1 million fundraising milestone intends to benefit a number of current and future projects, allowing the DAO to accelerate its mission of improving human longevity.
Utilizing this funding boost, VitaDAO will continue to invest in lifespan and healthspan research, further commercialize emerging technologies, such as IP-NFTs in partnership with Molecule AG, and advance its activities in developing a global community of experts and longevity enthusiasts.
According to the DAO’s Dealflow Working Group Steward, Laurence Ion, “2022 was a highly successful year for VitaDAO, and the quality of research we have seen has been impressive.” He also noted the success of a number of VitaDAO’s projects:
We’ve also seen some of our projects move rapidly to the next stage in development — such as entering into clinical trials with Mantis Photonics and new data from the Morten Scheibye-Knudsen Lab at the University of Copenhagen and the Victor Korolchuk Lab at the University of Newcastle. This has further proven that a highly aligned community can contribute to advancing the science and clinical innovation in longevity research.
A look back at 2022
June 2022 marked VitaDAO’s first year of supporting longevity projects, a period of intense development for the organization, resulting in $3.5 million being allocated to over 15 longevity-related projects and programs. In total, more than 250 projects were sourced, and 1,300 token holders were noted as being part of the DAO. The DAO also contributed to the development of the DeSci sector throughout the year.
Changes to the voting process (Snapshot) made it easier and more transparent for DAO members to vote with less paid in Ethereum gas fees.
The DAO purchased the third IP-NFT relating to Evandro Fang’s lab and its research into Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, the DAO contributed to a framework on fractionalizing IP-NFTs, setting a precedent for other organizations. The first round of VitaDAO fellows were announced, beginning a program intended to accelerate early-stage research.
VitaDAO put $100K towards the Longevity Hackers film, a feature-length piece raising awareness about the longevity field. The DAO also participated in a number of partnerships including with Peter Diamandis and PrimeDAO, the first of many new initiatives this year.
VitaDAO hosted the Crypto meets Longevity Symposium, bringing to light the growing integration of science and Web3 technology. In addition, the DAO participated in three discussion panels — female reproductive longevity, novel mechanisms to fund science, and biostasis and cryopreservation — and presented at ETH DeSci Day in Amsterdam.
New projects, were approved including Tim Peterson’s research into the development of cellular “soap” to combat pathogens and senescent cells and the funding of a 4-year doctoral program into DNA quadruplexes in age-related proteostasis.
Bounty payments as an incentive for creating a decentralized tech transfer network were approved to streamline the payment process for researchers, among other things. June also saw the funding of $50,000 into Repair Biotechnologies, focused on developing universal cell therapy for atherosclerosis.
VitaDAO launched the Longevity Prize, which raised over $250,000 to support early-stage ideas and research into longevity initiatives. The DAO also oversaw the introduction of multichain voting allowing its members to utilize both the Ethereum and Gnosis chains, making participation more straightforward.
Numerous publications including Lifespan and Nature Biotechnology covered the work of VitaDAO. Meanwhile, Tim Peterson, a VitaDAO member, launched an on-demand peer review service for longevity projects.
Jonathan An’s lab, focused on periodontal disease through geroscience, and ApoptoSENS‘ work into developing CAR-NK cells were funded via IP-NFT, marking the fourth and fifth projects using this innovative method.
From driving awareness through a series of interviews with JellyfishDAO, to articles on the latest longevity research, VitaDAO used October to draw attention to the work done so far. In addition, the DAO also announced a new bounty dedicated to building a community-driven review paper.
The initial results of the Genesis funding round were announced, with impressive results coming to light for the first time. Pfizer Ventures ($500K), L1 Digital ($500K), Shine Capital ($1M), Healthspan Capital ($100K), and BeakerDAO ($75K) were named as some of the contributors to the fund.
Delegate voting was approved by the DAO, which allows members to allocate their votes to other members who they deem more knowledgeable in order to support the most worthwhile projects. In addition, shield voting was approved, allowing privacy during the initial voting stages.
VitaDAO is a global community of over 9,000 contributors, enthusiasts, and researchers, centered around the acceleration of research and development in longevity science, and the extension of human life and healthspan.
Its latest fundraising round hit $4.1 million, marking a milestone in the decentralized science (DeSci) sphere with high-profile contributors from a number of well-known organizations and individuals, including Pfizer Ventures, Shine Capital, L1 Digital, Beaker DAO, Spaceship DAO, Balaji Srinivasan (former Coinbase CTO), and Joe Betts-LaCroix of Retro Biosciences.
Funding from the round will be used in support of the DAO’s current and future projects focused on longevity science. In 2022, the DAO deployed $3.5 million across 15+ projects, with a focus on cellular biology and repair of damage related to certain hallmarks of aging.
Interested parties can participate in the DAO or apply for funding for longevity-related projects. VitaDAO welcomes applications from professors, postdoctoral scientists, researchers, and students.
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