Commercializing Aging Research Series
Industry Overview
Telomerase - Geron
Resveratrol - Elixir & Sirtris Pharmaceuticals
Contributing Parties:
Biogerontology Research Foundation (BGRF)
Calico Life Sciences, LLC
Key Personnel
Aging Analytics Agency
Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI)
Key Personnel
Assisted by
VITAL analytical tool
Insilico Medicine (ISM)
Key Personnel
Canada Cancer and Aging Research Laboratories, Inc (CCARL)
Key Personnel
Vision Genomics, LLC (VG)
Key Personnel
Atlas Regeneration, Inc
Key Personnel
Designed by Future Technologies Media Group
Executive Summary
Analysis of the Anti-Aging Market
As both the proportion of older people
betes Federation (IDF) study estimated
and the length of life increase throughout
that 387 million people have diabetes in
the world, how will aging affect health
2014 and this disease caused at least
care and economic costs? Age-related
USD 612 billion dollars in health expendi-
diseases such as cancer, heart disease,
ture in 2014 - 11% of total spending on
stroke and diabetes already comprise a
adults. The IDF estimates that the num-
substantial economic and public health
ber of people with diabetes will rise to
burden. In 2012 World Health Organiza-
592 million.
tion reported 14.1 mln of new cases. The
growth rate for cancer cases per year
While some progress has been made in
FIGURE 1: Relative life extension potential of biomedical interventions
has decreased due to enhancements
combating age-related illnesses, much
in the technologies, treatment became
more needs to be done. When in 2003 it
cheaper. Thus, the cost of full cancer
was announced that the human genome
treatment including therapies totaled
had been sequenced, there was much
as cancer or aging. With the causative
function. Another speculative area is
$100 bln. in 2014. In fact, the EIU esti-
optimism that we had entered a new age
gene identified we could then design or
longevity gene therapy designed to
mates that the number of new cancer
of human health where conditions like
discover therapies to target the identified
improve stress resistance, damage
cases will rise to 17 million by 2020 and
cancer and aging would be easily cured.
genomic region thus curing the disease.
reach 27 million by 2030. These costs
The presumption was that it would be a
As the knowledge base aging processes
regenerative abilities and many other
are likely to dramatically escalate as the
simple matter of decoding the genes in
continues to grow and many biomedical
mechanisms providing maximum
developing world begins to live longer
the genome sequence to determine the
technologies continue to advance and
longevity benefit. In
2012 CRISPR/
and adopt Western diets and lifestyles.
causative genes ormutations that underlie
converge with information technology,
Cas9 genome engineering/editing
Additionally, a recent International Dia-
specific pathological phenotypes such
many scientists are hypothesizing about
tool was first shown to work in human
the various interventions that may have
cell culture. It allows scientists to edit
the potential to augment human longevity
genomes with good efficiency, flexibility
and prevent or postpone various age-
and huge precision. In past years there
related diseases. And while there is no
were many researches conducted, e.g.
consensus in the academic community,
first monkeys with targeted mutations
most scientists tend to agree that the first
was born, and even preventing HIV-1
frontier is developing pharmaceutical
infection prevention in humans. The
interventions (geroprotectors) that can
S-curves for relative mass adoption and
be brought to market by pharmaceutical
longevity benefits of these approaches
companies directly, through off label
are illustrated in Figure 1.
use or even over the counter. Another
frontier is regenerative medicine. Stem
That promise has largely been unful-
cell treatments, organ replacement
filled, as the process of untangling the
and regeneration pharmacology hold
complexity of biology has proven to be
enormous potential for restoring lost
far more difficult than anticipated. Real-
Executive Summary
Analysis of the Anti-Aging Market
izing that many diseases such as can-
ready have compounds or treatments in
cer are complex biological phenomena
various stages of development and test-
where many genes or genomic regions
ing. Most famous compound is Rapa-
act in concert to create pathological
mycin, FDA-approved drug, which has
phenotypes, new approaches have been
been developed by Novartis and is cur-
necessary. Recently, the continuing de-
rently used to prevent organ rejection.
crease in costs of sequencing individual
Research suggests that Rapamycin
human genomes along with the ability
slows both normal aging processes and
to probe gene and protein expression,
the progression of age-related maladies
methylation and microbiome data allows
such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer,
The anti-aging therapeutics industry is wit-
tive products in the technology sector and
us to collect an unprecedented amount
and cardiovascular disease. Scientists
nessing the dawn of a new era with the
has been repeatedly eying opportunities in
of data that only a few years ago was
at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
emergence of Calico, Human Longevity Inc.
the biotechnology and biomedicine areas.
impossible. Coupled with the advent of
working on strategy for reducing unde-
(HLI) Insilico Medicine, Atlas Regeneration
Additionally, Calico has been able to recruit
new data-mining, machine-learning, and
sirable side effects that can allow sci-
Vision Genomics, Canada Cancer and Ag-
heavyweights in the research and biotech-
bioinformatics algorithms, we are now
entists to start remove human trials on
ing Research Laboratories and many other
nology fields to join this effort. Chief among
able to dissect and probe the workings
aging or age-related diseases.
companies into the marketplace with a vari-
these hires are CEO Arthur Levinson who
of the human body in an unprecedented
ety of business models (Figure Additionally,
served as CEO of Genentech, and is chair-
way to understand the molecular mech-
Despite this growing interest and activ-
these companies are supported by credible
man of the board of Apple, and previously
anisms behind disease and aging. With
ity, we are currently still in the relative
new players in the field; Google in the case
served as a director of Google and Roche,
these new capabilities in mind, many in-
infancy of the anti-aging therapeutics in-
of Calico, and Craig Venter and Robert Hariri
CSO David Botstein, a prominent geneticist,
dustry players both in the pharmaceuti-
dustry. As such, there will likely be many
in the case of HLI. Google brings expertise in
former director of the Lewis-Sigler Institute
cal and data-analysis industries feel that
successes and failures in the coming
managing, manipulating and leveraging Big
for Integrative Genomics at Princeton Uni-
we now have the ability to tackle diffi-
years. This report provides an analysis
Data towards highly innovative and disrup-
versity, and former VP of Science at Genen-
cult problems such as aging that have
of the current state of the industry, the
so far been recalcitrant to study. With
challenges facing both the research and
the recent headline grabbing entrances
development of longevity therapeutics,
of new players such as Calico and Hu-
relevant trends in the longevity and big
man Longevity Inc. and the impressive
pharma industries, an analysis of the
quality and pedigree of the principals in-
opportunity and market size for longev-
volved, the anti-aging industry is poised
ity therapies, a history of previous ear-
to explode. Among Big Pharma and the
ly trials and failures and profiles of the
biotechnology industry, this renewed
important companies and players in the
interest is evidenced by investments
by newer entrants such as AbbVie and
Celgene, along with companies such as
GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis that al-
Atlas Regeneration,
- Personalized regenerative medicine
- Drug discovery and repurposing for age-related diseases
Inc R&D-stage
- Safety standards in the field iPSC cells
FIGURE 2 : Business models of recent startups commercializing aging and longevity research
Executive Summary
Analysis of the Anti-Aging Market
biotech, Navitor Pharmaceuticals, Pro-
lated diseases. IBM and the First Oncology
teostasis Therapeautics, Elysium Health,
Research and Advisory Center will provide
CohBar, and Alkahest, see [4]), the most
the know-how and methods for assisting
recent entries to the industry focus much
clinicians in making treatment decisions
more heavily on bioinformatics and data
with support from IBM Watson Health, de-
analysis. As such, in addition to the entry of
veloped by IBM and OncoFinder system de-
Calico and HLI in the industry, several small-
veloped by FORAC.
er bioinformatics / big data analysis compa-
nies have also entered the market. These in-
Additionally, a large number of research
clude Insilico Medicine, Atlas Regeneration
institutions and funding agencies now ex-
Vision Genomics and the Canadian Cancer
ist that focus on aging research. Some of
and Aging Research Laboratories. Insilico
the more prominent institutions include
Medicine, located at the Johns Hopkins Uni-
the National Institute on Aging, the Buck
versity Emerging Technology Centers with
Institute for Research on Aging, the Salk
large R&D and clinical operations in Eastern
Glen Center for Aging Research, the Albert
Europe, has developed a sustainable busi-
Einstein College of Medicine Institute for
ness model, which involves partnering with
Aging Research, Wake Forest Institute for
Big Pharma, academic and clinical institu-
Regenerative Medicine and the UC San Di-
tech, and VP Aging Research Cynthia Ken-
and its commercial expertise to bring new
tions on drug repurposing and personalized
ego Stein Institute for Research on Aging.
yon, a pioneer in the field of aging research,
discoveries to market. In the case of HLI,
medicine as well as licensing its flagship
In 2013 the Buck Institute reported the for-
founder of Elixir Pharmaceuticals and a
Celgene, a manufacturer of drug therapies
OncoFinder and GeroScope drug platforms
mation of its first spin off, Delos, a Dela-
UCSF Distinguished Professor of Bichem-
for cancer and inflammatory disorders has
to other startup companies. The company
ware corporation, then a wholly owned sub-
istry and Biophysics. In the case of HLI,
made an undisclosed equity investment in
is collecting massive statistical databas-
sidiary. The company was founded on the
CEO Craig Venter has been one of the most
HLI [3]. Additionally, Celgene has reached
es of aging-specific pathologic changes,
basis of discoveries at Buck and a unique
successful and influential figures in the bio-
an agreement with HLI to license, develop,
tissue-specific and age-specific drug ef-
chemistry technology acquired from Biot-
technology world, being one of the first to
and co-promote Celgene’s proprietary pla-
fects, while focusing on signalome-level
ica Technologies, which allows synthesis
sequence the human genome genome. He
cental stem-cell population, PSC-100 [3]. It
tissuespecific changes and screening for
of unique rapamycin analogs (rapalogs).
also founded the successful companies
is thought that HLI will sequence and char-
drugs and drug combinations that suppress
Another startup company co-founded by
Celera Genomics and Synthetic Genom-
acterize PSC-100 at the molecular level to
these age-related changes or mimic youth-
Nir Barzilai of Albert Einstein College of
ics as well as research institutes such as
complement the data Celgene has generat-
ful states in aged tissues. Since many of the
Medicine and Pinchas Cohen of University
The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR)
ed from Phase I studies of this cell popula-
drugs were tested in human patients and
of Southern California, CohBar, Inc focus-
and the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI). His
tion. This data will likely be used to explore
have vast clinical data, the company aims
ing on mitochondrially-derived peptides
co-founder, Robert Hariri, is a pioneer in stem
different applications for PSC-100, including
to publish the first list of geroprotective reg-
(MDPs),went public on January 7th, 2015
cell research and is the former CEO, CSO,
testing against sarcopenia, or age-related
imens in the near future. Insilico’s research
on the TSX Venture Exchange in Canada,
chairman and founder of Celgene. For both
muscle loss. HLI also announced a multi-
in aging and age-related diseases resulted
e raising US $11.25 million in capital with a
Calico and HLI not only are the quality and
year agreement with Genentech, a member
in 17 peer-reviewed research publications
market capitalization of approximately $50
credibility of the principals stellar, but also
of the Roche Group, to conduct whole ge-
and numerous presentations at academic
million. John Amatruda and David Sinclair
established pharmaceutical companies
nome sequencing of tens of thousands of
conferences in 2014 alone. In June 2015,
(ex-Sirtris) are listed as founders and ad-
have backed both of these new ventures
de-identified samples from Genentech. HLI,
IBM signed a collaboration agreement with
visors. Research from top-tier institutions
lending further legitimacy to the industry.
using proprietary tools and unique exper-
the First Oncology Research and Advisory
like Albert Einstein and Buck will likely pro-
With respect to Calico, AbbVie, the mak-
tise, will sequence genomes to 30x cover-
Center (FORAC)- Eastern European R&D
vide the industry with future commercial-
er of one of the world’s best selling drugs
age and analyze the data. Financial details
Center of Insilico Medicine for the develop-
ization opportunities, and there are a myr-
Humira, has agreed to invest $250 million
of the agreement were not disclosed.
ment of a medicine platform.The platform
iad of startups emerging in Europe, China,
in collaboration with Calico and up to an ad-
will utilize novel clinical decision support
Japan and India that will receive coverage
ditional $500 million, both of which will be
While previous efforts at longevity thera-
solutions to extend healthy productive lives
in the follow up versions of this report.
matched by Google [2]. AbbVie will provide
peutics have largely focused on a specific
of patients with cancer and other age-re-
scientific and clinical development support
molecule or pathway (e.g. L-Nutra, Metro-
Executive Summary
Analysis of the Anti-Aging Market
aging and age-related diseases, building
Additionally, in contrast to earlier efforts
statistical databases, building models of
in the antiaging industry, these new ef-
aging, and in silico screening of thousands
forts are being supported by established
of drugs and drug combinations to address
pharmaceuticals virtually from the out-
age-related diseases. Insilico Medicine is
set. AbbVie and Google have pledged to
also partnering with other companies such
fund Calico with up to $1.5 billion dol-
as Vision Genomics, Canadian Cancer and
lars while Celgene has obtained an equi-
Whereas previous efforts at drug discov-
nomics spaces. Such initiatives include
Aging Research Laboratories, Atlas Regen-
ty investment and licensing agreement
ery and treatment have largely been driven
Google Genomics and Google Health
eration and IBM to further develop and pro-
with HLI.
by the pharmaceutical industry’s focus on
and investments in companies such as
mote its algorithms for other diseases and
specific targets and molecules, this new
Pathway Genomics and 23andMe. It is
era appears driven more by Big Data anal-
thus highly likely that Google’s expertise
ysis. With the cost of performing genome
in Big Data approaches will be harnessed
sequencing continually decreasing, the
towards Calico’s goals.
ability to generate large sets of relevant se-
quencing data is now possible. However,
HLI, founded by human genome sequenc-
the main challenges now relate to develop-
ing pioneer Craig Venter, is building the
ing new computational methods to trans-
world’s most comprehensive human gen-
late whole human genome, microbiome,
otype and phenotype database to tackle
and protein sequencing data into the lan-
the diseases associated with aging-related
guage of human health and disease using
human biological decline. This requires se-
human phenotype data. This is exempli-
quencing hundreds of thousands or even
fied by three of the more notable entrants
millions of genomes in an effort to compu-
in this field, Calico, Human Longevity Inc.
tationally identify traits linked to longevity.
and Insilico Medicine, that all to differing
With the immense bioinformatics chal-
degrees have a focus on using compu-
lenges inherent in analyzing and interpret-
tational and bioinformatics approaches.
ing such large amounts of data, HLI has
In fact, one of the biggest challenges for
hired Franz Och the head of Google Trans-
these companies will be how to interpret
late to be its new Chief Data Scientist. Ad-
the vast amount of biological data avail-
ditionally, HLI has partnered with Personal
able. New computational tools and tech-
Genome Diagnostics, Inc., a cancer ge-
niques will need to be developed in order
nome analyses solution provider, to use its
to make these data interpretable and clini-
analysis tools on HLI data.
cally actionable.
Similarly, Insilico Medicine is using an al-
Calico is funded by the Internet search
gorithmic approach to analyze human
giant Google. Which has made several
tissue-specific transcriptome, microRNA,
moves to apply its expertise in search,
methylome, proteome and genomic profiles
algorithms and data management in the
to identify pathways related to aging. This
/ diagnostics
/ ge-
includes searching for relevant patterns in
Big Data in Aging and Age-related Diseases
Executive Summary
Analysis of the Anti-Aging Market
ing has largely been studied using model
in assessing the biology of aging, such
organisms such as C. elegans and S. cer-
as altered signaling pathways or expres-
evisiae, there are dangers that therapies
sion of particular molecules that serve
based on such research will not have
as potential readouts of the aging pro-
the same effects in humans. These con-
cess. Therefore, the most common way
cerns apply equally to therapies shown
to perform such studies is to follow ani-
to function in animal models such as
mals until they die in order to record their
mice, rats or primates. Examples of such
lifespan. Such an approach is impracti-
failures include work on commercializ-
cal for humans.
ing research involving telomerases, res-
veratrol and the sirtuin pathways. But,
Lastly, while there may be current drugs
there are new innovative approaches for
that have antiaging properties (rapamy-
a drug testing process, e.g. tissues cre-
cin, aspirin, ibuprofen, statins, beta block-
Since the anti-aging therapeutics mar-
any drug in clinical trials. Thus, such tri-
ated with a 3D bioprinter can be used in
ers, etc…), these are weakly prescribed, as
ket is still in its infancy, there are sever-
als measuring life-expectancy gains in
clinical trials of drugs, thereby replacing
many of them are generic drugs. Bringing
al challenges to the commercialization
humans over entire lifespans would be
human participants and reducing costs
therapies based on these drugs to mar-
of longevity research. As such, there
very difficult and expensive to conduct
for pharmaceutical companies. An add-
ket would likely be prohibitively expensive
are no clear business models, no indus-
and would likely be subject to a difficult
ed difficulty even when studying model
since any company attempting to do so
try lobby, and an uncertain regulatory
regulatory environment.
organisms is that there is no real agree-
would be unlikely to recoup the regulato-
framework. In fact, as the FDA does not
ment in the field on what criteria to use
ry and development costs.
consider “aging” a medical condition, no
Such difficulties make venture capital in-
treatments that specifically target aging
vestment in the anti-aging therapeutic in-
can be offered on the market. Thus, the
dustry quite challenging. Similarly to bio-
only way to bring treatments to market is
medical technologies with much longer
to target specific age-related conditions
gestation cycles than other industries, the
such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes
road to commercializing anti-aging ther-
and various neuromuscular disorders. In
apeutics is likely to be as long or longer
the future, with a large enough industry
than those typical in the pharmaceutical
lobby, it may be possible to reverse the
industry. Due to the regulatory approvals
FDA’s position on aging.
required for such treatments, increased
development costs and lengthening of the
Notwithstanding these challenges, there
investment cycle is to be expected.
are additional inherent difficulties and
complexities to bringing treatments that
Beyond the financial and regulatory is-
target aging to the marketplace. Be-
sues surrounding this industry, there are
cause human lifespans are much longer
likely to be many failures ahead for com-
than that of model organisms, it could
panies looking to commercialize such re-
take decades to evaluate the effects of
search. Since to date, the biology of ag-
Executive Summary
Analysis of the Anti-Aging Market
In Q3 2015 deal volume increased by 59%
III levels. Thus, this outsourcing of initial
to $67.6 billion compared to 46 transac-
development and early discovery activities
tions in Q2 2015 resulting total closed deal
can dramatically mitigate risk.
have been found to dramatically increase
value of $72.2 billion. Some of the notable
lifespan in diverse organisms such as ro-
deals were between Celgene and Recep-
It is within this landscape that the creation of
One of the first companies to tout an ati-ag-
dents, primates, roundworms and yeasts.
tos, Pfizer and Hospira, Merck KGaA and
companies such as Calico and HLI should be
ing cure was Geron, established in 1992 by
The strategy of both companies relied on
SigmaAldrich Corp. In November 2015
viewed. These companies believe that they
Michael West. Geron was based on work
finding compounds similar to resveratrol
Pfizer and Allergan announced the “take
have the knowledge and ability to dramati-
that found that the enzyme telomerase,
(a polyphenol present in red wines and red
over of the year in health care industry”
cally shorten the long development cycle of
which extends the ends of chromosomes
grapes) that can upregulate the expres-
with total value of $150 billion. Closed vol-
bringing therapeutics to market. Additional-
(called telomeres), could reverse the short-
sion of the mammalian sirtuin gene SIRT1
ume deals in biotech increased by 6x YoY
ly, they believe their approaches can also in-
ening of telomeres that occurs with aging.
that is thought to mimic the effects of CR.
basis in Q2 2015 from $1,8bln in 2Q2014
crease the success of therapeutics by mov-
Therefore, it was believed that increasing
to $10,8bln in 2Q2015 (PwC,2015).
ing towards higher levels of personalization
the expression of telomerase might prevent
However, there has been some contro-
in therapies or combinations of therapies for
telomere shortening, thus delaying the ag-
versy as to whether resveratrol is acting
While one of the drivers for such deals has
specific conditions and diseases. While pre-
ing process. However, later work found that
through the sirtuin genes as several stud-
been tax inversion, whereby companies
vious “Big Data” style efforts such as those
overactive telomerase was often a hallmark
ies have been published that both support
usually domiciled in Ireland or the UK are
by Rosetta Inpharmatics (acquired by Mer-
of cancerous cells. This presents a safety
and contradict these findings [5]. The ac-
acquired by companies (previously) domi-
ck) may not have been successful, these
concern as any telomerasebased therapy
quisition of Sirtris in 2008 for $720 million
ciled in other jurisdictions to take advan-
new companies believe that with newer
might induce cancer. As such, Geron has
by GlaxoSmithKline and Elixir’s $500 mil-
tage of lower corporate tax rates, taxes are
and cheaper sequencing and high-through-
shifted its research focus away from lon-
lion option deal in 2009 with Novartis was
not the only motivating factor. With shrink-
put phenotyping technologies that such
gevity research to cancer by searching for
viewed at the time as a vindication of ap-
ing product pipelines and patent cliffs ap-
approaches are likely to bring significant
compounds that reduce telomerase activity
proaches that mimic CR. However, stud-
proaching, many companies are choosing
returns. While virtually all Big Pharma com-
rather than enhance it.
ies from Amgen and Pfizer in 2010 found
to exploit M & As to both diversify their
panies utilize some form of bioinformatics
that resveratrol did not activate SIRT1
product portfolios and also to conversely
analysis, only GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis,
[6,7]. Additionally, Elixir was shut down
become more specialized in areas such as
Celgene (through HLI) and AbbVie (through
in 2010 after having burned through $82
personalized medicine.
Calico) and Daiichi Sankyo are known to
million in venture capital funding while
Additionally, due to the high risks inherent
be pursuing age-related studies. This is ex-
Two of the earliest companies in the first
the Sirtris facility of GlaxoSmithKline was
in developing therapeutics, many compa-
pected to change with the entry of HLI and
wave of antiaging pharmaceuticals were
shuttered in 2013, with many of its em-
nies have been making smaller internal
Calico into the marketplace bringing much
Elixir Pharmaceuticals, cofounded in 1999
ployees laid off. While development of the
investments in R & D activities by eschew-
needed credibility and media attention to the
by Leonard Guarente and Cynthia Kenyon
Sirtris resveratrollike compound SIRT501
ing investment in early discovery or phase
anti-aging therapeutics market.
(now with Calico) and Sirtris Pharmaceu-
has been terminated, an alternative lead
I studies. Instead, such companies have
ticals founded in 2004 by David Sinclair.
compound, SRT2104, which is dissim-
pursued the strategy of acquiring smaller
Both companies attempted to mimic
ilar to resveratrol, is still in development
companies or startups with potential prod-
the effects of caloric restriction (CR) that
to treat ulcerative colitis, diabetes and a
ucts closer to the validation or phase II or
host of inflammatory diseases [8].
Executive Summary
Analysis of the Anti-Aging Market
Over the last decade, studies in anti-aging
ulation). In Western Europe and Japan the
have had a significant breakthrough allow-
percentage of this age group is expected to
ing cell therapy and genome editing sectors
be even higher, accounting for about 20%
to grow into a global industry that continues
and 28% respectively. Baby boomers are
to appeal more and more investors. In 2014,
expected to be the major factor stimulating
regenerative medicine companies raised
demand for anti-aging products. Another
ty is enormous. For forecasting purposes,
Additionally, as attested by the entry of
$6.3 billion including $3 billion raised by
aspect to be considered is the growth of
potential treatments for the prevention of
Google, there is large potential for compu-
gene and gene-modified cell therapy com-
wealthy individuals in developing countries.
age-related diseases can likely be com-
tational approaches in developing thera-
panies, while the initial public offering (IPO)
By 2018 the number of high-income house-
pared to treatments for chronic disease.
peutics in the anti-aging and pharmaceu-
market for biotech companies was worth
holds (over $25,000 a year) is projected to
As an example, treatment of depression,
tical industries. In fact, it is likely that Big
about $1.37 billion. In accordance with Al-
increase to 30 percent where major growth
diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and mul-
Data approaches in aging research may
liance for Regenerative Medicine
is driven by Asia Pacific region. Based on
tiple sclerosis, which are relatively rare
result in improving R&D productivity in Big
report (2014) investment inflow from dif-
Transparency Market Research, global an-
in the population, can generate signifi-
Pharma by providing for early project ter-
ferent types of financings in 2014 has in-
ti-aging market value will rise to US$191.7
cant revenues over time due to the long
mination, drug repositioning, better clinical
creased considerably relative to 2013 in all
billion by the end of 2019. Key players in the
lifespans of patients compared to the
trials enrollment practices, in silico drug
the segments. The growth in the anti-aging
pharma market definitely feel the overall
relatively short but expensive treatment
development and many other areas. Such
market is driven by the same key triggers as
trend and invest heavily in R&D of anti-ag-
courses for diseases like cancer. Interest-
approaches can thus likely increase the
global healthcare sector like the increasing
ing products aiming to capitalize growing
ingly, contrary to more targeted pharma-
overall effectiveness of Big Pharma while
number of aging populations, the recovery
customer’s interest. However, the market
ceutical markets such as the treatment
simultaneously reducing costs. As such,
of US and European markets from econom-
is still in the developing stage and the tar-
of Hepatitis-C, the antiaging market is
the smaller, more bioinformatics and Big
ic crisis, and new advancements in technol-
get audience may feel skeptical regarding
so broadly defined, covering a myriad of
Data focused companies such as Insilico
ogy, particularly in tissue engineering, gene
new innovative approaches to treatment.
medical conditions, that it is highly un-
Medicine, Vision Genomics and Canadian
therapy and stem cell therapy. According to
Due to tough regulation and significant
likely that one company could develop
Cancer and Aging Research Laboratories
the United Nations report, life expectancy is
breakthrough of technology in recent years,
an all-encompassing solution. After all,
may be future acquisition targets for Big
to increase by 73.7 years by 2018 resulting
people are gradually starting to accept in-
such a solution would need to extend the
Pharma companies. We may also likely see
in the number of people over 65 to be about
novative methods to ‘managing age’. As
healthy lifespan and function over all tis-
the entrance of other bioinformatics / Big
580 million worldwide (10% of global pop-
such, the market for health human longevi-
sues, organs and systems of the human
Data analysis companies whose current fo-
body. It is for this reason that this specific
cus lies in personalized medicine, diagnos-
market segment is likely to be a non-zero-
tics or Big Data analysis outside the realm
sum game in that companies in the space
of biology and medicine since barriers to
will rarely be competing directly with each
entry are comparatively lower. Examples of
other. It is more likely that the discoveries
such companies include Personal Genome
and therapies developed by each compa-
Diagnostics, which has licensed data anal-
ny will largely be complementary and de-
ysis software and platforms to HLI, Biovista,
pendent on the successful interventions
Pathway Genomics, Foundation Medicine,
provided by other companies.
and Enterra Solutions among many others.
Executive Summary
Analysis of the Anti-Aging Market
Calico Life Sciences,
LLC (Calico)
Botstein, a prominent geneticist, former
director of the Lewis- Sigler Institute
for Integrative Genomics at Princeton
University, and former VP of Science
at Genentech, and VP Aging Research
Cynthia Kenyon, a pioneer in the field of
aging research, founder of Elixir Phar-
maceuticals and a UCSF Distinguished
Professor of Biochemistry and Biophys-
ics and President R & & D Hal Barron,
Arthur Levinson, PhD. - CEO, Founder
former Executive Vice President, Head
Hal V. Barron, M.D. - President R & D
of Product Development and Chief Med-
David Botsein, Ph.D. - CSO
ical Officer at Roche.
Cynthia Kenyon, Ph.D. - VP, Aging
Calico’s stated goal is to harness ad-
vanced technologies to increase our
understanding of the biology that con-
trols lifespan in order to devise interven-
tions that enable people to lead longer
Calico is an independent R & D biotech
and healthier lives. Calico has since
company established in 2013 by Google
received an investment of $250 million
Inc. and CEO Arthur D. Levinson. In addi-
dollars from the pharmaceutical com-
tion to Levinson, who served as CEO of
pany AbbVie. Additionally, AbbVie has
Genentech, as a director of Google and
the option to contribute an additional
Roche and is chairman of the board of
$500 million dollars at a later date. Both
Apple, Calico’s other principals form an
investments will be matched by Google;
impressive group including CSO David
making this deal worth a possible $1.5
Analysis of the Anti-Aging Market
billion dollars. Calico has agreed to be
called P7C3s, which appear to protect
under which Calico will develop and com-
responsible for research and early de-
nerve cells in the brain from dying by ac-
mercialize compounds resulting from the
velopment during the first five years
tivating an enzyme called nicotinamide
research program. Additionally, Calico will
Calico possesses an almost unparalleled
and continue to advance collaboration
phosphoribosyltransferase that inhibits
fund academic and industry research lab-
leadership team from biotech, pharma
projects through Phase 2a for a ten-
cell death. The P7C3 compounds, dis-
oratories to support the program.
and the ICT industries. This will serve
year period. AbbVie will support Calico
covered in 2010 by researchers at Uni-
them well in building the company from
in its early R & D efforts and following
versity of Texas Southwestern in Dallas,
the ground-up. As such, there should
completion of Phase 2a studies and
have been tested in numerous models of
be few or no barriers that often prevent
activities. Both parties will share costs
neurodegenerative diseases associated
innovation within larger organizations.
While Calico has not publicized their strat-
and profits equally.
with aging, including Alzheimer’s and Par-
This should allow the installment of a
egy, it can be assumed that Calico is aim-
kinson’s disease. The P7C3 compounds
new, creative culture to foster scientific
ing to obtaining technologies or platforms
In another announcement, the Calico re-
were previously licensed to Dallas-based
progress and innovation. This new cul-
to build the best discovery & development
vealed one of its first development areas:
2M Companies. In a new deal, 2M and Cal-
ture should be able to attract many of the
platform possible. Its alliance with AbbVie
drugs related to a class of compounds
ico have entered into a license agreement
best and brightest. It is anticipated that
shows Calico is serious about developing
Calico will likely try to attract academic
marketable products to tackle major dis-
principal investigators (PIs) in a manner
eases in a reasonable timeframe. With
similar to the recruitment of PIs at Ge-
the backgrounds of its CSO (David Bot-
nentech. In this somewhat uncommon
stein) and VP-Aging Research (Cynthia
arrangement, PIs are given great flexibil-
Kenyon), Calico may be planning to use
ity and independent budgets to pursue
• All-star leadership team
model organisms such as worms, mice,
• Use of model organisms may not translate to
the company’s goals.
or yeast either to identify age-related ther-
• Scientific / Data Expertise
therapeutics for humans
apeutic targets or as phenotypic readouts
Calico also possesses substantial finan-
• Well funded & collaborating with
• Lack of focus, no concrete business plan
for screening various compounds. If this
cial resources that enable them to oper-
credible companies
• Collaboration with academic groups increases
is the case, subsequent testing will likely
ate largely independent of financial con-
need to be performed in specialized mice
• Ability to attract the best & brightest
organizational complexity
straints, unlike VC-backed start-ups. This
or rats. Additionally, with their deal with
is an immense advantage in light of the
• Virtually unlimited financing
• Many other non- and for-profit organizations are
UT Southwestern [12], it can be presumed
exploding cost for a drug to be brought
that testing of P7C3s either in mouse /
• High visibility
pursuing Bell Labs model with limited success
to market, estimated to be up to $5 Bil-
rodent models of Alzheimer’s and Par-
lion dollars.
kinson’s disease or in humans is likely in
the future. Calico has also stated that it
• Largely unexplored field
• Complex FDA regulatory hurdles for anti-aging
intends to work with both industry and ac-
• Ability to attract collaborators / investment
ademic labs to further knowledge of the
• Ability to drive industry and regulatory framework
mechanisms governing age-related con-
• Possible failure of P7C3 drugs in pre-clinical or
ditions and aging itself.
• Ability to make acquisitions and attract best
clinical trials
“Friends of Levinson” approach to hiring and lack of
• Ability to recruit Best of Google or attract them
young dynamic managers may result in long-term
to spend their 20% on Calico’s projects
organizational problems and affect Calico’s ability
to adapt and change
TABLE 1: SWOT analysis of Calico Life Sciences LLC
Executive Summary
Analysis of the Anti-Aging Market
genome, microbiome and tumor se-
cell function, monitor them in real time
quencing from consenting UC San Di-
and correct any drift from optimal ac-
ego research patients [11], Metabolon
tivity with therapeutics or potentially,
Inc., a leader in the field of biochemical
stem-cell therapy. This initiative is to be
biomarker discovery and profiling field
headed by co-founder Robert Hariri, a
Longevity, Inc. (HLI)
[11], CorTech Labs [13], for its advanced
founder of Celgene and the discoverer
imaging and image processing capabil-
of placental stem cells. In fact, HLI has
ities, and Personal Genome Diagnostics
stated that it intends to embark on a pro-
for its software analysis platforms [14].
gram to monitor the genomic changes
which occur during stem cell differenti-
ation, normal aging, and in association
with the onset of disease. HLI’s agree-
ment with Celgene regarding the PSC-
the X PRIZE Foundation and Co-Found-
HLI’s strategy is to build the largest and
100 proprietary placental-stem cell pop-
er/Co- Chairman of Planetary Resourc-
most comprehensive database linking
ulation likely furthers this strategy. HLI
es. To date, HLI has publically raised
human genotypes, microbiomes and
can also use this stem cell population
$70 million dollars from a small group
phenotypes. Using this database, HLI
as an advanced basis for testing poten-
of strategic investors that includes
hopes to be able to use Big Data types
tial cell therapies for diseases such as
Malaysian billionaire K.T. Lim, Bryan
of analysis to discover the genetic and
Johnson, Illumina and Celgene. Indus-
molecular basis underlying disease and
try insiders have suggested that HLI in
aging. In order to facilitate this type of
fact has raised $90 million, of which
analysis, HLI has hired Franz Och, the
HLI’s business is focused on several core areas-genomics
$40 million has already been spent on
former head of Google Translate to be
and microbiome analysis and stem cell therapeutics.
sequencing infrastructure. It is expect-
its new Chief Data Scientist. Addition-
J. Craig Venter, Ph.D. - CEO, Founder
ed that this initial investment will allow
ally, HLI has also partnered with Per-
Led by HLI co-founder, Dr. Venter, HLI is building the
Robert Hariri, M.D. Ph.D. - Founder
the company to continue through May.
sonal Genome Diagnostics, Inc (PGDI).
largest and most comprehensive human genotype and
Peter Diamandis, M.D. - Founder
HLI is currently working on raising a Se-
PGDI offers several analysis software
phenotype database. To do this, the company has
ries B round totaling over $500 million
and platforms for analyzing cancer and
purchased two Illumina HIS-eq X Ten Sequencing Systems
before May at a target valuation of $2.1
oncology data including the CancerSe-
(with options for three more systems) to sequence up
billion. HLI intends to focus on identify-
to 40,000 human genomes per year, with plans to scale
lectTM, PlasmaSelectTM, CancerX-
ing therapeutics that target age-relat-
rapidly to 100,00 human genomes. Along with the
omeTM, METDetect™, PGDx Enterprise
ed human biological decline, including,
genomic data gleaned from sequencing, HLI will also be
HLI is a genomics and cell therapy com-
Solution platform and CancerCom-
diabetes and obesity, heart and liver
generating microbiome data, metabolomic and proteomic
pany founded by J. Craig Venter a hu-
plete™ software packages. From such
profiling to provide an unprecedented dataset.
man genome pioneer, founder and
diseases, and dementia. In order to ac-
analysis, HLI intends to commercialize
CEO of the J. Craig Venter Institute,
complish these goals, HLI has signed
therapies for diseases that are associ-
deals with Celgene Cellular Therapeu-
HLI is embarking on an ambitious multi-pronged effort
Celera Genomics, The Institute for Ge-
ated with the biological and molecular
tics to license, develop, and co-promote
utilizing stem cell therapy advances to enhance and
nomics Research (TIGR), and Synthetic
breakdown associated with aging.
Celgene’s PSC-100 proprietary placen-
improve the healthy life span. Under the direction of Robert
Genomics. Additionally, HLI is co-found-
tal-stem cell population in age-related
Hariri, M.D., Ph.D., HDI will monitor the genomic changes
ed by former CEO, CSO, chairman and
An additional application is to create a
which occur during stem cell differentiation, normal aging,
clinical indications
[3], UC San Diego
founder of Celgene, Robert Hariri, and
preventive healthcare model that can
and in association with the onset of disease.
Peter Diamandis, chairman and CEO of
Moores Cancer Center to enable whole
take baseline measurements of stem-
Executive Summary
Analysis of the Anti-Aging Market
sarcopenia, a condition associated with
service provider providing sequencing
aging characterized by degenerative
and diagnostic services on demand
loss of skeletal muscle mass, quality,
to third parties. It is also possible that
and strength.
with the economies of scale in the se-
quencing market that HLI could direct-
In order to generate the data necessary
ly sell its sequencing and phenotyping
• Successful leadership
• Brute-force sequencing approaches may not be fruitful
for these initiatives, HLI has purchased
services directly to consumers similarly
• Ability to easily raise additional funds at
• No concrete business plan
two Illumina HiSeq X Ten Sequencing
to companies such as 23andMe or An-
unprecedented valuations
• Extremely high uncontrollable burn rate
Systems (with options for three more
cestry. In fact, HLI recently agreed with
systems) and two PacBio RS II DNA Se-
Genentech to sequence tens of thou-
• Partnered with credible companies & investors
• History of disregard to conventional investor
quencing Systems to sequence up to
sands of de-identified clinical samples
• High visibility
interests (Celera)
40,000 human genomes per year, with
at 30x sequencing coverage [16]. It has
• Ability to attract the best & brightest
• Unprecedented valuations
plans to scale rapidly to 100,000 human
even been rumored that HLI may con-
genomes. HLI’s end goal is to sequence
sider opening clinical centers focusing
• Focus on humans
• Recent supercentenarian genome studies and
over 1 million full human genomes and
on preventative medicine with 7-Tesla
• Viable business model catering to Big Pharma
Ashkenazi genome studies failed to yield clinically-
microbiomes [11]. These will then be
ultra-high-field magnetic resonance im-
• Ability to think and act Big
relevant results
compared with matched MRI body-im-
aging (MRI) capabilities.
age scans using CorTech’s advanced
• Rapid growth with many ambitious managers
imaging platform, and metabolomes
creates rivalry and barriers before there is revenue
provided by Metabolon
(the current
agreement is to profile 10,000 subjects
While parts of HLIs strategy can be
to map the changes in small molecule
pieced together from publically avail-
populations to end points of disease
• Largely unexplored field
Competition from institutions (e.g. Broad Institute,
able information, HLI is currently in an
and gene mutations).
• Unprecedented integration of large-scale
Wellcome Trust, BGI, 100k Wellness Project, The
exploratory mode with no clear busi-
ness plan guiding HLI’s operation. Si-
heterogeneous data types; more likely to find
Resilience Project) generating publically available
While HLI certainly intends to profit from
multaneously, HLI is spending immense
the development of novel therapeutics
actionable associations
data and others (Illumina)
amounts of money in establishing the
and diagnostics developed internally or
• Economies of scale will lower sequencing /
Privacy / regulatory concerns from Big Data
expensive sequencing and phenotyping
with partners, it is likely that it will also
infrastructure required to implement
phenotyping costs
analysis of patient data
attempt to gain revenue from licensing
their vision. However, it is likely that
its database to pharmaceutical, biotech-
• Focus on microbiome provides actionable data
Regulatory concerns regarding clinical applications
with the reputations of HLI’s principals
nology, insurance companies, hospitals,
• Potential “Sequence your genome” provider
Big Pharma may not view HLI as an acquisition
and HLI’s high visibility in the industry
and academic organizations. An exam-
that raising any additional funding from
• Excellent international network provides opportunity
target due to extremely high operational costs
ple of such an approach is 23andMe’s
venture capital and pharmaceutical in-
recent agreements with
to establish presence in other countries
In absence of serious revenue, high operational
vestors is unlikely to be problem in the
Genentech and Pfizer [15].
• Potential to influence government policy
costs may result in poor financial performance and
near future.
loss of investor hype
It is also possible that with its large
While the Big Data style approach taken
sequencing and molecular profiling ca-
“We do everything” approach and heavy focus on
by HLI may well prove to be very fruitful
pabilities, HLI can also function as a
sequencing may fail to yield a sustainable business
Possible patient liability (stem cells)
TABLE 2: SWOT analysis of Human Longevity Inc.
Executive Summary
Analysis of the Anti-Aging Market
in identifying targets for therapeutics,
100,000 individuals by 2017 to better
it remains possible that most of the
understand cancer and other diseases
“low-hanging fruit” have already been
[17], the Beijing Genome Institute has
taken. There is some minor talk in ac-
previously announced its “3M” initiative
ademic and industry circles that addi-
to sequence 1 million human genomes,
Medicine (ISM)
tional brute-force sequencing may not
1 million microorganisms and
1 mil-
be the most cost-effective way forward
lion plants and animals [18], the 100k
to identifying additional pathways and
Wellness Project to collect and analyze
mechanisms to target various diseases.
genomic, metabolomic and clinical in-
Their argument is that more data will
formatics data [19] and The Resilience
not necessarily be helpful, but rather a
Project which plans to screen hundreds
better understanding of how to analyze
of thousands of patients to identify mu-
and interpret this data is what is need-
tations that are protective against other
and data management system that ana-
ed. In fact, many previous academic
already identified deleterious mutations
lyzes the genetic, epigenetic, and molec-
and industry efforts have gone towards
ular profiles of normal and tumor cells
approaching this problem in similar
that they refer to as the OncoFinder.
fashion, albeit not often at the scale pro-
The OncoFinder approach, along with
posed by HLI. Additionally, HLI may face
its application to normal aging, Age-re-
some threat from academic institutions
lated Macular Degeneration (AMD), Pro-
and other industry players already heav-
geria and cancer has been published in
ily committed towards increasing their
several academic journals (e.g. [22,23]).
own sequencing efforts. In fact, the UK
OncoFinder identifies which pathways
and Illumina have recently announced
Alex Zhavoronkov, Ph.D. - CEO, Founder
and gene perturbations are most like-
that they will sequence the genomes of
Qingsong Zhu, Ph.D. - COO
ly to turn normal cells into cancer, and
Gene Makarev, Ph.D. - VP, Aging Re-
then predict which annotated drug com-
pounds, small molecules and biologics
Alex Aliper, Ph.D. - Director of Drug
could reverse this process or mimic
various signaling states making cancer
more susceptible to therapy.
ISM has further developed a drug discov-
Founded in 2013 by Alex Zhavoronkov,
ery and repurposing platform that they re-
Insilico Medicine
(ISM) specializes in
fer to as GeroScope that instead of analyz-
taking a computational approach to
ing normal and cancerous cells evaluates
pharmaceutical development. The com-
differences in signaling between “young”
pany is a result of a multi-year research
and “old cells and tissues and simulates
project in signaling pathway activation
the activity of thousands of known drugs
differences between healthy tissues
and drugs combinations on differential
and cancer by a large international team
signalomelevel patterns and assigning
funded with over $2.5 million in non-di-
“geroscores”. Thus, analogously to
lutive financing. ISM in conjunction with
OncoFinder, a computational simulation
its main research and business partner
can be performed to determine which
Hong Kong-based Pathway Pharmaceu-
drug compounds might be viable anti-ag-
ticals [21] has developed an algorithm
ing therapeutics.
Executive Summary
Analysis of the Anti-Aging Market
While focusing on generating revenue
combinations of therapies that may have
form. This will likely be used both in terms
obtain relevant sequencing, expression
from partnerships with Big Pharma, Insil-
beneficial synergetic effects. Many of
of discovering potential novel therapeutic
and phenotyping data to build, test and
ico Medicine’s research team is dedicated
these interventions are likely to be known
strategies, as well as attracting additional
train its algorithms. In this light, a com-
to aging research. Several team members
drugs that may be repurposed as antiag-
investment and partnerships with pharma-
pany like HLI might be an ideal partner
including the CEO refuse to take salary be-
ing therapeutics or other chemical entities
ceutical companies.
for ISM since it plans on generating all
fore achieving profitability in order to hire a
that have enough data to be analyzed by
of these types of data on its own and is
larger number of research scientists. The
the system. As such, ISM is focusing on
Despite these successes, ISM may still
already investing in analysis capabilities.
CEO of the company has extensive expe-
cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s dis-
have lower visibility in the industry due
However, with ISM’s low costs and prov-
rience in both high-performance comput-
ease, atherosclerosis, fibrosis, age-related
to the public media frenzy surrounding
en expertise, it is well positioned to capi-
ing and genomics and is one of the early
macular degeneration
(with Vision Ge-
the entry of Calico and HLI into the mar-
talize on this growing industry. Like other
evangelists of applied aging research and
nomics) and multiple sclerosis. Another
ketplace. This may become problematic,
bioinformatics focused companies, ISM
personalized research.
source of revenue for ISM will come from
as the largest threat to ISM may be po-
is susceptible to competition from oth-
licensing GeroScope / OncoFinder to other
tential difficulties in finding partners with
er bioinformatics / Big Data companies
organizations or partnering to further de-
Big Pharma companies. ISM’s strategy
since barriers to entry for the field are
velop the software for other diseases and
largely relies on such partnerships to
relatively low.
conditions. In fact, ISM has announced
ISM’s long-term goal is to partner with
partnerships with Vision Genomics to ap-
pharmaceutical and biotechnology com-
ply its software to eye-related diseases,
panies in order to analyze their patient,
and with Canadian Cancer and Aging Re-
drug and compound data. ISM believes
search Laboratories.
that with the use of GeroScope, it can ac-
• Published expertise in applying algorithms to analyzing
• Lower visibility in industry
curately predict the efficacy of a drug on
cancer data
• Large R&D and clinical base outside the United States
Industry insiders have indicated that ISM is
both individuals and groups of patients,
• Proprietary database of healthy norms
• Broad geographic spread
close to closing a $3.2 million dollar round
and possibly improve enrollment in clini-
• Very dynamic team of young scientists
at a $40 million valuation before March
• Limited access to capital
cal trials. ISM will also aim to perform in
2015 after receiving a $800 thousand dol-
• Large and rapidly growing number of academic
• Too many academic publications make it easier for
silico simulations on drugs currently in
lar convertible loan and is actively hiring
competitors to replicate its platforms
a pharmaceutical company’s pipeline to
personnel in Basel, Switzerland to open a
• Partnerships with other companies / academic groups
• Competing research teams within Big Pharma
predict their efficacy and/or rapidly de-
local office. Additionally, ISM is rumored
• Focus on actionable human clinically-relevant data
velop companion biomarkers to improve
to be nearing milestone deals with two
• Bioinformatics (low costs)
clinical trials enrollment and outcomes.
large pharmaceutical companies on drug
In this way, companies can better identi-
• Located at Johns Hopkins University
repurposing and is working on developing
fy potential candidates for further study
a new joint venture with Israel.
and eliminate potential dead ends before
costly clinical trials.
• Difficulty finding additional Big Pharma partners
• Pioneer in a growing industry
• Difficulty obtaining data to build / test algorithms
Additionally, many large pharmaceuti-
• Drug repurposing could be lucrative
cal companies have broad portfolios of
ISM, in conjunction with Pathway Phar-
• Possible theft of vital data
• Strong relationship with large pharma
drugs, some of which may be repurposed
maceuticals has published several journal
• Potential competitors from Big Data
• Sustainable business model with focus on aging
to combat or prevent specific agerelated
articles on the use of its pathway analysis
• Possible instability in Eastern Europe, China and Israel
• Ability to license IP to disease-focused R&D companies
diseases. ISM’s platform will be deployed
software, OncoFinder. Additionally, with
• Access to Big Pharma databases will help enrich its
to predict which drugs may be repurposed
deals with Vision Genomics and Canadian
knowledge base
and how they will behave in various hu-
Cancer and Aging Research Laboratories
man tissues. The GeroScope approach
in place, ISM is well positioned to exploit
• Alternative applications for pathway analysis and drug
can also be used to investigate potential
its bioinformatics and data analysis plat-
scoring algorithms
• Possible acquisition by pharma or software giants
TABLE 3: SWOT analysis of Insilico Medicine
Executive Summary
Analysis of the Anti-Aging Market
outcomes and reduce the costs associat-
to the types of data necessary to fulfill this
ed with cancer treatment therapy. CCARL
vision. Additionally, its relative low visibility
Canada Cancer
is expected to start clinical trials of a diag-
may present a problem in raising addition-
nostic test in Canada in May 2015. It can
al funding from venture capital investors.
be inferred that CCARL will likely need to
However, the Canadian government has
and Aging Research
either provide or partner with other orga-
given its support to helping develop the
nizations to provide sequencing and mo-
nascent biotechnology industry through
lecular profiling capabilities to feed into
Genome Canada to implement a nation-
algorithms similar to OncoFinder. CCARL
al strategy for supporting large-scale re-
is also likely to seek out Big Pharma or ac-
search projects in genomics and proteom-
ademic partners to obtain and mine their
ics. It is possible that CCARL could find
datasets for potential diagnostic biomark-
support from Genome Canada towards
ers for diseases and age-related condi-
using its approaches to understanding
tions of interest.
disease. Like other bioinformatics focused
companies, CCARL is susceptible to com-
cians and to clinical institutions looking
petition from other bioinformatics / Big
to improve the outcomes and reduce the
Data companies since barriers to entry for
costs associated with cancer treatment
the field are relatively low.
As CCARL plans to develop and deploy
therapy. CCARL envisions using tools
algorithms to discover therapeutics for
like OncoFinder to analyze the genetic
diseases and age-related conditions, CCA-
backgrounds of individual patient tumors
RL’s main difficulties may be in finding ex-
and use this information to better select
ternal Big Pharma partners. Without such
Olga Kovalchuk, M.D., Ph.D.
- CEO,
and predict the effectiveness of selected
partnerships, CCARL will not have access
therapies. CCARL has also announced
Igor Kovalchuk, M.D., Ph.D. - Founder
that Insilico Medicine has invested in a
joint collaboration with CCARL to devel-
op tools analogous to OncoFinder that
can detect tissue-specific epigenetic
changes in disease and aging process-
The Canada Cancer and Aging Research
es [24]. It is hoped that this will lead to
• Bioinformatics (low costs)
• Low visibility in industry
(CCARL) was launched in
advances in both disease treatment and
October 2014 by Olga Kovalchuk, a Pro-
• Partnerships with Insilico Medicine, University
• No relevant publications using stated approach to
prevention. Such tools would target the
fessor, Board of Governors Chair in Can-
of Calgary, University of Lethbridge, Pathway
multiple sclerosis
personalized medicine space in the area
cer and Canadian Institute of Health Re-
Pharmaceuticals, Plantbiosis, etc
• No Science Advisory Board
of metagenomics and various age-relat-
search Chair in Gender and Health at the
ed conditions such as leukemia, multiple
• CEO represented Canada at World Economic
• Difficult interim path to revenue
University of Lethbridge and Igor Koval-
sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease.
Forum and is 40 under 40 women of influence in
• Economic weakness in Alberta due to low oil prices
chuk, a Professor and Board of Gover-
• No sizable sales team for cancer research tests
nors Research Chair in Epigenetics at the
University of Lethbridge. CCARL aims to
use Big Data type analysis to improve de-
• Potential Canadian government support of
• Difficulty finding Big Pharma partners in Canada
cision-making in cancer care by person-
While very little is currently known as to
alizing therapy for each patient. To this
CCARL’s strategy, they have previously
nascent biotech industry
• Difficulty obtaining data to build & test algorithms
end, CCARL has licensed Insilico Med-
stated that they intend to provide deci-
• Largely untapped clinical support role
• Possible research program cuts in Canada
icine’s OncoFinder platform [24] to pro-
sion-support services to physicians and to
vide decision-support services to physi-
clinical institutions looking to improve the
TABLE 4: SWOT analysis of Canada Cancer and Aging Research Laboratory
Executive Summary
Analysis of the Anti-Aging Market
market, VG is also likely to try to part-
likely help its visibility with pharma-
ner with Big Pharma companies with
ceutical companies. Additionally, since
Vision Genomics,
FDA-approved AMD drug treatments in
VG has decided to focus on eyerelated
order to gain access to their databas-
diseases and in particular AMD, there
es of clinical data. These companies
is likely extensive data that can be ana-
include Genentech (Lucentis), Novartis
lyzed using VG and ISM’s approaches.
(Lucentis and Visudyne), Pfizer (Macu-
Like other bioinformatics focused com-
gen), Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (Ey-
panies, VG is susceptible to competition
lea), and Bayer Healthcare (Eylea).
from other bioinformatics
/ Big Data
partnered with Insilico Medicine (ISM)
companies since barriers to entry for the
to develop a version of OncoFinder spe-
field are relatively low.
cifically for AMD, called AMD Medicine
[25]. Note that both Alex Zhavoronkov
As VG plans to develop and deploy al-
and Evgeny Makarev of ISM serve on the
gorithms to discover therapeutics for
Scientific Advisory Board of VG. Simi-
eye-related diseases such as AMD, VG’s
larly to OncoFinder, the AMD Medicine
main difficulties, like CCARL and ISM,
platform uses a database of drugs with
may be in finding external Big Pharma
known molecular targets and effects on
partners. Without such partnerships, VG
Antonei Bejamin Csoka, Ph.D. -
gene expression in a variety of tissues
will not have access to the types of data
Founder and CEO
and cell lines along with ocular disease
necessary to fulfill this vision. However,
Naina Bhatia-Dey, Ph.D. - Aging
specific gene expression, genetic and
its recent publications on AMD should
Research & Progeria program
epigenetic data. The goal is to use an al-
Susan Stair, Ph.D. - General Counsel
gorithmic approach to screen for drugs
and Corporate Secretary
that minimize the differences between
Richard E. Gordon III - Research Asso-
healthy and disease states.
Riya R. Kanherkar - Research
• Credibility from AMD and Progeria publications
• Low visibility in industry
Associate, Public Relations
• Bioinformatics (low cost)
• Difficult interim path to revenue
• Partnerships with Insilico Medicine and Pathway
• Likely lack of management experience in a team
Little is known regarding VG’s market
strategy. What is currently known is that
lead by laboratory scientists
the company wishes to apply a Big Data
• Clear focus on Age-related Macular Degeneration
Vision genomics (VG), is a biotechnolo-
approach to produce therapeutics and
(AMD) makes a compelling case for investors not
gy-based company founded by Antonei
pathway knowledge relating to age-re-
interested in pure aging research
Csoka, an Assistant Professor of Anat-
lated eye diseases. Towards this end,
omy at Howard University. The compa-
the company is developing a special-
ny focuses on the research and devel-
ized version of OncoFinder called AMD
• Large amount of AMD clinical data available from
• AMD therapeutic market is well developed; few
opment of therapeutics for age-related
Medicine. They will use this software
Big Pharma
“low-hanging fruit”?
eye diseases. In particular, Vision Ge-
similarly to ISM to examine potential
• Eye-related diseases are a huge market with
• Difficulty finding Big Pharma partners
nomics has chosen to primarily focus
drug repurposing. This approach has
already successful drug repurposing
• Difficulty obtaining data to build / test algorithms
on Age-related macular degeneration
already had some success as several
• AMD seems to be one of the most age-related
• Potential competitors from Big Data
(AMD), the leading cause of visual im-
drugs on the market for AMD were re-
pairment and blindness worldwide. In
purposed from other diseases. Since
order to study this disease, VG has also
VG is specifically focusing on the AMD
TABLE 5: SWOT analysis of Vision Genomics
Executive Summary
Analysis of the Anti-Aging Market
transduction scoring algorithm. Simul-
and their differentiation potential. One of
taneously Atlas developed its unique
the promising directions is drug discov-
Atlas Regeneration
pathway analysis scoring platform Re-
ery, personalized regenerative medicine,
generation Intelligence which utilizes
and pharmacology, based on genetic
transcriptomic, proteomic and epigen-
and epigenetic profile of the patient. At
etic data to calculate the potential of
this moment, company is utilizing a new
signaling pathway activation or actual
machine learning approach in chemin-
pathway activation score. Based hese
formatics to facilitate drug discovery of
results, the Atlas team demonstrated
candidate drugs able to suppress previ-
the close resemblance of iPSCs with
ously identified pro-fibrosis pathways.
The project “Atlas Regeneration” began
ESCs at the pathway level, and provid-
after meeting a famous scientist and
ed examples of how pathway activity
director of The Wake Forest Institute
analysis can be applied to identify iPSC
for Regenerative Medicine
The goal of Atlas’ business is to develop
line abnormalities or to predict in vitro
Anthony Atala with a team of bioinfor-
the market and sell novel bioinformatics
differentiation potential. The results in-
matics from InSilico Medicine Inc, a
technologies and services that address
dicate that pathway activation profiling
successful Baltimore based company
the unmet needs of the Regenerative
is a promising strategy for evaluating
focused on development different path-
Medicine market. Atlas team hopes
the safety and potency of iPSC lines in
way analysis algorithms and drug re-
that their algorithm will help to find per-
translational medicine applications, al-
purposing. As a scientist and practicing
sonal drug combinations for individual
lowing scientists to test differentiation
physician, Anthony Atala was looking
patients and for individual cases (e.g.
Eugene (Gene) Makarev, Ph.D. - CEO,
abilities of many iPSC lines in silico
for bioinformatics support for his re-
oil burns vs. water burns). Also Atlas
while saving valuable time for patients
generative medicine programs because
Regeneration wants to personalize cel-
Anthony Atala, Ph.D. - Director of Re-
waiting for treatment. This work lead
there are occurring problems with the
lular therapies to the patient- and tis-
generative Medicine
to first company publication in “Onco-
cell differentiation capacity and cell
sue-specific microenvironment. From
Kristen Fortney, Ph.D. - Director of Bio-
target” journal:
“Quantifying signaling
therapy safety but no in silico assays
the other side, its approach can provide
pathway activation to monitor the qual-
to address it have been developed so
the ability to test the pathway activation
Oles Isayev, Ph.D. - Director of Drug
ity of induced pluripotent stem cells”.
far. This meeting originated the idea of
profiles in cells provided by contractors,
creating a special bioinformatics tools
and in silico prediction of the effects of
Dmitry Muhkin, Ph.D. - Director of Busi-
In 2015 Atlas has partnered with InSili-
to utilize multi-omics data for the needs
the various drugs on specific tissues.
ness Development
co Medicine to build the state of the art
of regenerative medicine.
Using pathway based target identifica-
PharmAtlas platform to select and to
tion and in silico drug discovery, Atlas
rate personalized anti-fibrogenic ther-
First of all Atlas created a new propri-
could license this preclinical data to
apies and to identify new drug candi-
etary database of almost 3 hundreds
pharmaceutical companies. It is a big
dates in regenerative medicine, since it
linearized maps of cell signaling path-
effort for pharmaceutical companies to
was necessary to find some new way of
Atlas Regeneration Inc, a company ded-
ways related to regeneration. Each
conduct the preclinical studies of dozed
regulation and control cells at the mo-
icated to developing novel software
pathway was manually re-curated to
new drugs and molecules without any
lecular level.
platforms and algorithms for drug dis-
meet highest quality standards (to con-
idea of its safety and toxicity in humans
covery relating to regenerative medicine
tain constantly updated information
because of huge funding and time ex-
While at the seed stage, Atlas offers
and stem cell research, was established
based on current literature) and to fit
penses and risks. But, with Atlas Re-
commercial services to other compa-
in 2014.
to innovative logic of the Atlas signal
generation algorithmic solution it could
nies for evaluation safety of iPS cells
Executive Summary
Analysis of the Anti-Aging Market
get cheaper and faster to find the right
tion abilities of many iPSC lines in silico
Another angle of company specializa-
systems that will cost-effectively pre-
active ingredient and test drugs on the
while saving valuable time for patients
tion is screening and predicting the
dict the effectiveness of the many
preclinical stage.
waiting for treatment.
effectiveness of possible regenera-
drugs on individual tissue, organ and
tion-inducing drugs in a high-through-
organism levels. And still there are few
Despite the costs for drug development,
put environment to at least slow some
players which already operate on this
not only pharmaceutical companies can
of the aging processes by stimulating
market and Atlas needs to compete
Key applications the of Atlas product
afford it, but there are many institutes
natural tissues regeneration potential.
with them in technological field and in
PharmAtlas will include quality assur-
and academia which discover com-
Some of the known drugs have been on
public media as well. Such giants like
ance for engineered cell products and
pletely new substances and therapies
the market for many decades and only
Calico and HLI have big names after
directed regeneration pharmacology,
for various diseases. So Atlas Regener-
recently scientists have started finding
them like Google for Calico.
where Atlas Regeneration will screen
ation considers this group as potential
clues to their anti-inflammation, re-
and identify compounds that can ef-
users of their technology.
generation and geroprotective effects.
ficiently convert pluripotent cells into
There is an urgent need for intelligent
desired subtypes. Another marketable
Besides drugs there is another applica-
part of IP is the development of a spe-
tion of Atlas Regeneration algorithms.
SWOT ANALYSIS OF Atlas Regeneration
cialized signaling pathway analysis sys-
team developed bioinformatics
tem, Regeneration Intelligence, which
algorithm which allows or the evalua-
is supposed to target the unmet needs
tion of the differentiation propensity of
• Partnerships with InSilico Medicine and Wake
• Low visibility in industry
of determination and prediction of sig-
Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine
iPSCs using corresponding transcrip-
Competing research teams within Big Pharma
naling pathway activation in iPSC and
tomic date that dramatically reduce
Atlas Regeneration’s innovative product was proposed
the differentiated counterparts to pave
for SBIR FastTrack
Large R&D and clinical base outside the United States
cost of analysis and evaluation time. It
the way to govern iPSC differentiation
compares large number of cell types to
Bioinformatics (Low Cost)
in the specified direction. Aging is an
develop in silico tools to assess tumor-
Exceptional knowledge base and experts of leading
issue that effects all people around
genecity. Using the proprietary pathway
minds in regenerative medicine, bioinformatics
the globe universally, but as the baby
and drug discovery
analysis system, Atlas Regeneration
boomer generation ages, the stress that
demonstrated the close resemblance
it places on society becomes greater
of iPSCs with ESCs at the pathway lev-
and the need to develop methods for
el, which allows them to use ESCs as a
people to remain productive as they age
metric for iPSCs cell fate prediction and
• Diversification multiple approaches of using Atlas
• Difficulty finding additional Big Pharma partners
rises in turn. The pharmaceutical indus-
provided examples of how pathway ac-
allows developing business in a few dimensions
try needs a platform to effectively uti-
Potential competitors from Big Data
tivity analysis can be applied to identify
Future collaborations with large pharma or academia
lize and clinically implement stem cells
iPSC line abnormalities or to predict in
Possible instability in Eastern Europe
technology. And Atlas Regeneration has
Exploiting new opportunities for existing drugs
vitro differentiation potential. Results
and their repurposing
kind of it, but low visibility in industry
indicate that pathway activation profil-
may become a problem for finding new
ing is a promising strategy for evaluat-
partners in pharmaceutical industry or
ing the safety and potency of iPSC lines
academia. However Atlas has another
in translational medicine applications,
application of their technology.
TABLE 7: SWOT analysis of Atlas Regeneration
allowing scientists to test differentia-
Executive Summary
Analysis of the Anti-Aging Market
The amount of funding invested in HLI and
Labs-type research institute facilitating col-
Human Longevity
Insilico Medicine
Atlas Regeneration
Vision Genomics
Calico, based on the quality of the princi-
laboration between Google and AbbVie bro-
pal founders of these companies and the
kered by one of the top IT and pharmaceuti-
Sept 2013
March 2014
March 2014
Sept 2015
July 2014
Sept 2014
hype surrounding these investments, will
cal industry veterans. Calico’s choice of mice
certainly result in valuable discoveries, in-
as a model organism for aging research will
dustry partnerships and attention to the
definitely result in abundant contributions
Funding to
$2.5M + grants
<$1M + grants
nascent industry. It also turns smaller and
to basic research with publications in top-ti-
leaner companies into attractive invest-
er academic journals; however, its ability to
ment opportunities. Table 6 provides a
generate revenue is questionable and new
comparative analysis of the five compa-
intellectual property may be subject to the
Yes, $500M, Round B
Yes, $3.2M, Round B
Yes, ~$1M, Round A
Yes, ~$5M, Round A
nies covered in this report.
right of first refusal by AbbVie. Depending on
Baltimore, MD
Winston-Salem, NC
Washington, DC
Lethbridge, Alberta
San Diego, MD
the structure of the deal, AbbVie may benefit
View, CA
For Calico, should its portfolio of P7C3 neu-
from potential upside offered by its newly es-
Yeast, worm,
Human Genome Seque-
Human Transcriptome,
Human Transcriptome,
Human Transcriptome,
Human Genome,
mouse models
ncing, Microbiome, Stem
MicroRNA, Methylome
MicroRNA, Stem Cell
roprotective drugs or its $1.5 Billion research
tablished R & D center.
collaboration with AbbVie result in clinical-
Basic research
Database licensing and
Drug repurposing, Big
Stem cell quality and
Drug discovery and
Personalized medicine
ly-viable discoveries, it will still be several
Human Longevity, Inc will generate vast
in mice, R&D for
contract R&D for Big
Data R&D for aging,
safety, contract R&D for
personalizaton for ocular
in cancer, R&D in
Abbvie, P7C3
Pharma, internal drug
contract research for
Big Pharma and
years before revenues can be generated.
amounts of clinically-relevant data that may
diseases (AMD and RP),
multiple sclerosis,
discovery, clinical
large pharma, business
academia Drug
Progeria, personalized
contract R&D for
From a commercial perspective, the com-
be licensed to large pharmaceutical compa-
government and Big
pany may be viewed as a well-funded Bell
nies, where demand for this kind of data is
Cancer, Aging,
Age-related diseases,
Age-related Macular
Cancer, Multiple
ive, Aging
Degeneration, Progeria
Sclerosis, Aging
Illumina X Pacbio
CustomArray, Ion Proton
Illumina HiSeq/MiSeq,
Lethbridge Seq Core
In development
Drugs in the
P7C3 class
Burn Rate
Very High
Number of
Licensed from
FIGURE 5: Research focus and time to market
TABLE 8: Calico, HLI, Insilico, Atlas Regeneration, Vision Genomics, CCARL company summaries
N/A - not available
Executive Summary
Analysis of the Anti-Aging Market
validated through recent acquisitions (e.g.
in the traditional pharmaceutical in-
deCODE) and deals with 23andMe. HLI’s fo-
dustries, but also in academia. While
cus on human data is encouraging, as any
the number and quality of academic
discoveries may be rapidly transitioned into
research institutes and laboratories
clinical practice. However, it will likely take
studying aging are dramatically increas-
years before the company starts generat-
ing, we have also witnessed the cre-
ing revenue from interventions designed to
ation of specialized graduate programs
extend human longevity. In silico geropro-
in aging research. Partly funded by the
tector screening by Insilico Medicine, Atlas
National Institute on Aging, programs at
Regeneration and Bid Data analysis efforts
the Buck Institute for Aging Research
by Vision Genomics and CCARL promise to
/ University of Southern California PhD
deliver first interventions in the very near fu-
Program in the Biology Aging, and the
ture if their approach, comparing changes
Tulane University Interdisciplinary PhD
in specific human tissues during aging and
Program in Aging Studies will greatly ex-
disease and correcting these changes with
pand the pool of scientists working on
pharmaceuticals, helps identify safe clini-
aging. This can be expected to enhance
cally-proven drugs (Figures 5-7).
the science of the aging process and
will benefit the inevitable expansion of
It is currently only the infancy of the an-
the industry with more scientists work-
ti-aging therapeutics and longevity in-
ing towards creating anti-aging thera-
dustry. Similarly to 1910- 15 in the auto-
motive, 1970-75 in the computing, and
FIGURE 6: Clinical vs. Basic Science focus
1990-1995 in the networking industries,
As evidenced by the recent activity and en-
the industry is likely to explode with ac-
try of new players to the industry, the fu-
tivity in the coming years. The entry of
ture of the anti-aging therapeutics and lon-
Calico and HLI, along with substantial in-
gevity industry is incredibly promising. We
vestment and media attention has served
will undoubtedly witness significant suc-
to usher in a new era for the anti-aging
cesses towards improving the quality and
industry. With a potentially huge market
length of human lifespans in the coming
for anti-aging therapeutics, we can expect
years, ushering in a new era in medicine.
to see substantial new investment from
established Big Pharma companies as
Overall, our forecasts point out to
well as the entry of new startups and Big
greater prospects for growth of the
Data companies into the industry. This is
anti-aging industry in
2016 than in
the preceding years. Our projections
already evidenced by the entry of startups
signal a great expansion in Anti-ageing
such as Insilico Medicine, Atlas Regen-
startups. More new entrants will join
eration Vision Genomics and Canadian
the market and it certainly entails
Cancer and Aging Research Laboratories,
the expansion of the total number of
and the numerous licensing and research
entities that claim to be in the same
agreements being signed by companies
category while producing substandard
such as Genentech and Pfizer.
research and subsequent substandard
products. We expect investments in
Not only has this explosion of activity
that sector to grow substantially in the
in the antiaging industry been observed
coming year.
FIGURE 7: Near-term revenue potential vs. access to capital
Executive Summary
Analysis of the Anti-Aging Market
1. Global Health and Aging (2011). NIH
oral administration in man. Br J Clin
Publication No. 11-7737
Pharmacol. 75(1): 186-196
2. CalicoLabs (2014). AbbVie and Cal-
9. Kim, S, Roumelotis, G. (2014). Glob-
ico announce a novel collaboration
al M&A at sevenyear high as big corpo-
to accelerate the discovery, develop-
rate deals return. Thomson Reuters.
ment, and commercialization of new
10. Allied Market Research
Global Regenerative Medicine Market
3. Human Longevity Inc. (2014). Hu-
(Technology, Applications, Geogra-
man Longevity, Inc. and Celgene Cel-
phy) - Industry Analysis, Trends, Op-
17. MIT Technology Review (2014).
and provides avenues for therapeutic
lular Therapeutics Sign License Agree-
portunities and Forecast, 2013-2020
British Government Picks Illumina to
interventions. Aging 6:12, 1064-75
ment to Develop and Commercialize
Sequence 100,000 Genomes.
Placental Stem Cell Population, PSC-
11. Human Longevity Inc. (2014). Fre-
24. PRWeb (2014). Canada Cancer
100 for Multiple Therapeutic Applica-
quently Asked Questions.
18. (2013). BGI Plans to
and Aging Research Laboratory (CCA-
Sequence the World.
RL) Launched in Lethbridge to Provide
12. CalicoLabs. (2014). Calico enters
Personalized Diagnostic and Medical
4. Scott, CT & DeFrancesco, L. (2015)
into exclusive collaboration with 2M to
19. Institute for Systems Biology
Solutions for Cancer and Age-Related
Selling Long Life. Nature Biotechnolo-
develop UTSW technology.
(2014). Institute for Systems Bioogy
gy 33, 31-40
100K + P4.
13. Human Longevity Inc.
25. Vision Genomics, LLC. (2014). Ex-
5. Ledford, H. (2010). Ageing: Much
CorTechs Labs and Human Longevity
20. Icahn School of Medicine at Mount
clusive Signaling Pathways Discov-
ado about ageing. Nature 464, 480-
Inc. to Collaborate on Comprehensive
Sinai (2015). The Resilience Project: A
ered for Age-Related Macular Degen-
Diagnostics by Combining Deep Se-
Search for Unexpected Heroes.
quencing with Quantitative Imaging.
6. Pacholec, M. et al. (2010). SRT1720,
21. Thomson Reuters (2014). InSilico
SRT2183, SRT1460, and Resveratrol
14. Human Longevity Inc. (2015). Per-
Medicine Inc. Launches in the US to
Are Not Direct Activators of SIRT1. J.
sonal Genome Diagnostics, Inc. and
Use Advances in Information Tech-
Biol. Chem. 285, 8340-8351
Human Longevity, Inc. Sign Cancer
nology to Combat Aging and Age-re-
Genomics Agreement.
lated Diseases.
7. Beher, D. et al. (2009). Resveratrol
is Not a Direct Activator of SIRT1 En-
15. VentureBeat (2015). 23andMe has
22. Zabolotneva, AA et al.
zyme Activity. Chemical Biology &
signed 12 other genetic data partner-
Characteristic Patterns of MicroRNA
Drug Design 74:6, 619-624
ships beyond Pfizer and Genentech.
Expression in Human Bladder Cancer.
Front Genet. 3:310
8. Hoffmann, E. et al. (2013). Pharma-
16. Human Longevity Inc. (2015). Hu-
cokinetics and tolerability of SRT2104,
man Longevity, Inc. Signs Agreement
23. Makarev, E. et al. (2014). Pathway
a first-in-class small molecule activa-
with Genentech for Whole Genome
activation profiling reveals new insights
tor of SIRT1, after single and repeated
Sequencing and Analysis of Samples.
into Age-related Macular Degeneration
Executive Summary
Analysis of the Anti-Aging Market
Contributing Parties:
Biogerontology Research Foundation (BGRF)
Aging Analytics Agency
Analytical AI System
Designed by
Future Technologies Media Group
Powered by