Building Momentum for Global AI-driven Longevity Transformation

by Andrii Buvailo 

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Today, Insilico Medicine, a leading player in artificial intelligence (AI)-driven drug discovery and longevity research, tops up its recent $60 million Series D with additional $35 million from Prosperity7 Ventures, a global VC fund by Saudi Arabia’s giant Aramco. This investment by Aramco is yet another step within Saudi Arabia’s ambitious strategy (Vision 2030) to position itself as a global technological hub and become a Mideast center of longevity research with global influence. With this investment, Aramco secures its stake in one of the most advanced research platforms on the market, capable of rapid discovery of novel targets and drug candidates for a wide range of therapeutic indications, including age-related diseases as well as biological processes underlying aging itself.  

Image credit: Insilico Medicine

 

Why is longevity a global priority in the 21st century? 

Helping people live healthier lives for longer is not only a nobel altruistic goal in its own right, but it is also a growing economical and societal necessity. For example, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, a not-so-distant 2030 will be a milestone year in which older people will actually outnumber children for the first time in history. Census Bureau data also estimates that 1 in every 5 Americans will reach retirement age by that time. The phenomenon of a rapidly aging human population is often referred to as “The Silver Tsunami”, and it will have increasingly significant impact on everyday life, the economy and society -- rapidly rising healthcare costs, infrastructural and service demands, the compounding loss of accumulated skills and competencies when people retire and become non-functional, and so on. 

The only sustainable strategy to manage a rapidly aging population is to increase the “healthspan” -- a period of human life when there are little or no effects of age-related diseases and conditions, and the human beings can function efficiently, perform work duties, enjoy life, etc. In this sense, the increase of healthspan is even more important, in practical terms than the increase of the overall lifespan -- although both usually correlate. 

More and more scientists, businesses, investors, non-government organizations and associations, as well as governments themselves are concerned with the increasing issue of an aging population. This led to the emergence of the Longevity industry, a fairly new notion describing intricately complex activities linking science, medicine, economy, and societal trends, all aimed at increasing the health- and lifespan of the human population. 

A great deal of longevity industry includes a vast scope of companies and communities focused on various aspects of “healthy lifestyle”, such as healthy food, sports activities, stress reduction, and better sleep habits. There are apps and gadgets helping people manage their lifestyles, there are food producers prioritizing dietary products and bioactive supplements, and for a good reason -- a lot of such activities do add some value to one’s life. However, more tangible healthspan and lifespan extension is not possible without more serious and systematic interventions and therapeutic remedies. So, the more promising and impactful part of the global longevity industry is focusing on aging research and resultant therapeutic tools and therapies, as well as prophylactic therapies, some of which have serious potential to drastically extend human lifespan and healthspan, respectively.  

 

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Topics: Industry Trends   

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