Billionaires Jeff Bezos and Yuri Milner are reportedly funding a startup biotechnology firm with the aim of discovering a way to reverse aging.
Altos Labs was incorporated in the US and the UK earlier this year and has raised at least $270million to look into the potential of cell reprogramming technology to turn back the clock in animals, and potentially, humans.
While little is known so far about Altos, early hires give an indication of the kinds of anti-aging techniques the lab might be looking into.
They include Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, who pioneered research into cell reprogramming, earning him the 2012 Nobel Prize for the research.
He discovered that by adding just four specific proteins to cells, they can be instructed to revert back into an earlier state with the properties of embryonic stem cells that make up building blocks of new animal life.
He will serve as an unpaid advisor on Altos’ scientific advisory board, according to MIT Technology Review, which reported on Altos’ formation.
eff Bezos along with Russian billionaire Yuri Milner are reportedly funding a biotechnology startup firm that is looking into cell reprogramming to discover anti-aging techniques.
Other talent being brought on at Altos include Dr. Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a Spanish biologist working at the Salk Institute in California, who has pioneered research into cell switching.
In 2016 he demonstrated Yamanaka’s embryonic stem cell technique and applied it to mice, which exhibited signs of age reversal.
After the experiment, Izpisua Belmonte dubbed the reprogramming technique as a potential ‘Elixer of life,’ Technology Review reported.
He also became known for his research into mixing monkey and human embryos.
Also joining is Dr. Steve Horvath, who developed markers, which can accurately measure aging in humans and animals.
Among the talent being brought on at Altos labs is Dr. Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte (pictured), who has performed experiments on cell switching as well as combining money and human embryos
Any anti-aging research would need such a ‘biological clock’ to measure the effectiveness of the techniques.
Neither Bezos nor Milner is strangers to investing in labs that are seeking anti-aging solutions.
More recently, however, a plan emerged to speed up anti-aging research by forming a well-funded company, and to lure talent with salaries upwards of $1million a year, Technology Review reported.
The plan turned into Altos, which is being headed up by CEO Richard Klausner, former chief of the National Cancer Institute.
They will join the competition in the cell reprogramming biotechnology space Life Biosciences, Turn Biotechnologies, AgeX Therapeutics, and Shift Bioscience.