Life sciences company Longevica said on Wednesday it is launching an open research tool so scientists and research institutes can access a dataset that tracks the effects of more than 1,000 pharmacological compounds to test for medications.
This is the latest effort from the biotech company, which is researching the mechanisms of healthy aging and life expectancy. To do so, the company received funding of $ 2.5 million led by Xploration Capital.
In April, Longevica announced the launch of a line of supplements based on its research. The company started over 11 years ago and has now raised more than $ 15.5 million in funding from investors, including Alexander Chikunov, a longevity investor, who is also the president of the company.
When the company came out of stealth, it mainly focused on finding the best ways to harness its research results as soon as possible and bring products to market out of the box, the co-founder and CEO said. from Longevica, Ainar Abdrakhmanov, to TechCrunch via email.
“We’re still moving on this path, which includes screening and testing; However, through a series of in-depth interviews, we found that most longevity space scientists lacked infrastructure, and we decided to share our internal engine to leverage more research through partnerships. and providing researchers with a data platform for their work, ”he added.
Living longer is an area other companies are working in as well, both for humans and pets. The global anti-aging drug market was valued at nearly $ 8 billion in 2020 and is expected to double by 2027.
Meanwhile, Crunchbase News examined the status of longevity startups in July and found more than 30 operating in the space who have collectively raised billions of dollars. A more recent example is Loyal, which raised $ 27 million to examine the longer lifespans of animals with a long-term view of translating that into human longevity.
Longevica herself started fundraising when she came up with the idea for the end-to-end open research platform. The new funding will be used to support the development of the platform and the integration of the company’s research dataset.
The aim is to validate the pipeline of transforming scientific research into ready-made products, Abdrakhmanov said.
“There are many assumptions about aging and lifespan, but there is an obvious bottleneck in testing these ideas to see who might be right,” he added. “Our platform should help the scientific community to get a little closer to the answers. “
His original study, led by Chikunov and Longevica co-founder Dr Alexey Ryazanov, tested 300 compounds and showed significant life-prolonging properties. The company is about to publish a peer-reviewed article on this study. Abdrakhmanov called it “more of a Moonshot project”, but also that this direction could bring results much sooner and be beneficial for the whole industry, which his investors could see, he said. he adds.
Armed with the new research capabilities, Longevica will now take further testing of these compounds with a new research study at the Jackson Laboratory. In January, the company will also begin collecting applications from researchers interested in testing their drugs as part of a large-scale drug screening experiment that begins in June 2022.
“Also in January, we will be launching a public database with tagged data on most longevity-related experiments in mice, both public and some that have yet to be published,” Abdrakhmanov said. “The entire platform will be free and open source, even its program code will be publicly available on GitHub.”