Earlier this year, we hosted the Ending Age-Related Diseases 2018 conference at the Cooper Union in New York City. This conference was designed to bring together the best in the aging research and biotech investment worlds and saw a range of industry experts sharing their insights.
Dr. James Peyer is the founder and Managing Partner of Apollo Ventures, an early-stage life science investor and company builder that focuses on breakthrough technologies for treating age-related diseases.
He discusses the strategic paths to bringing longevity-promoting therapeutics to market as quickly as possible, with a particular focus on engaging pharmaceutical companies via disease-focused, proof-of-concept trials.
One of the key points of his talk is that curing cancer would lead to just a three-year increase in lifespan. His argument is that even if cancer were somehow magically cured overnight, it would ultimately only lead to a small increase in lifespan; this puts governmental spending into perspective and makes a strong case for comprehensive therapies against the aging processes. It makes scientific and financial sense for us to use funds to target the root cause of diseases like cancer, which is aging.
This is further supported by a recent paper that strongly suggests that cancer risk does not rise due to the traditional mutation model of cancer; instead, it depends on how well a person’s immune system functions, particularly the age-related shrinking of the thymus and loss of T cell production .
This immunological model of cancer suggests that targeting the immune system for rejuvenation could potentially be the best way to cut the risk of cancer and other diseases that are normally prevented by the immune system. If we could target the thymus and rejuvenate the immune system, we could potentially treat multiple diseases at once. This is a strong case for directly targeting the aging processes to treat age-related diseases.
We hope you enjoyed the talk with James, and we are pleased to confirm that we will be returning to New York next year for Ending Age-Related Diseases 2019.
 Palmer, S., Albergante, L., Blackburn, C. C., & Newman, T. J. (2018). Thymic involution and rising disease incidence with age. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(8), 1883-1888.