James Peyer of Apollo Ventures has a good sense of the biotechnology industry. If you are engaged in starting up a new biotechnology company, then he should be high on the list of folk to talk to while in the process of learning how it is that life science funding and development works in practice. The presently young longevity industry must initially fit into the existing life science ecosystem, even though it is destined to outgrow and eventually become enormously larger than that ecosystem. Half of humanity at any given time is the size of the market for rejuvenation therapies, vastly larger than the equivalent markets for any present medical technology intended to treat clinical disease after it emerges. Today just a handful of companies are taking the first steps in the creation of this ultimately gargantuan industry. Tomorrow comes the flood.
What turned you on to the field of anti-aging biology?
I became a scientist because I felt like we were treating the diseases of aging the wrong way. We were waiting for people to get cancer or Alzheimer’s disease or something and then trying to do something about it, which felt totally backwards to me.