Private longevity research companies deserve investor attention as the longevity side of the life science market grows.
Longevity research companies are working to promote healthy aging and extend life expectancy.
A long, healthy life is something everyone has a vested interest in, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to get into longevity investing. That’s because many longevity companies remain private, meaning it’s difficult for the average person to secure an investment stake.
However, investors shouldn’t ignore private longevity research companies — they represent a potential opportunity to gain exposure to rapid growth in a sector that touches diverse life science markets.
Plenty of private longevity research companies are working on innovative studies aimed at diseases associated with the aging process, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and various cancers. If they do go public one day, investors who have them on their radar already will be ahead of the game.
Here’s a short list of some of the top private longevity research companies making headlines today.
Sanumed is first on our list of longevity research companies. Based in San Diego, California, the company develops small-molecule, tissue-level therapeutic drugs aimed at treating numerous degenerative diseases, as well as many forms of cancer.
Unlike some private longevity research firms, Sanumed’s technology platform is not based on stem cell therapy, but rather on the Wnt pathway. The Wnt pathway is one of the main signaling pathways that regulates the self-renewal of adult stem cells and plays a crucial role in tissue health.
Dysregulation of the Wnt pathway has been implicated in several cancers and degenerative conditions. Sanumed has focused its anti-aging research and development work on modulating the Wnt pathway in order to recover and restore health in diseased tissues.
Sanumed’s regenerative therapeutics pipeline includes eight programs in various stages of clinical study and covers a diverse range of indications, including osteoarthritis, oncology, Alzheimer’s disease and degenerative disc disease, among others. The company also continues to invest in preclinical research aimed at discovering new biological processes related to the Wnt pathway and expanding its technology platform of small-molecule drugs.
2. Human Longevity
Also headquartered in San Diego, California, Human Longevity is a biotechnology firm specializing in combining DNA sequencing with machine learning to “change medicine to a more data-driven science” and create “the potential for longer, healthier human lifespans.” The company has put together an all-star team of research scientists, computing experts and physicians.
Human Longevity’s key offering is the HLIQ Whole Genome, a comprehensive report that compares a patient’s DNA to the company’s database of sequenced genomes and phenotypic information — the company boasts that it is the largest such database in the world.
In early 2020, a study of Human Longevity’s precision health platform, the Health Nucleus, was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study demonstrated that integrating whole-genome sequencing with advanced imaging and blood metabolites can help clinicians identify adult patients at risk for developing the leading causes of pre-mature mortality in adults, including cancer, heart disease and diabetes. This information could be critical for physicians in determining the best course of action as they work towards maintaining patient health.
Human Longevity has some big-name partners. For example, in 2016, the company signed a decade-long agreement with AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN,LSE:AZN). This partnership has enabled Human Longevity to sequence and analyze DNA samples from AstraZeneca’s clinical trials, adding the information to its HLI Knowledgebase and Health Nucleus.
Celularity is a clinical-stage company combining research in cell therapy, functional regeneration and biosourcing to develop therapeutics and services for the treatment of serious, life-shortening diseases. The New Jersey-based biotech firm was founded in 2017 as a spinoff of Celgene, which makes cancer and immunology drugs. Celgene was acquired by Bristol-Meyers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) in 2019.
Celularity has a pipeline of allogeneic placenta-derived cell therapy product candidates for treating a range of diseases, including leukemia, gastric cancer, glioblastoma multiforme and Crohn’s disease.
According to the company, its CYNK-001 cell therapy is the only cryopreserved, allogeneic, off-the-shelf natural killer cell therapy developed from placental hematopoietic stem cells. The company began Phase I/II clinical trials in September 2020 to study the safety and efficacy of using CYNK-001 to treat adults with COVID-19 as part of a national clinical trial.
4. Navitor Pharmaceuticals
With such major investors as Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) and Atlas Venture, Navitor Pharmaceuticals is worth watching. The drug company’s platform is based on mTORC1, a protein kinase complex that regulates the cellular aging process.
“Navitor’s approach is to selectively ‘turn up’ or ‘turn down’ these cellular pathways to restore normal activity of mTORC1,” reads the company’s website. In so doing, it hopes to target numerous age-related diseases, as well as some genetic disorders.
Navitor’s NV-5138, a small-molecule product candidate for treatment-resistant depression, relates to the role of nutrient sensors in mTOR1 regulation and is in Phase 1 clinical trials.
The company’s NV-20494 selective mTORC1 inhibitor drug candidate is targeting autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, a monogenic multi-systemic disorder characterized by the development of renal cysts and various extrarenal manifestations. NV-20494 is undergoing investigational new drug-enabling studies in preparation for human clinical trials.
This is an updated version of an article first published by the Investing News Network in 2016.
Don’t forget to follow us @INN_LifeScience for real-time news updates!
Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.