Longevity investing promises to make our lives better and longer. Thought to be a niche market, new breakthroughs are bringing longevity into the mainstream
Longevity investing promises to make our lives better, in additional to making them longer.
Long thought to be a niche market, an aging population and new breakthroughs in longevity research are transforming this misconception. Longevity investing looks like it is becoming an exciting market for investors, with very real benefits if the research currently in progress comes to fruition.
Mainstream attention for longevity investing
At Forbes’ third annual Women’s Summit, there was a panel dedicated to pioneering women in longevity investing. With panelists including the director of Stanford’s Center on Longevity Lauren Carstensen, AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins, Longevity Fund partner Laura Deming, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation president Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, the panel ushered in a new era of longevity investing – one in which the central concerns of longevity investing (including how to make life better, in addition to longer) are recognized as key issues within for our aging society.
With the Forbes panel topic “The Longevity Paradox: Is Living Longer Really Better?” being answered with a resounding yes from all parties, longevity investing is moving from a niche market to an important presence in the life sciences industry. Fobes’ inclusion of this panel in their Women’s Summit indicates a broader interest in pulling this small, exciting sector into the investing mainstream.
Venture capitalist Dmitry Kaminskiy is drawing attention to the potential of longevity investing, with his promise to give one million dollars to the first person to outlast the current longevity record by reaching his or her 123rd birthday. Kaminskiy is a senior partner at Hong Kong-based Deep Knowledge Ventures, which invests in early-stage longevity startups. This gesture is intended to draw attention to the promising state of longevity investing. In Kaminskiy’s own words, “investing in aging research will have the highest impact on global peace, sustainability, and economic growth.”
It seems that Kaminskiy is not alone in his enthusiasm for longevity for investing. Laura Deming recounts past stories of people exclaiming “That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Why would you want to live longer?” when she explained the nature of her venture capital fund in longevity investing.
However, the tides seem to be turning. The size of the market is difficult to determine, but estimates put the anti-aging medicine market at approximately $300 billion. With highly respected scientists like MIT biologist Leonard Guarente entering the fray at Elysium Health, and industry giants like Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) backing new longevity companies like Calico, major players are becoming involved in this growing market. Take, for example, Human Longevity Inc. (HLI), a company founded by stem-cell expert Robert Jariri, genomics expert Craig Venter, and X Prize founder Peter Diamandis. With $70 million in initial investor funding, this venture could turn out to be a resounding success.
With this much talent investing in the longevity market, outcomes for brave investors seem hopeful. And remember, with longevity investing you may get more than a return on your money. This field has the potentially radically transform how we understand health, aging, illness, and ultimately death.
Securities Disclosure: I, Morag McGreevey, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
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