SPRINGFIELD, Va., Sept. 18, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- The Methuselah Foundation, promoting the extension of the
healthy human lifespan for 17 years, announces the successful closing of fundraising for its boutique venture fund, Methuselah Funds LLC (M Fund).
The M Fund is mission-oriented and focused on seed-stage companies that have technology to increase the healthy human lifespan in multiple ways. The investment thesis of the M Fund is based around six pathfinding strategies that provide a structure to how the Fund believes healthy longevity can be achieved. These strategies have been purposefully named in a non-academic way in order to explain the thought process via analogies and recognizable ideas. These strategies and the details are:
- NEW PARTS FOR PEOPLE- As we age, the wear and tear we put on our bodies begins to take a toll. As one body component begins to weaken, this leads to an exponential strain on the body that stresses remaining parts, leading to failure and eventual death. This strategy focuses on technologies that create replacement parts of our bodies, such as organs, cartilage, bones, and vasculature.
- GET THE CRUD OUT- Cellular processes of life result in by-products that are harmful if not cleared by the cell. As we age, there is an increasing amount of DNA damage and accumulation of wastes, which negatively affect cellular and organ function. This strategy focuses on technologies that clear harmful substances from the body at both the microscopic (cellular), and macroscopic (organ) level.
- RESTORE THE RIVERS- As an individual ages, the vascular system becomes less effective due to vessel stiffening, less effective pumping, insufficient waste clearance, poor oxygen exchange, and inadequate angiogenesis. This affects every process of the body, down to the sub-cellular level. This strategy addresses the need to restore the circulatory system to youthful competence.
- DEBUG THE CODE- The code includes DNA, and also the "action code", RNA, and proteins that actually do the work of the cells, which become damaged and altered with age. This strategy deals with the informational life of the cell and its expression.
- RESTOCK THE SHELVES- As we age, stem cells become fewer and less effective, senescent cells become more prolific, and the immune system becomes weakened. This strategy addresses the need to provide the aged body with the tools required to rebuild and protect itself.
- LUST FOR LIFE- Among the aged, depression, loss of purpose, loss of senses, loss of independence, and social isolation are serious problems. This strategy addresses the need to help elderly patients want to increase their longevity, and to empower them to make the most of longer life.
The M Fund was conceived after successful angel mission-focused investments by the Methuselah Foundation. These include being the lead investor in the seed-stage round of Organovo Holdings, Inc, a medical laboratory and research company which designs and develops functional, three-dimensional human tissue for medical research and therapeutic applications.
The M Fund's current portfolio companies include:
- ONCOSENX- A pre-clinical cancer company that targets solid tumors based on transcriptional activity using a unique lipid nanoparticle and plasmid DNA. OncoSenX is working on the next generation in cancer therapy that will be more targeted and with fewer side effects. Their treatment delivers a simple program that induces apoptosis in cancerous cells.
- LEUCADIA- Has a unique and compelling approach on how to potentially predict, halt, and cure early stage Alzheimer's Disease. 25 years of research have focused on plaques and tangles as the cause of AD. At Leucadia, it is known that those are previously undiscovered pathological effects of a more serious underlying condition. Leucadia's technology may allow for the creation of a simple, yet sophisticated surgical procedure bypassing the unsuccessful small-molecule approach.
- OISIN- Their research and platform technology demonstrate that one of the solutions to mitigating the effects of age-related diseases is to address the damage resulting from the aging process itself. Oisín is developing a highly precise, DNA-targeting platform to clear senescent cells. Oisín's platform has shown as much as an 80% reduction in senescent cells in cell culture and significant reductions of senescent cell burden in naturally aged mice.
- REVERCELL- Is developing global and transformational epigenetic solutions, moving past the single gene/pathway manipulations of traditional approaches, to address the multifaceted manifestation of cellular age, with tissue and organ level benefit. The company is developing the technology to effectively turn mature differentiated cells to a dramatically younger state, without first turning them into totipotent or pluripotent cells.
Investment in the longevity field is heating up significantly and the M Fund anticipates that investments will begin pouring into the area over the next 18 months. "We anticipate that the longevity investment space will soon be overhyped, and the M Fund will leverage the Methuselah Foundation's 17 years of experience in the field to filter through the opportunities and identify those with real scientific and business merits," says Sergio Ruiz, Managing Director. "We also look forward to helping our portfolio companies move safely, yet as fast as possible in order to bring their products to the clinic."
If you wish to know more details about the M Fund, please contact Sergio Ruiz at info(at)methuselahfund.com.
SOURCE The Methuselah Foundation