Undoing Aging with Michael Greve
As our readers probably know, the Undoing Aging 2018 conference was held in Berlin from March 15 to 17 . Its goal is to bring together scientists working on technologies for restoring age-related injuries in the body, as well as provide students studying life sciences and all other interested people with the opportunity to get deeper familiar with the current state of research in regenerative medicine.
The conference was organized by the Forever Healthy Foundation and the SENS Research Foundation , and there were prominent researchers as speakers , including the director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Anthony Atala, Kristen Fortney, an expert in the computational search for drugs and biomarkers of aging, Michael West is the founder of Geron Corporation and CEO of BioTime and AgeXJames Kirkland is a world-class expert on cell aging, and Vera Gorbunova is a pioneer in the use of comparative biology in the study of aging and co-director of the Rochester Aging Research Center. In addition to the scientific, educational benefits and opportunities for networking, the conference undoubtedly greatly contributed to the popularization of this field of research and helped to disseminate information about both the problem of age-related diseases and the remarkable opportunity to finally put aging under medical control for a comparatively short time.
Of course, LEAF attended this event to provide you with the most relevant information, and our readers will receive detailed descriptions of what happened during and after the conference. In the meantime, in order to arouse your interest, we met with the founder and CEO of Forever Healthy Foundation, Michael Greve, to learn more about his organization and his history of participation in the life extension movement.
Michael and Forever Healthy
Michael's success as an entrepreneur is rooted in the very beginning of the development of the Internet. In 1995, he and his brother Matthias founded web.de , a site that has become one of the largest and most popular Internet portals in Germany. Among several other projects launched by Michael and his brother, a site for booking airline tickets flug.de and a site for organizing last-minute trips lastminute.de .
As Michael himself admitted during his speech at the conference Rejuvenation Biotechnology 2016organized by SRF and hosted by Buck Institute for Research on Aging, his lifestyle during the hacking period was not the healthiest, and his interest in extending his life developed as a result of his attempts to move towards a more correct lifestyle. Over time, familiarization with the science of maintaining health led him to the work of Aubrey de Gray and to the realization of the potential attainability of unlimited long-term prevention of age-related diseases and health.
Following his successful insight, he founded the Forever Healthy Foundation, an organization whose goal was to accelerate the creation of a bio-industry for rejuvenating the body, as a result of which aging and related diseases would soon be a thing of the past. The Forever Healthy website is an open knowledge base designed to provide free access to information with which people can develop their own life extension strategies. But even the most correct way of life will not prevent the occurrence of age-related diseases. To achieve this, you need to restore the damage that the body does to itself as a side effect of its normal functioning - in other words, use anti-aging biotechnology.
To make these technologies available as early as possible, Michael's Kizoo Ventures venture capital fund provides biotechnology startups with rejuvenation counseling and financing at an early stage. Currently, Kizoo has funded Oisin Biotechnologies , LysoCLEAR from Ichor Therapeutics and AgeX Therapeutics . Moreover, in 2016 Forever Healthy transferred $ 5 million to SENS projects, and seed funding of at least $ 5 million will be additionally provided to startups based on SENS research.
We thought it would be interesting to learn a little better about Michael and his path in life extension, his expectations regarding the Undoing Aging 2018 conference and the nascent body rejuvenation industry.
Nicola Bagala : So Michael, could you tell us a little about your story as an entrepreneur?
Michael Grev : It was an amazing trip for me. The heyday of personal computers, the Internet, smartphones, cloud technology, the era after personal computers. I am grateful that I was born at this time. The opportunity to survive all these events as a participant, participate in the founding and development of several large Internet companies in Germany, attract public funding and now finance and advise some of the most interesting startups in our country - I am grateful every day for all this.
Currently, the same rapid evolution that we observed in the field of information technology is taking place in the fields of genetics, biology and nanotechnology. No matter how impressive our past development was, I expect even more from the future.
Nicola Bagala : Was your decision to switch from an old, unhealthy lifestyle to the right one caused by a specific event, or did it just happen?
Michael Grev : Nothing concrete, just a sudden realization that continuing on like that would be foolish.
Nicola Bagala : You just stumbled upon rejuvenation in the process of searching for information about a healthy lifestyle, or independently realized the dangers of aging and began to look, did others come to the same conclusion?
Michael Grev: When you think about how to stay healthy as long as possible, you naturally come to the conclusion that aging itself is the main enemy and you think what can be done about it.
Nicola Bagala : Besides the obvious - healthy eating, physical activity, giving up bad habits, what else is included in your personal strategy?
Michael Grev: On the one hand, there are other important aspects of the basic approach to preventing diseases, such as proper sleep, limiting the effects of blue light, limiting stress, meditation, cleansing the body of toxins and heavy metals, dietary supplements (taken both orally and intravenously), periodic fasting and a fasting diet simulating fasting. I also constantly apply the latest achievements in functional medicine and genetics to monitor and correct violations of biometric indicators and potential risk factors for age-related diseases.
Two other key parts of my personal life extension strategy are using the best available early diagnosis methods and using the most promising, albeit still limited, anti-aging therapies and geroprotectors that are currently available, such as hormone replacement therapy, decalcification, metmorphine, deprenyl, berberine and Q10 . I closely monitor the latest developments and trials of rapamycin , NAD + , and exosomes of young plasma.
For those interested, we have documented this holistic approach on our website forever-healthy.orgwhere it is available to everyone for free, and we continue to update and expand it. We are in the process of hiring a team of professional doctors to expedite work on this important project. Candidates can respond directly through our website.
Nicola Bagala : During your speech at Rejuvenation Biotechnology 2016, you talked about your own educational activities. Undoing Aging 2018 is one of the brightest examples, but could you tell us about other ways in which you disseminate information, and how has the perception of life extension by the public changed (changed) in recent years?
Michael Grev : From time to time we hold meetings in Berlin and we have an active group on Facebook in which people share personal methods of healthy longevity.
In general, public opinion has changed significantly over the past 2-3 years. Currently, more publications on the topic of life extension can be read and they have a more positive focus.
I am deeply convinced that as soon as the first working anti-aging therapy appears, the whole discussion in society will immediately change. The question will move from the category of abstract reasoning about overpopulation and the like to something very personal. Do I want to live 20 years longer with good health or not? At this point, I suppose no one will say"Well, I won’t use the medicine and I’m better off getting cancer because, you know, overpopulation . "
So the best we can do is create this first anti-aging therapy and then actively promote its use.
Nicola Bagala : Many in our community hope that more affluent people will take part, as they have more resources and they can be of great benefit by donating even a small part of their funds. But this, on the whole, hardly happens. What could convince such people? Do they need to convince any special arguments that are different from those that we usually use?
Michael Grev: Large-scale charity in an early market such as anti-aging biotechnology is not an easy job, and it can reach only a small number of progressively minded people. I think the simplest and most effective way to attract wealthy people is to show them how they can become even richer.
I see the acceleration of the development of real anti-aging therapies as a three-step process. First, you need to motivate scientists to start working in this field of basic research, then realize the results of research in the form of start-ups that attract financing, and, finally, attract private capital to create the actual treatment methods. This last step will allow these wealthy individuals to invest in a good cause and at the same time make a profit from it.
That is why we are organizing this conference, we are raising funds for basic research, and we are making great efforts to translate promising scientific developments into startups, and this will allow us to advance in the future at the expense of attracted private capital. As for startups, we have already done this several times and expect a positive result.
Nicola Bagala : What are your expectations for Undoing Aging 2018? What is the main outcome of the conference? Public awareness, attracted investors or networking among scientists?
Michael Grev: First of all, we focus on science itself. We want to provide a platform for the existing scientific community, which is already working on the restoration of age-related damage, and to strengthen the community itself. At the same time, the conference provides interested scientists and students with the opportunity to directly get acquainted with the current state of research, which will attract new scientists in this area.
In addition, we invited a wider circle of participants from the life extension community to expand networking and encourage all educators to inform the public. As journalists, bloggers and several television channels show great interest in us, the event will also have an educational aspect.
So yes, we can say that the goal is networking at all levels to advance our business.
Nicola Bagala : Are there any plans to make Undoing Aging an annual event?
Michael Grev : Yes, we are planning a long-term participation. This year we have already received a lot of positive feedback and even more people have registered than we expected. It is very encouraging.
Nicola Bagala : State funding for life extension research could significantly accelerate the clinical introduction of effective anti-aging therapies, German Health Party, in which you are a strategic adviser, was created to achieve precisely this goal. Is it possible, in your opinion, to attract the state to the financing of basic research, or will interest appear on its part only after confirmation of the fundamental feasibility, for example, by radical rejuvenation of the mouse or even the first human trials?
Michael Grev : States will only act if a significant proportion of citizens require this, and a significant proportion of people realize the potential only after the first available anti-aging therapies. I do not think that a mouse will be enough. After overcoming this stage, organizations such as the Health Party will provide an ideal platform for directing such efforts.
Nikola Bagala: At Rejuvenation Biotechnology 2016, you talked about how the industry should be self-accelerating, like the Internet technology industry. The success of the latter, however, depended to a large extent on the ability of new companies to easily develop on the basis of existing products and technologies that became available and inexpensive enough soon or were initially available as open source software. Can biotechnology accelerate development in a similar way. What factors could be decisive?
Michael Grev : There are two fundamental differences.
Firstly, as you said, we could easily develop using the existing base. We had HTTP protocol, web server, browser, Linux and free databases. On the basis of this platform, you can create almost any service. Anti-aging biotechnologies are structured differently. Here, for every startup, a scientific discovery is required. Therefore, everything is much more complicated.
On the other hand, the future market for anti-aging biotechnology is probably at least two orders of magnitude larger than the Internet industry. Just compare how much people spend, say, on an iPhone and a company’s assessment, which provides people with the opportunity to avoid cancer and all other age-related diseases throughout their lives and extend their healthy lifespan by decades. This allows you to assess the possible value of such a company. In the case of anti-aging therapies, there will be more than one company or service. Given the nature of aging, you will need many different treatments and many different companies. So there is a huge incentive to invest in this industry.
Nikola Bagala: Speaking of accelerating progress, how do you see the impact of artificial intelligence, especially machine learning, on research in the coming years. Do you think these technologies will help accelerate progress?
Michael Grev : AI will be one of the key methods in the medicine of the future, and it can be very useful in research.
Nicola Bagala : Many people are concerned about the issue of price. Do you think that the state will have to intervene and subsidize anti-aging therapies, which otherwise few can afford?
Michael Grev: Нет необходимости беспокоиться об этом. Мы говорим о рынке с миллиардами покупателей, множеством возможных технологических подходов к каждому аспекту старения, такому как очищение организма от сенесцентных клеток. И общий подход, например, для удаление сенесцентных клеток, нельзя запатентовать, можно лишь конкретную реализацию. На таком рынке, как и в любой отрасли, будут действовать рыночные механизмы, со здоровой конкуренцией и большим количеством продуктов в комбинации с огромной клиентской базой; они приведут к росту качества и падению цены по мере быстрого совершенствования продуктов, которые станут общедоступны.
Никола Багала: You currently support several biotech startups that bring anti-aging therapies to clinical trials. Are there any estimates of the base cost of these treatments, and do you know how manufacturers plan to reduce their cost?
Michael Greve : In the end, these treatments will be fairly accessible.
Nicola Bagala : As an investor, what would you recommend to other investors to help accelerate the development of the rejuvenation industry and provide it with the same exponential growth due to the positive feedback that the Internet industry experienced in its time?
Michael Grev: The potential benefits are huge, but the risks are equally great. You must either be prepared to write off most of the investments made at an early stage, or pay a huge premium when investing at a later stage.
Nicola Bagala : And finally, a somewhat personal question. Of course, you know about the “second cosmic” speed of life extension - a situation in which life expectancy grows faster than you grow old. How optimistic are you about the possibility of achieving it during your life or ever in principle?
Michael Grev: Of course, we do not know for sure when or with what probability this will happen, but it seems to me much more motivating and exciting to work on the assumption that we can achieve this and will do everything possible to achieve this. If we fail to achieve the second cosmic, at least we will have a very long and healthy life.
Nicola Bagala : Would you like to tell the readers something else in conclusion?
Michael Grev : I think we live in the most amazing time in human history, let's take this opportunity to the maximum.
Translated by Pattern, SENS Volunteers