Juvenescence Closes on Series A Financing Worth $50 Million to Focus on Human Longevity
Juvenescence, based in Douglas, Isle of Man, closed on an oversubscribed Series A financing worth $50 million. It brings the company’s total fundraising to $63 million. The company expects another funding round later this year to raise another $100 million with an initial public offering (IPO) planned in 2019.
The company is focused on developing therapies to increase healthy human longevity. It was founded in 2016 by Jim Mellon, Greg Bailey, Declan Doogan, Anthony Chow and Alexander Pickett.
Mellon, chairman, is a British entrepreneur, philanthropist and investor. He runs Charlemagne Capital Limited, Regent Pacific Group Limited, and is a controlling shareholder and director of Manx Financial Group, in addition to other companies.
Bailey, chief executive officer, is chairman of Portage Biotech. He was previously managing partner of Palantir Group.
Doogan has been the chief executive officer of Portage Biotech since 2013. He is co-founder and managing director of Juvenescence, and co-founder and managing partner at Topix.
Chow is the chief executive officer and director of Mann Bioinvest.
Pickett is a principal at Mediqventures and co-founder of Juvenescence.
The company leans heavily on artificial intelligence, specifically machine and deep learning through part ownership of Insilico Medicine and its ownership in NetraPharma and Juvenescence AI. The company website states, “Our company’s pipeline consists of pre-clinical candidates that have been joint ventured with leading research institutions and associated scientist inventors. In addition, we are partners with established companies where our goal is to provide finance, development expertise while guiding products with management towards commercialization.”
It also has in its portfolio, LyGenesis, a company spun out of the University of Pittsburgh that uses a patient’s own lymph nodes to grow functioning ectopic organs, and AgeX Therapeutics, whose intellectual property is related to cell immortality and pluripotency. It has also inked deals with the Buck Institute for Research on Aging.
“This round of financing will allow us to accelerate our licensing and partnership arrangements along with existing product development,” Bailey said in a statement. “The funding also allows us to increase the development of our AI-generated programs.”
The company is in the process of building a group of 20 scientists and drug developers based in London. Bailey told the Financial Times, “We have sourced a portfolio of compelling therapies, some of which we will endeavor to take into the clinic in the medium term and others which we hope to commercialize in the nearer term.”
Although not a lot of details are forthcoming about specific compounds in its pipeline and at what stage of development they might be, Mellon told the Financial Times, “We aim to have about 20 shots on this goal—longevity sciences—and if we get two or three of them right, there will be a very good return to shareholders.”
Last year, Mellon published a book titled “Juvenescence,” which the Financial Times describes as a “400-page guide to investing in longevity.” Mellon describes longevity investment as “the biggest money foundation idea” he’d ever seen. “The longevity business has quickly moved from wacky land to serious science, and within just a couple of decades we expect average human life expectancy in the developed world to rise to around 110.”