After a scientific deliberation during the pandemic laden exigencies, a new company named Altos Labs was found includes Jeff Bezos and Yuri Milner as their deep-pocketed funders. It was first reported by the MIT Tech Review on September 4, 2021.
The company dedicated to reversing the aging process is Altos Labs, named after Yuri Milner’s super-mansion in the Los Altos Hills above Palo Alto where the brainstorming was conducted after Covid-19 outbreak. The startup founded earlier this year is currently hiring scientists with proposals of $1 million annual salaries, said the report.
Citing people who know of the matter, the report said that Jeff Bezos, who stepped down as CEO of Amazon in July, was among its funder and Yuri Milner, with his wife, is funding the startup through a foundation formed for the purpose.
The elixir of living forever
Altos Labs would primarily focus on a technology called reprogramming, which works by adding proteins to a cell that essentially instruct it to revert to a stem-cell-like state. Scientist Shinya Yamanaka won a joint Nobel Prize in 2012 for demonstrating the technique in mice. Yamanaka will be joining Alto Labs as chair of its scientific advisory board.
“Although there are many hurdles to overcome, there is huge potential,” Yamanaka told MIT Tech Review in an email. The report states that Altos Labs will soon expand its branches in California, the UK, and Japan.
The report stated that among the scientists who will be joining Altos are Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte, a Spanish biologist at the Salk Institute, in La Jolla, California, who has won notoriety for research mixing human and monkey embryos and who has predicted that human lifespans could be increased by 50 years. However, Salk declined to comment.
The business behind staying young forever
People are willing to spend 100 of millions of dollars on anti-aging technology and science. Given the fact, several startups are pursuing reprogramming technology, including Life Biosciences, Turn Biotechnologies, AgeX Therapeutics, and Shift Bioscience in the UK.
However, nothing concrete has emerged yet. Even Google co-founder Larry Page announced a longevity company announced in 2013 named Calico Labs, but it is still to produce a visible outcome.
“There are hundreds of millions of dollars being raised by investors to invest in reprogramming, specifically aimed at rejuvenating parts or all of the human body,” says David Sinclair, a researcher at Harvard University who last December reported restoring sight to mice using the technique.
Sinclair describes the field as “nascent” but thinks it has unique promise.