LongeVC: 2023 - a new year for biotech investing

As we near the end of 2022, the LongeVC team looks back on a year of global challenges, particularly in the startup and investing spaces. Inflation has risen, investors have become skittish, and the state of the economy is on everyone’s mind. With great challenges come great opportunities - this is an incredible time for growth in both our work and the general longevity space. In this piece, we share some highlights and takeaways from the past 12 months and outline our plans for the year ahead. 

Investing in Visionary Biotech
In 2022, we invested in four new portfolio companies, each touching on different aspects of how our firm defines a “longevity investment.” We consider longevity to encompass more than a “magic pill” that will add ten years to our lives. Instead, it comprises age-related diseases, systemic rejuvenation and publicly available innovations – read more on how we define longevity from our Managing Partner Sergey Jakimov here

While several ageing-related diseases can be solely attributed to body age, we view all chronic diseases as impacting longevity. Cancer, for example, is one of the most common causes of death, and we envision a future where physicians can consistently lengthen lives with new treatments and diagnostics. 

This year, we invested in AOA Dx, a U.S. startup pioneering a groundbreaking liquid biopsy test for early ovarian cancer detection. AOA just announced the initial validation of its ganglioside-based tumour detection, an exciting step forward in its technological development. We also joined Swiss biotech startup PreComb Therapeutics’ Pre-Series A Round. PreComb uses AI-powered technology to create tumour twins and test which cancer treatment regimens are most effective for individuals. The result is personalised, more effective cancer treatments. Both AOA and PreComb are helping to save lives and change the narrative of a devastating disease; their work will lay the foundation for future innovations.

Beyond age-related diseases like cancer, we were excited by Turn Biotechnologies’ pioneering work in cell rejuvenation. Their Stanford UnIversity-backed research will tremendously influence how we understand cell senescence and reprogramming. Turn Bio’s first applications will be in dermatology and ophthalmology, but we view this investment as a first step toward systemic rejuvenation that will shape the future of longevity.

Finally, we recognise the value of bringing more longevity understanding to the public. First Longevity, the company behind media outlet Longevity.Technology, is one of the longevity industry’s strongest educational advocates. By providing the latest news from the field, they are helping longevity reach mainstream adoption. 

In 2023, we look forward to exploring different areas of the biotech and longevity space. In a rapidly growing sector like ours, founders build startups in new areas daily. We are particularly interested in aesthetics and the power of skin health to serve as a measure of the individual aging process. External health can tell us a lot about internal! The LongeVC team is also excited about advancements being made to develop new treatments for mental health conditions. While often overlooked in longevity discussions, a healthy mind is closely linked to a healthy body. 

Growing our Reach
Identifying and investing in life-transforming technologies is something we need support to accomplish. We are thankful for our brilliant Advisory Board members, including our newest additions from 2022: Dr Evelyne Yehudit Bischof, Dr Mike Martin, Rachel Pipan, Dr Tzipi Strauss and Dr Vadim Gladyshev. Their expertise, spanning startup advising, redox medicine, gerontology and more, will strengthen our due diligence capabilities by enhancing how we review potential investments for business and scientific soundness. 

LongeVC works with diverse LPs and investment bodies to invest in early-stage, life-changing research. This year, JKR Investment Group joined us as an LP to expand its biotech portfolio, having previously invested across digital marketing, sports and eSports content creation, sports data analytics and education. We are always happy to work with other funds and individuals exploring the accelerating world of longevity, including navigating the complexities of regulations and clinical evidence. 

As 2022 showed the VC world, due diligence is a critical part of investing, and irresponsible founders can wreak havoc on entire industries. We remain committed to ensuring our investments are responsible, informed and future-facing in 2023 – this is part of our mission to support truly visionary biotech companies and founders. 

Building a Stronger Ecosystem
With the challenging year many startups have faced, we want to share our knowledge with new and experienced founders and investors to help ease the challenges of fundraising, growth and development. Our Managing Partner Sergey posts insights from his time as a founder and VC partner on his LinkedIn, including tips for pitching and understanding what “smart money” means. Connect with him for more! We also regularly share content on biotech investing and the longevity space on our blog. Our work prioritises a collaborative environment where stakeholders are focused on one thing: ecosystem success. 

We encourage you to learn more about longevity investing with LongeVC. Our inboxes are open, and we are always happy to connect for a quick conversation. We wish you all the best in the year ahead!