Billionaires Jeff Bezos an Yuri Milner are reportedly funding a startup biotechnology firm with the aim of discovering a way to reverse aging.
Altos Labs was incorporated in the US and the UK earlier this year, and has raised at least $270million to look into the potential of cell reprogramming technology to turn back the clock in animals, and potentially, humans.
While little is known so far about Altos, early hires give an indication of the kinds of anti-aging techniques the lab might be looking into.
They include Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, who pioneered researched into cell reprogramming, earning him the 2012 Nobel Prize for the research.
He discovered that by adding just four specific proteins to cells, they can be instructed to revert back into an earlier state with the properties of embryonic stem cells that make up building blocks of new animal life.
He will serve as an unpaid advisor on Altos’ scientific advisory board, according to MIT Technology Review, which reported on Altos’ formation.
Jeff Bezos along with Russian billionaire Yuri Milner are reportedly funding a biotechnology startup firm that is looking into cell reprogramming to discover anti-aging techniques
Other talent being brought on at Altos include Dr. Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a Spanish biologist working at the Salk Institute in California, who has pioneered research into cell switching.
In 2016 he demonstrated Yamanaka’s embryonic stem cell technique and applied it to mice, which exhibited signs of age reversal.
After the experiment, Izpisua Belmonte dubbed the reprogramming technique as a potential ‘elixer of life,’ Technology Review reported.
The two are funding Altos Labs, which is looking to develop anti-aging techniques
Among the expertise being brought on include those who have looked extensively in cell reprogramming
The technique reverts cells back into their stem cell state, which while dangerous, can be used to reverse aging
The technique was first discovered by Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, who will serve as an advisor to the company
Other talent includes Dr. Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, who has deployed Yamanaka’s technique in various experiments
The research is still nascent, and is unlikely to become applicable soon