We had reason to worry. In the year In 2016, Peter Thiel, one of Altman’s mentors, was ridiculed in the media as a vampire on young victims after he expressed his desire to give life-changing blood transfusions. A year later, the HBO parody show Silicon Valley He drives home the issue in the episode “Blood Child”. In it, when a fictional tech CEO holds a meeting, his veins are connected to a handsome young man introduced as his “bleeding accomplice.”
“We really don’t want … these old billionaires to have to pay for plasma donors to come to them,” Betts-Lacroix told an audience in Europe last summer. The company says it hopes to find more “convincing” interventions that mimic the effects of blood transfusions and could be used by millions of people.
“We don’t want to exclude billionaires. I’m saying we don’t need treatments that are expensive and difficult and difficult to implement,” he added.
Altman, for his part, says that his personal anti-aging regimen of “trying to eat healthy, exercise, get enough sleep” and taking metformin might help people with diabetes stay healthy longer, gaining popularity in Silicon Valley circles. “I hope to use Retro therapy one day!” Altman says.
Unlock AI for longevity
One reason anti-aging research may seem like a promising area for investment is that it has not received much funding in the past given the scope of the problem. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, nearly one-fifth of the US$4.3 trillion is spent on health care, most of which goes to treating the elderly. The widespread view among longevity researchers is that if aging can be slowed with medicine, it could help postpone many serious diseases, including cancer and heart disease.
To make the biggest impact, Betts-Lacroix says, it needs interventions that can reach “millions or billions” of people.
When retro came out of hiding, however, the attack on aging was at its height. The government of Saudi Arabia claims to provide $1 billion in aid every year, and a company called Altos Labs claims $3 billion in aid. It had famous investors like Yuri Milner and, according to some sources, Jeff Bezos.
Compared to these ventures, Altman’s bet now seems relatively small, even retrograde. One of the projects is to test regenerative techniques on T cells, a part of the immune system that plays an important role in fighting infection and preventing cancer. These cells are particularly useful because they can be removed, regenerated in the laboratory and then returned to the patient. But other startups have similar goals, including Altos and New Limit, a biotech company launched last year by cryptocurrency billionaire Brian Armstrong. Competition for research talent is particularly strong. While persuading two dozen university professors to quit their jobs, Altos collected half of its leading scientists, among other benefits.