An MIT student at 14, a drop-out at 16 and an entrepreneur running her own small biotech venture fund at 17, Laura Deming is not your typical venture exec. Now, at 23, she’s raised a $22 million fund — her second for the Longevity Fund — that will look to invest in more companies like Unity Biotechnology which are looking to advance new anti-aging drugs.
Anti-aging is just now coming into vogue, as Unity Biotechnology’s recent $151 million B round indicates. But Deming got started long before anti-aging gained some traction with traditional VCs. Now, as the field gains steam, she plans on building on her bets.
TechCrunch did a great interview with Deming, providing her background and what she’s planning on doing. It’s well worth the read for anyone in biotech.
Here’s one excerpt from the interview on why you should care about this new breed of biotech.
In part because not long ago, if you talked with most VCs about aging, they didn’t think there was anything there. I think aging is such a young science, they hadn’t heard about it. Meanwhile, I care a lot about it, and though we don’t know if it’ll work or not, it’s not unlike [biotech companies trying to tackle] cancer in that way, and if you believe in cancer companies, you should also care about aging companies.
I’ve been seeing a lot of fresh energy focusing on anti-aging research, including the creation of Juvenescence and new alliances between InSilico, an anti-aging specialist in AI, and GSK. It’s still early days, but you can see the field steadily gaining traction among investors, developers and scientists.
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