The other areas of Longevity are easier to ‘reach’ than drugs. From gene therapy to Nano-scale robots to the irreversible merging of man with machines, the headlines certainly out-punch pills. Drugs do, however, have a number of advantages over their flashier rivals in the Longevity race.
Firstly, many of them are already on the market, with years of clinical and real-world data cataloguing their effects. Secondly, pharmaceuticals are far less invasive and much more socially palatable.
This isn’t to say that the drug industry has become ossified or predictable. A quiet revolution is occurring at every stage of the drug pipeline as the industry pivots toward the Longevity market. AI is set to radically speed up the rate at which new drugs will be discovered and developed, cutting overheads and allowing treatments for rarer diseases to enter the market.
Alongside this, scientists are discovering that a number of existing drugs have strongly-causative impacts upon aging, meaning that pharmaceutical companies are shifting to repurpose them for Longevity.
Fixations with Longevity have been a perennial fascination of our species, and the expectation of a wonder-drug that equates to the fountain of youth or the Philosopher’s Stone is way-off. Longevity research and development will be long and carry the usual risks of drugs failing in later-stage clinical trials.
Our Longevity landscape and technology readiness scoring demonstrates that there are nearer-term opportunities and that the Longevity drug discovery market will follow the same M&A path as biotech. There are, however, some very exciting discoveries which present investment opportunities ahead of big pharma acquisition.