While the Longevity Medicine Day at the 10th Aging Research and Drug Discovery Meeting has come to an end, the main event begins on Tuesday, August 29, 2023. The meeting started with an exciting atmosphere both in person and online. The Grand Hall of the University of Copenhagen was packed, yet it did not feel overcrowded as many attendees joined the event from across the yard and from the conference hotel. The day began with welcome remarks by the Chairs of the Forum, Professors Morten Scheiby-Knudsen, MD, PhD and Daniela Bakula, PhD.
Thomas Rando of Stanford first made headlines with a keynote address on “Epigenetic Control of Stem Cell Aging and Rejuvenation” and provided an in-depth look at the molecular mechanisms affecting stem cell function as we age. Following him, Paul Koolhaas of Molecule explored innovative financial models for longevity research, emphasizing the role of public markets and decentralized science.
Dr. Evelyn Bischoff, Chair of Longevity Medicine Day, presented new insights into the emerging field of age-related cancer with her talk on “Geroncology and Healthy Longevity Medicine.” He provided a comprehensive overview of the current status and future directions of integrating gyroscience with clinical practice. The morning session also included talks by Vipul Bente Klarlund Pedersen on the anti-inflammatory effects of exercise, Luigi Ferrucci on protein energetics and splicing in aging, and Andrea Maier on supplements designed to improve health span.
The afternoon was equally compelling, featuring Anna Catharina Simon’s research on the role of autophagy in immune aging and Evandro Fang’s multidisciplinary talk on aging, Alzheimer’s, autophagy, and artificial intelligence. Sabrina Buttner discussed cellular aging and organelle connectivity, while presentations from Maxwell Biosciences and Deciduous Therapeutics discussed immune-based therapies for aging.
Tony Vice-Corey of Stanford presented interesting findings on the plasma proteome as a sensor of organ physiology and aging. Katrin Andreasson from Stanford discusses the immune-metabolic mechanisms that contribute to cognitive decline. Truediagnostic’s Varun Dwarka introduced the multi-omics biological age clock OMICmAge, and UC Berkeley’s Danica Chen investigated mitochondrial regulation of stem cell aging.
The day concluded with a venture capital panel moderated by Lisa Melton of Nature Biotechnology, in which a diverse group of investors discussed their perspectives and challenges in longevity investing. The presence of the editors of Nature Medicine, Nature and Nature Biotechnology underlined the academic rigor and high impact of the conference.
Several emerging longevity companies gave talks on their cutting edge technologies. Maxwell Biosciences: CEO J. Scotch McClure presented an “engineered immune system” using artificially designed antibodies. Degenerative Therapeutics: Robin Mansukhani discusses targeting cellular aging through immune mobilization. TruDiagnostic: Varun Dwarka launches OMICmAge, a multi-omics age predictor. Ichor Life Sciences: Kelsey Moody talks about developing the next generation of lysosomal biologics. Life Biosciences: Sharon Rosenzweig-Lipson presented on Epigenetic Reprogramming for Age-Related Disease.
Poster sessions aired in the epic hallways of the Grand Hall. ARDD is famous for its poster sessions as many of these posters are viewed by on-site journal editors which increases the chances of the full paper being published in one of the top journals.
Several startups set up their booths in tents in the backyard of the Grand Hall of the University of Copenhagen to showcase their solutions, products, kits and give away cool merchandise. Speakers and delegates alike were using the tents for private discussions. I was delighted to see Tom Rando of Stanford and Vadim Gladyshev of Harvard meeting with their potential partners at the same time.
I was very pleased with Gérôme Guyot, a BCG veteran and Director of Strategic Initiatives at LVMH. Here, I can surmise that LVMH is also developing an interest in aging research and longevity biotechnology.
and the presence of members of the Youth Longevity Association (TYLA) – high school students who are already developing careers in longevity biotechnology, served as a reminder that longevity biotechnology is a long game and to succeed We need to develop the next generation of scientific leaders and entrepreneurs.
With over 5,000 online viewers and the hallways buzzing with constant buzz, the first day of ARDD 2023 was a testament to the maturing longevity biotechnology industry. The event set a high standard for the days to come, offering a rich mix of content ranging from basic science to clinical translation, aimed at extending healthy human life span. It is clearly felt that the future is better than we think and that many advances in biotechnology and aging research have the potential to yield very effective longevity interventions within our lifetime.