James 1: 1:05
I got the pleasure of interviewing the CEO of juvenile essence, dr. Gregory Bailey. In this episode, dr. Gregory Bailey gets me absolutely hyped up about investing in the longevity industry. The longevity industry is one of the few investment opportunities out there that can potentially reward early investors with some of the largest returns in all of human history, but is also one of the most altruistic investments that you can possibly make. Adding five to 10 to 15, to even 20 years of healthy life span across billions of people. Again, this was an extremely hype interview and every time I listened to it, I get more and more excited. So without further ado, dr. Gregory Bailey,
Dr. Greg Bailey, thank you so much for joining me today. Greg, you are the CEO of juvenile essence, one of the largest, if not the largest biotech longevity investment fund in the world. I’d like to ask you a few questions about how you got introduced to the world of longevity. And how do you Evanescence as a company kind of came about?
Sure. To start with, we’re not a fund. We are a drug development company and send you made, would probably argue there and anti aging as well. And they have a $12 billion market cap. So we are the only biotech company exclusively focused on anti aging and creating a diverse portfolio. And we have competitors who are focused on specific areas or specific modalities of therapy. Then to go back to the second part of your question, I met a gentleman named Luigi Fontana probably nine years ago now at the Milken conference.
And Luigi is one of the top scientists in the world for chloric restriction and how it affects health and longevity. And it is the only at the time proven therapy that extends human life, both the quality of life, your health span, how long you live healthy versus how long you just live, but also increased longevity. The next year I met a guy named Baltar long chronic caloric restriction. His permit is 1800 calories for women, 1200 calories a day. So then I met the next year also the Milken conference, Valter Longo. And Baltar felt that you could get exactly the same response by intermittent fasting a once a month for people overweight once every three months for normal way. And once every six months, if you were particularly skinny and during those intermittent fasting five days, 800 calories, no meat products and minimal carbs, and that he let Lee, or actually the guy like it to high intensity training, which you can do intermittently.
And it’s serves you as well as if you ran 10 miles a day, if you once a week to high intensity training. So that was interesting to me. And then the third piece of the puzzle was Walter boards’ was the head of gerontology at Stanford who told me that fit people mentally age and physically age at a half percent a year. Unfitted 2% a year. And one of his colleagues at Stanford found that if you’re fit you live eight years longer, again, healthy than people and longer than people who aren’t fit you. And James know there’s nothing magical about diet restriction or intermittent fasting or exercise. Fundamentally, it’s doing something at a cellular level. And so from there, I began to do some research and was intrigued that scientists were beginning to discover this pathways, cellular pathways of aging, like grappa Mycenae and M tour, both the drug and the cellular pathway and PK, NAD, and sirtuin.
And one thing I know about scientists that they understand the pathway, they’re going to figure out a way to play with it. And so I began sending my two colleagues, Declan Doogan, former head of drug development of Pfizer, who we’ve been doing a number of drug development projects before Juven essence and Jim Mellon, a polymath scientist, and author, all this information about how wow it’s happening now, you know, we’re going to be able to modify age. And then two years tell you, actually three years ago, four years ago. Now Jim decided to write a book called Juven essence, same name as our company. Cause he went around to talk to all the top scientists and institutions in the world. They basically gave Declan and I roadmap people to go talk to begin, to put together a company. And I can tell you that if anyone had told me that we would be able to raise $168 million in a little over two and a half years and have 22 modality agnostic therapies that could modify how long we age I would have said it was crazy.
You know, that’s crazy to assemble that many products and be to assemble, to raise much cash. And then the next piece of the puzzle is we’ve been able to attract extraordinary people to work with us on this project, over that two and a half years, which basically started out with two people, active longwinded answer.
So I want to go back. You said that you’re not a fund. You do have sizable amounts of equity in companies like in silico and Ajax, but you guys are also developing your own drugs or any of those drugs. I mean, how far along are those drugs? I don’t know how much you can talk about that.
We only invest in companies that we can have a significant say in what they’re doing. And silica was an aberration. We did that deal more to get access to the pipeline of drug discovery products that they were focusing on anti aging and Ajax.
We thought we could make a material difference working with Mike West, who I believe you’ve already interviewed and trying to go into spontaneous tissue generation and create the dream of STEM cells that are one day old, not seven years old. And then it graphed and B there’s one with your heart or able to reinvest emotion. You’re a spinal cord. We are in a phase one slash two, a trial later this year for liver transplantation. Basically this company has done something extraordinary and every now and again, I’m shocked at somebody who comes up with something that just seems to be outside the norm and Erica gas. The scientists at the McGowan Institute did that. And then we have to get a liver transplant in the United States, a $700,000 roughly procedure. And we don’t have enough livers. And he’s thought, what if I took lymph nodes? And I injected them with liver cells, hepatocytes, would they function as secondary livers?
If they drained into the bile Docker into the liver and in 400 animal studies, they do indeed prevent animal from dying of liver failure if he does this procedure. So we go into a phase one slash two, a trial for that, which was captivating when we first saw it, because could you do the same thing for a type one diabetic where you took beta islet cells that create insulin from the pancreas, okay. Basically pancreatic cells and injected them into the lymph nodes by the pancreas. Could you reverse diabetes type one diabetes? What if we did it to the Oregon’s like the thymus they’re involved in the aging of your immune system? Could I reverse the aging of your immune system? Would you be fantastically top? Unfortunately, we would depend demic that is afflicting so many people globally, really excited about that one. And next year we go into three more clinical trials in a variety of pathologies.
And we launched our first product this year with Colin watt and his team. So you’re launching your first product this year. Can you talk about which product that is?
Yeah, it’s a ketone Ester named beta hydroxybutyrate. So to the buck Institute for aging, one of the top institutions in the world, 200 of the top scientists working to figure out how to modify aging and in animal models, it was too protective cardioprotective and neuroprotective. So basically the animals live longer and protected their heart and their brain. What we know is your heart prefers ketones over carbs and your brain prefers carbs over ketones, but to its detriment, it would be better served if it was getting, it was able to get its energy source from ketones. And so by doing this product, which will initially be a drink, and then later it will be a powder.
You can literally put yourself into a state of ketosis so that you protect your brain and your heart. And hopefully it reproduces the same results as it did in animals. And it allows you to live longer. So that launches late September, early October. And we’re very excited about that and will help us launch another part of our puzzle, which is our ability to interact with people who are taking our products, where they are whereby they become participants with us if they share their data. And so the data I learned from you, James could help me or any other people and simply data from me can help everyone else. Who’s part of this program. So when we learn, when’s the best time to take our product, which may be different for you than for me, we know how much you should take it. We’ll begin to assess that out.
And the more biometric data you share, the more I can dovetail a lifestyle program for you, which we hope to with machine learning gets to the point where I can literally tell you what two lunch or dinner be the biggest meal of your day. Do you need to increase your endurance training? And I need to increase my high intensity training. So at the end, and then what supplements should we take? And when and what combination. So really excited about the frontier. This is going to be a area that is much more explosive than people think because so many of the products we see are IP protected products that are so safe, that we can launch them to consumers with an easier regulatory path. So we’re hopeful that we will close on two more of those type of products and be able to launch them next year as well, which have extraordinary effects. One of them in boosting immune system, which again is incredibly topical.
Yeah, this all sounds extremely exciting. And from your perspective, I imagine this is quite a fulfilling company to be a part of and yeah, really altruistic, really moving things forward as for humanity. So it’s extremely interesting to hear about all of this stuff. And juvenile essence is a huge player. So since you guys have done a couple of investments with, as we mentioned, Ajax and silico, which is the AI company, what is your, or I guess the juvenile essence investing philosophy when it comes to longevity. Do you think that there’s certain things that certain parameters, I guess you’d say when investing in longevity that are, maybe let’s say the opposite of that investing in tech, investing in eCommerce, something like that versus investing in longevity, do you think there’s a lot of differences in that
The industry needs a lot more money than us. So for any of your listeners, we will be able to modify aging. Science fiction is now science. It’s actually happening. It’s going to happen so much faster, but it needs capital. So when we are looking at projects to invest in, we’ve got to be able to value add. And so what we think we’ve built, and this is because it’s such a noble quest. I mean, wow. I mean, if I can add 10 healthy years of life to you and every one of your loved ones, I mean, you know, you change the world. So the people are very passionate about it who come to work with us, we’ve been able to attract extraordinary talent because of that. So, but still when we’re looking at product, can we add value? You know, if they have great truck developers and they know how to market their product, it probably, they just see us for money.
That’s probably not a proper fit because we definitely are developers. Well, you know, we will bring the project in house to develop it. And most of the other companies and companies are mostly things out of universities. Most of the other science we’ve been licensed. So that’s a major focus. Can we influence the outcome of the product in the case of biotech versus others? Any other sector you really want to think of is mining, where literally you drill the hole and your company is either hit oil and gold and you’re worth $10 million, or you didn’t, it hit your you dollar. So we have that sort of light switch moment where products that we’ve been in licensed are either going to be worth an extraordinary amount or they’re not. So that’s unique in tech where there’s network effect and there’s all sorts of other things that can materially affect the outcome of your industry.
Fundamentally though, I would say that just like tech, it comes down to people. Uh, Colin has been able to add extraordinary people to his team with Joe McCarthy, from publicists and previously before that Nike and Cussan former head of supply chain and Jay Sam, normal digital media Terry, one of the top vitamin scientists. So, and then on the other side, I got Decklin plus the head of clinical drug development of Pfizer. And I’ve got the former head of the Crick Institute. Who’s head of European, R and D at Pfizer. So you put amazing people around these products, you change the risk reward profile, and I guess that’s like any other industry, you know, if you get amazing people and then it’s just trying to be clever on the ones you pick absolutely deck. And I got a pretty good track record of picking the right products, right. Horses to back.
Yeah. That makes a lot of sense by question is, so you said the industry needs capital. How can someone who’s, let’s say a traditionally, a tech investor or a non biotech investor, like myself get involved in an educated, let’s say a not super risky way. Like which projects should we be looking at that you would, you say, just invest in companies that have already, I mean, on my end, I’ve had a few opportunities to invest in some different biotech companies. And when I look at the deck, it’s just a bunch of results that are extremely hard to make sense of. Yeah, exactly. So I’m curious your thoughts on that because yeah. It can be very intimidating to see this type of scientific data when I’m looking at the decks and just try to make sense of it. Is this accurate? Is this even something that’s impressive?
Yeah. I know it’s daunting and it’s unfortunate because people are willing to invest in another app or social media, but they’re scared off by biotech to me, you know, as it is, you know, when I, I am an investor in the sector, as well as the participant is you look at, does the science make sense?
Yeah. And it would some obscure monoclonal antibody working in some esoteric gene. Yeah. I can’t understand that. So does this science make sense to me is one of my big hurdles is their IP protection. That’s pretty easy to check. Does do they have strong intellectual property position? Okay. Do I agree with the business plan? So I think, wow, this, you know, this makes sense to me. And then do I think the management team can execute on that business plan and then the fifth and the most very, very important one is do they have adequate capital to get to that light switch moment where they get the results from the drilling or in this case, the positive clinical trial. And if they have those five things, I feel comfortable investing. So those are the parameters. Then when you come to our respect sector specifically, it’s truly going to be huge.
I mean, Bank of America said it’s $504 billion market by 2025. That’s less than five years. There will be a company or companies that are going to be worth two or $300 billion. If you are a share an investor, this is not a sector you can ignore. So to really good knowledgeable, you got that PhD. Then you can try and pick the winners, if not, and why we set up to in essence, the way we have, we’ve created a portfolio, you just had some of the top people in the world pick the products, the same people that the biggest funds in the world would hire to pick the products that they should invest in, but they’re not just taking them. They’re also working with that company, creating the team around it, to develop those products, to mitigate the risk. And by the way, the team has created inquiry $27 billion worth of market value for and shareholder value.
So to me, whether it’s a fund, which you can do as an individual institutions, can’t do, cause it’s a double dip. If they’re charging their people and then they fund charges, but to an individual, you could definitely do a fund that has a great track record on which there are too many right now that I’m aware of it. It’s just like two or three that are exclusively focused on aging, or you can pick a portfolio company. And right now to the best of my knowledge, and you could argue like bio-sciences, they’ve really focusing quite now on ophthalmology. So I think that we’re probably maybe the only company, but certainly one of a handful of opportunities where you’ve done that. And our whole business model has been about hiring extraordinary people from the drug development side and for our non RX consumer side, people who have an incredible track record of bringing products to market successfully bringing products to market.
I think you guys mentioned in one of the interviews that an IPO might be coming soon, but I assume with all the stuff that’s going on right now, that’s probably been postponed for a while.
This is beyond me. This is an investment. If you were to invest in human essence, we’re in the midst of $150 million capital raise. And so, and it’s a pre IPO round. So it’s to set the table for that IPO, which originally we thought was going to be this year. But depend DEMEC is at a few twists to that. That’s that narrative. So, but basically this is an extraordinary theme. A huge companies are going to be created. I think they’re not going to be a big pharma because there’ll be more of the distribution entities for the ones who are doing this primary work. Like we are doing it like life is doing.
And like a couple of other companies have unity at doing so they will do that and we will be the ones growing. So it’s a theme which you either believe, or you won’t believe it, but we’re gonna modify aging over the next few years. I would argue we’re already doing that with Metformin. And we will with our product, uh, metabolic switch, which is our beta hydroxybutyrate, ketone Ester, the launches later this year. So we’re doing it now. And then this is going to be an extraordinary theme. Do you believe in the theme, do you believe in the vision, do you think the management can execute? So in talking to all the big banks, the major investment banks for healthcare, they all understand that their analysts understand it, that it’s going to be one of the top 10, most disruptive technologies according to Citibank. So yeah, I think that this isn’t an investment that people understand.
I go back to my first point of pattern and best T understand it. I don’t need to understand all of the pathways that are first started mentioning the starter pathways. But I do understand if you’re gonna modify the pathways that cause you to age, I’m going to be able to forestall it. Do I understand that if somebody is in liver failure and I can create a second liver in the lymph node, that makes sense. I get it. And it worked in animals. So I don’t think this is going to require a PhD. I do think the public will capture this like they did with beyond me. This is going to be huge transformative. It’s one of the greatest opportunities. Jim Mellon says, it’s some money fountain. You know, people who invest a little bit intelligently here invested in everybody in the sector are going to do extraordinarily well.
Yeah. One of the, I guess you’d say the hypest quotes from the human essence book was this will be the greatest investment opportunity in all of human history, which it’s extremely exciting to read that. It’s what I think. So as well, uh, I’ve traditionally always invested in tech, startups, all that stuff. And I’m personally moving everything over into the longevity industry. So yeah, I think it’s going to be a, it’s a very exciting industry to be a part of and the ROI is going to be crazy, which kind of brings me to my next question. What areas of longevity, obviously you have senescence and senescent cells are a huge, a lot of companies are targeting senescent cells. Are there any other industries that other areas that are maybe not getting as much attention, but have some serious ROI potential? Once they get some money,
We pretty much know what they are. They’ve done the pinwheel of aging. So, you know, there’s eight or nine things depending who do the pinwheel as far as to reverse the process of aging, what you need to do as far as cleaning up cellular junk, clearing up and cells that are now zombie cells and Smiths and cells to regenerate tissue. I mean, I won’t go through the nine things. So I think we mainly know what they are just the whole sector needs more money. I mean, when you look at the amount of money that’s available to what as Jim says is going to be one of the greatest investment opportunities. That’s going to be transformative for humanity, that it’s not, you know, it’s not more readily available. So all of the elements, chain manipulation, a regeneration of tissue, spontaneous regrowing of limbs, like Ajax is kind of embark on shortly.
Those sorts of things. Do we just need the money to make them happen faster and to accelerate the program. So it’s just not cardiac tissue working on, it’s a CNS to chew as well. And to this analytics, as you’ve talked about what is the right analytics? What right. Combination, what call is the right cocktail? How do we personalize this? I don’t think enough is being done right now on personalization of figuring out what the mix of cocktails are, but I’m very optimistic in silico. We have a small division internally called relation at this point in time, we’ll sort out combinations that are going to be important. So it’s just getting more money to the sectors. It’s interesting. I mean, there’s three things. You’ll spend your last dollar on food shelter and your health. So in Jim’s quote about this being the greatest investment opportunity in history, this is something everybody cares about Elon Musk. There’s lots of people who want an electric car, but it isn’t 7.8 billion people who are all getting older. This is like global and it’s every country, every person. And then it’s just, how do I make a price point as low as possible so that everybody can participate on that. So I’m very excited about metabolic switch and that our pricing looks very good. It shouldn’t be available to a lot of people.
So to reiterate just cause yeah, everyone I’ve talked to, like I said, I’ve done four interviews so far and yeah, the industry is starving for money. So if anyone’s listening out there, I mean, how can I I’m sure. Yeah. So let’s say someone, maybe doesn’t have a million dollars to invest in the industry. Maybe they have 10,000, $50,000, something like that. You would just suggest to find a fund, find some sort of portfolio management company. If someone who doesn’t, who can’t really figure out if the science makes sense, is that, would that be your suggestion?
As I said, some of the science is pretty easy and, but it’s more what quantum of capital available. It’s why when you asked the question a couple of questions ago, but when I was going public, if we were public today, you can buy shares. And this is where I think this is going to be an enormous retail play. Classically. The IPOs have been led by the giant feminists of the industry, fidelity Wellington. This is what I think is going to appeal like beyond meat to the average person, they’re going to get it. This is an important thing. And I can invest in this.
Yeah. Every conversation I have. I mean, the conversation I had with Mike West was just absolutely mind blowing what they’re working on over at Ajax, man, really just, it gets you really excited and really hopeful for the future. The regeneration of a heart cell in a Petri dish, all the stuff they’re working on. It’s, it’s very, very exciting and the world is going to be a vastly different place. And I tell my friends, I tell everyone I can, that it’s going to be a different world in 20 years. Once this stuff starts really coming out once in a meaningful way, which I guess brief time and ask the question. When do you think the molecules that are being worked on or the therapies, the biologics that are being worked on right now? When do you think we’ll start to see a meaningful impact on longevity? Because obviously one or two years is cool, but when do you think we’ll start to see life extension of 10, 15, 20 years?
How long do you want to live James? I never want to die. It’s actually a three part question when I usually ask it. Cause I do a lot of presentations on this subject. I asked people how long they want to live. And most people will say 90 a hundred and then, or even 80. And then I say, how long would you like to live? If you were healthy, they add 10 or 20 years to that. And then I say, how long would you like to live? You’re the anatomy and the physiology of when you were 25 and then begin to answer like you started with forever. Some people’s 150, but it suddenly changes. The paradigm is that element. So as I said, we’re launching a product that has demonstrated longevity in animals. It’s impossible as we don’t know humans because we haven’t run an 80 year clinical trial honestly.
But, uh, our assumption is it will add life span. It’ll, you know, it’ll be in the three to four years, probably as opposed to the 10 to 20 years that you’re, that you seek. I think it’s going to come in stages. There’s one gate, two gating factors. So there’s a huge argument. Or whether we, we sort of are timestamped on one 25 is as long as we can live, no matter what we do, that your body’s preprogrammed to fail. And then there’s another theory that it’s one 50 and then, uh, Aubrey de grey and many others. And MyQuest believes that it’s actually immortality. What I would say to you is until we sort of two pieces of the equation, it’s one 20 and one, one 50, because if we cannot get rid of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson neurodegeneration, or if we cannot figure out how to regenerate tissue, nobody wants to have Alzheimer’s the last 60 years of their life and nobody wants to be in a wheelchair.
So we’ve got to sort of those elements. Those are the gating factors to really, even if we figured out cellular aging tomorrow, we still hurt our knee skiing twister ankle, and it causes permanent damage. So those are the big gating factors to getting you and your longevity. Having said that we are working on it when they’re going to be available Mike West. And I’m a great believer in Mike and his science, hopefully, and there’s others working on the regeneration of a knee joint and STEM cells and see analytics. We’re going to help there as well with osteoarthritis. So into aging, as a process. And there’s a number of things we need to go after. And some of them are going to be engaging. One of our companies and very excited about with leeway and Steven Haggerty is working to epigenetically, meaning influence your genes as an adult to prevent you from getting neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s my personal belief and a previous company motivation, which was incredibly successful because of a prostate cancer drug failed in our phase three clinical trial for Alzheimer’s disease. I’m not sure we can treat Alzheimer’s once the cells start to misfold proteins, I’m not sure you can reverse it and I’m not sure cleaning out the protein will alleviate. Alzheimer’s. What I do think is we have a chance to prevent it. So one of the forms of Alzheimer’s I felt for a long time is a form of type three diabetes due to our body’s not reacting to insulin as we get older. And I think there are certain drugs that can actually bring the sugar down in your brain like Metformin, and they may prevent one of the forms of Alzheimer’s. We’re also now talking about it, potentially having an effect or quality herpes has been postulated for another form of Alzheimer’s.
So, but those are all about prevention. You know, if the herpes viruses infected your brain, I don’t think we’re going to figure out how to reverse that process. It’s the insulin is done because the cascade of actions that will lead to that form of Alzheimer’s, I’m not sure you can reverse that, but I do think we can prevent it and couldn’t be more excited about the way in Stephen Haggerty’s work. I mean, that’d be extraordinary. Yeah. Well, it’s all a super interesting and exciting industry to part of, and I appreciate you hopped on this call with me, Greg. I know you’re a busy guy, so I can close this up now, but thank you so much again, and I’m sure the audience is going to really enjoy this one. The one last thing I’ll leave you with is if we had a mortality James today, and the only way you could die, which I can’t change, his accident or, um, accident, suicide or homicide, what age, what do you think the average life span would be for him?
The only way that you could die is from an accident, suicide, homicide, and then the rate stays the same as it is today. I may have a cheat answer to that because Mike West answered this question on his podcast, but I’ll say 600 years.
Yeah. I mean, it’s variable. As some people say anywhere from 600 years to 1024 was the actuarial model I saw. And the really fun number I’ll leave you with was one person in 5 billion will live to 25,000. Have a very good day, James. Thank you for having me on your podcast.