In our lifetimes, our understanding of the biology of aging has undergone a dramatic transformation. This revolution began in the early 1990s with the insight that we can learn about human aging by studying simpler, shorter-lived animals. A series of investigations in lab animals revealed several of the genetic mechanisms underlying the aging process. Subsequent studies gave rise to the first small-molecule drugs capable of targeting these genetic pathways and extending lifespan in model organisms.
Together, these discoveries launched the modern biology of aging, sometimes called biogerontology or geroscience. As the field matures, we continue to learn about the intricate connections between the molecular features of aging, with exciting new findings published every day.
Today, researchers around the world are preparing to translate these experimental results into the clinic, with the hope of improving human health and increasing the quality (and length) of human life by leveraging our knowledge of biogerontology.
To develop therapies for aging-related disease, entrepreneurs have founded dozens of pharmaceutical firms, fueled in part by a small but growing number of venture capital funds devoted to supporting young companies in the aging space. As a result of these trends, we stand poised on the brink of the era of anti-aging medicine.
At Hourglass, our mission is to tell you all about it.
News: In addition to explaining the most recent scientific breakthroughs in the field, we’ll be reporting on key events in the pharmaceutical and biomedical sectors, including the launching of new companies, preliminary results of promising drugs, and the long, hard road of clinical trials.
Fundamentals: While the news might change from week to week, the big issues do not. In a special collection of articles, we will tackle deeper questions about the importance of aging as a problem, the feasibility of addressing it technologically, and the broad potential benefits of longevity research. Accompanying these pieces will be a series of reference articles, to serve as resources for interested readers who wish to learn more about a particular topic.
Features: In longer analytical pieces, we will take an in-depth look at important topics in biogerontology, analyzing and synthesizing major trends.
We hope to serve as an informational hub for scientists and thought leaders who are already engaged in aging research—but equally importantly, to raise awareness among entrepreneurs in tech and other sectors who are not yet aware of the vast opportunities this field offers.
Supporting this effort are our two founding sponsors:
Longevity Fund, a seed and Series A VC investing in companies that will allow us to live longer and healthier lives; and
The Longevity Research Institute, a non-profit organization committed to finding treatments that demonstrably extend human lifespan by 2030.
So, whether you’re a veteran of the field or a newcomer, welcome, and thank you for joining us on this journey. As progress in geroscience continues to accelerate, and the pharmaceutical industry begins to pour increasing resources into translating basic research into products that could revolutionize healthcare, the time to engage with this field is now.
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