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Gero, Singapore AI startup bags $2.2m to create a drug that helps extend human life

Congrats to Gero for the $2.2m of funding to create a drug that helps extend human life!

I did two interviews with Gero in 2019 at Undoing Aging – here, with Peter Fedichev on Quantifying Aging in Large Scale Human Studies:

And here with Ksenia Tsvetkova on Data Driven Longevity:

Doris Yu at Tech In Asia said:

The company observed that as population growth slows down, the average lifespan increases. For example, there will only be 250 million people older than 65 by the end of the decade in China. Countries like Singapore, meanwhile, are not able to attract enough migrants to help offset the aging population.

Gero then wants to provide a medical solution to help extend healthspan as well as improve the overall well-being and productivity of its future customers.

It’s trying to do so by collecting medical and genetic data via a repository of biological samples and creating a database of blood samples collected throughout the last 15 years of patients’ lives. Its proprietary AI platform was able to determine a type of protein that could help with rejuvenation if blocked or removed.

What problem is it solving? “Aging is the most important single risk factor behind the incidence of chronic diseases and death. […] We are ready to slow down – if not reverse – aging with experimental therapies,” Peter Fedichev, co-founder and CEO of Gero, told Tech in Asia.

Explorebit.io wrote:

Gero, a Singapore-based company that develops new drugs for ageing and other complicated disorders using its proprietary developed artificial intelligence (AI) platform, secured $2.2m in Series A funding.

The round, which brought total capital raised since founding to over $7.5m, was led by Bulba Ventures with participation from previous investors and serial entrepreneurs in the fields of pharmaceuticals, IT, and AI. The co-founder of Bulba Ventures Yury Melnichek joined Gero’s Board of Directors. The company will use the funds to further develop its platform.

Led by founder Peter Fedichev, Gero provides an AI-based platform for analyzing clinical and genetic data to identify treatments for some of the most complicated diseases, such as chronic aging-related diseases, mental disorders, and others. The company’s experts used large datasets of medical and genetic information from hundreds of thousands of people acquired via biobanks and created a proprietary database of blood samples collected throughout the last 15 years of the patients’ lives.

Using this data, the platform determined the protein that circulates in people’s blood whose removal or blockage should lead to rejuvenation. Subsequent experiments at National University of Singapore involved aged animals and demonstrated mortality delay (life-extension) and functional improvements after a single experimental treatment. In the future, this new drug could enable patients to recover after a stroke and could help cancer patients in their fight against accelerated ageing resulting from chemotherapy.

The platform is currently also being utilized to develop drugs in other areas: for example, the group’s efforts to find potential therapies for COVID-19, including those that could reduce mortality from complications related to ageing, has already attracted a great deal of attention from large pharmaceutical companies and leading global media organizations.