Longevity Is the Next Big Thing. Is It?


Longevity is one of the most rapidly evolving and exponentially growing ecosystems that has a convergence of 20 industries. This unique ecosystem reveals new key industry trends every day thanks to its quick adoption of emerging technologies like AI, Machine Learning and Big Data in various Longevity sectors, such as pharma, biomedicine, P4 medicine, etc. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic boosted not only the growth of the BioTech capital market but also the development of the Longevity biomedicine sector. Consequently, the growth rate of the Longevity market is comparable to that of the IT sector (one of the largest sectors if not the largest).


Considering this high growth, nowadays, Longevity is often picked as a major topic of interest for panel discussions and entire conference series by top-tier finance and business media brands, including The Economist, The Financial Times, and Bloomberg.


In this article, we will shed some light on this highly progressive industry, with its immense potential to transform the modern world, to help you understand why Longevity is getting immensely popular these days. From Longevity’s market size to its major subsectors to institutional investors and leading companies, we will examine every aspect of the industry. Let’s get started!



Longevity Industry: Global and Industrial Context


1. Global Context

Among the developed countries, Hong Kong and Japan have the highest life expectancy rate at birth (84.7 and 84.5 years, respectively). Despite spending less on health and social care (compared to other developed economies), Hong Kong demonstrates superior social indicators in regard to adolescent birth rate, youth involvement in education or employment, homicide rate, and incarceration rate. Its superb health indicators, and life expectancy and infant mortality rate specifically, may be considered key Longevity-related factors.


2. Industrial Context

In 2021, 15 Longevity companies successfully closed their IPOs and raised $6.16 billion. The largest companies by market capitalization are Affirm Holdings, Sana Biotechnology, Clover Health, Oscar Health and Recursion Pharmaceuticals. Technologically speaking, publicly traded Longevity-focused companies are similar to their private peers that have reached Series B or C funding rounds. It means their market capitalization growth can approximate the dynamics of the whole industry.



Longevity Economy on a Global Scale


Longevity Industry as a combination of ageing, advanced preventive precision biomedicine, AgeTech, relevant parts of national healthcare budgets and the global financial industry related to these subindustries. The Longevity Economy’s scale projections include global healthcare spending affecting Longevity, the combined capitalisation of publicly listed Longevity companies, capitalisation of Longevity-related insurance and reinsurance companies, banks and pension funds, and privately held Longevity companies.


Ageing poses one of the most acute demographic challenges of our time (often called the Silver Tsunami), but it also presents one of the most promising opportunities. Financial institutions, such as investment banks, pension funds and insurance companies, can either sink or swim when hit by this oncoming Silver Tsunami. Whether they will succeed in riding the wave or end up drowning under it will depend on their willingness to deploy new business models adapted to population ageing and emerging industries of AgeTech, WealthTech and Longevity Finance as well as on the quality of Longevity analytics they use to develop these business models.



Longevity Industry: a Multitrillion Opportunity!


The Longevity market is way more than anti-ageing applications of life sciences. It includes some new sectors of the financial industry and government projects, with an overall current market size of $25 trillion. With most Longevity start-ups quickly becoming mature companies, large financial institutions are investing increasingly into the industry, giving rise to a fully fledged Longevity infrastructure. Here are some facts advocating for this argument:

  • There are at least 600 publicly traded corporations that can be considered part of the Longevity Industry.

  • Longevity Biomedicine, FinTech and AgeTech industries include 23,000+ companies, 9,000+ investors, 14 sectors and 114 subsectors.

  • The Longevity Financial Industry includes 1,000+ corporations, 15 sectors, and 50 subsectors.

  • The Longevity Governance landscape includes national healthcare budgets and development plans of at least 100 governments.



Market Capitalisation of AgeTech


Estimated at $25 trillion in 2021, the global Longevity Economy is growing rapidly and is expected to be worth $33 trillion by 2026. By the most conservative estimates, it accounts for 20% of the global GDP. While the global Longevity Economy is projected at $33 trillion by 2026, the AgeTech (IT-based solutions to the problem of caring, autonomy, and loneliness among the elderly) segment alone is projected to reach $2.7 trillion by 2025. This, in turn, implies an annual growth rate of 21% in the global AgeTech market, which is attributable to the development of the elderly care sector enhanced by IT, AI, FinTech and other digital technologies.


PharmTech is the largest sector of the Longevity Industry in terms of funds raised and companies involved. The distribution of investments across different sectors of the Longevity Industry demonstrates that investors tend to invest more into drug and gene therapies than into devices (AgeTech). This creates a further need for the capitalisation of the AgeTech sector. Moreover, the shifting focus of society towards keeping older people healthy and active for longer will further help tech-enabled care and mobility aids (two key areas of AgeTech) attract even more investment in the near future.



Longevity Industry Subsectors

  1. AgeTech includes digital, IT and mechanical technologies aiming at prolonging physical functionality and well-being of the elderly population.

  2. AI for Longevity implies the application of Artificial Intelligence for Longevity research and development (R&D), including AI for drug discovery and development of biomarker panels.

  3. FemTech products and services target core female-specific hallmarks and/or markers of ageing. Prominent sectors include fertility and ovarian rejuvenation.

  4. PharmTech includes the application of scientific knowledge or technology to pharmacy, pharmacology and the pharmaceutical industry.

  5. P4 Medicine is considered as the leading edge of practical applications of Longevity technologies since its diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic technologies maintain an optimal state of health for as long as possible.

  6. Regenerative Medicine includes cell therapies, bioengineered organs, tissue engineering and xenotransplantation targeting core markers of ageing.

  7. The Biomarkers of Longevity sector covers the discovery and development of panels of biomarkers of ageing, the core infrastructure required for testing the safety and efficacy of Longevity therapies and the effectiveness of interventions.

  8. Longevity NeuroTech aims at improving and maintaining cognitive abilities, neurological plasticity, sleep quality (SleepTech) and psychological well-being at later stages of life.

  9. Deep Diagnostic focuses on treating or diagnosing health issues by monitoring existing problems, checking for new symptoms or following up on abnormal test results.

  10. FinTech is the integration of technology into financial services provided by financial companies to improve these services and delivery to consumers.

  11. Space Medicine is the practice of medicine on astronauts in outer space, whereas astronautical hygiene is the application of science and technology in the prevention or control of exposure to the hazards that may cause astronauts ill health.

  12. Longevity WealthTech comprises any product or service (again, almost invariably IT-based) that either simplifies or enhances the creation and management of wealth — from savings to investment — for all ages of society.

  13. Advanced Cosmetics is the industry that manufactures and distributes advanced cosmetic products. It includes natural cosmetics, cosmeceuticals, beauty devices, ingredients-as-a-service and anti-ageing cosmetics markets.

  14. Longevity Gene Therapy is an experimental technique that uses genes to treat or prevent disease. In the future, this technique may allow doctors to treat a disorder by inserting a gene into a patient’s cells instead of using drugs or surgery. In fact, it's already used successfully in many developed countries.

  15. Mental Health includes a wide range of psychological or psychiatric disorders and often requires psychiatric intervention. Such conditions can be caused by either a biological origin, such as genetic, chemical or anatomical, or because of age.

  16. Clinical Data Management is the process of collecting and managing research data in accordance with regulatory standards to obtain quality information that is complete and error-free.

  17. Telemedicine, or virtual health, refers to one-on-one consultations between patients and health professionals via video chat, phone call, mobile application or text message.

  18. InsurTech refers to the use of technology innovations designed to obtain savings and efficiency from the current insurance industry model.

  19. Geroscience comprises biomedical therapies targeting the root causes of ageing, including cellular senescence, stem cell exhaustion, epigenetic alterations, altered intercellular communication, loss of proteostasis, deregulated nutrient sensing, mitochondrial dysfunction, telomere attrition and genomic instability.

  20. Wellness and Fitness, as you already know, encompasses all activities that promote physical and mental well-being: from yoga to healthy eating, personal care and beauty, nutrition and weight loss, meditation, spa retreats, workplace wellness and wellness tourism.



Longevity Clinical Trials Market


In 2020, the global Preclinical Studies and Clinical Trials market size accounted for $48.8 billion, which is projected to grow at an average CAGR of 6% to reach $70.5 billion in 2026. Despite an increasing interest in recent years, the industry remains underestimated and has high growth potential. The key market drivers include:

  • Rising life expectancy and disposable income and

  • Increased R&D spending on new drugs by pharmaceutical companies.

Due to high competition, Big Pharma companies are now looking to diversify their product portfolio with speciality drugs. Additional demand for clinical and preclinical services arises because more pharmaceutical companies outsource large parts of R&D, primarily to clinical research organisations, to reduce costs.



The Rise of New Technologies in Clinical Trials


The biopharma industry is tied to clinical trials because of the constant competition and regulatory constraints, of course. As a result, biopharma giants struggle to create new, more precise drugs reliably. This implies a direct correlation between the use of AI in the biopharma industry and the use of new technologies in clinical trials. The key outcomes of AI application lead to the following:

  • Global healthcare companies and governments are starting to catch up with the modern trends in clinical trials, starting from an increasing engagement with digital ads and ending with digitised data collection, outsourcing more and more research to improve efficiency and decrease R&D costs.

  • The software technologies will range from social media and mobile applications to AI-driven software solutions.

One of the most widely used AI solutions currently underutilised on the market is in silico modelling (performed on computer or via computer simulation) that complements experimental research in a resource-efficient manner. Studies predict that the use of AI in clinical trials will grow 15 times by 2025.



Conclusion


Over the recent years, there has been significant progress in ageing research (mainly in animal studies), which has made Longevity a complex and multidimensional science. Its diverse technological offshoots, such as geroscience, geriatrics, regenerative medicine, and precision medicine, are all developing simultaneously. The development of novel financial and digital technologies serves as a foundation for the Global Longevity Industry, which will probably be humanity's largest industry by the year 2040.


The modern AI-driven biomedical R&D technologies are now more mature and are successfully used in ageing research. The key power of AI lies in its ability to accelerate the real-world implementation of Longevity science, such as drug discovery, biomarkers discovery, new Longevity and genes identification, and to bring personalised medicine services based on an individual patient’s records. Still think Longevity isn’t the next big thing?