Longevity will become an integral part of drug development
Joppe Nieuwenhuis, Innovation Scout at Rejuveron Life Sciences, discusses her perspective on the future of longevity and rejuvenation research and how it will merge with current medical frameworks and systems.
Rejuveron is a clinical-stage biotechnology company that creates therapies to enhance healthy aging. Its experienced drug discovery and development team applies a deep understanding of the biology of aging, along with technological advances in biopharmaceutical R&D, to advance a new generation of drugs that will help people age better and live longer.
Through its programs, each focused solely on preventing, repairing, or reversing the hallmarks of aging, Rejuveron advances a therapeutic pipeline that extends from drug discovery to the clinic. Rejuveron’s business model is to create or acquire innovative programs, each of which is owned by a 100% or majority owned company.
Co-founded in 2019 by science entrepreneur Matthias Steger and visionary investor Christian Angermayer, Rejuveron has state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and incubators at its headquarters in the Bio-Technopark in Zürich (Switzerland). , New York (USA), as well as program teams located in Spain and Belgium.
Interview with Joppe Nieuwenhuis
After obtaining his doctorate in functional genetics with publications in renowned journals, Joppe gained international experience as a business development manager in a biopharmaceutical CDMO. Currently, he is focused on identifying innovative programs to support the growth of Rejuveron and its programs.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
I am a business developer with a solid scientific background. I have always been interested in translating scientific breakthroughs to have a significant impact on society. Biotechnology is designed to do just that, and by combining my background in business development with my scientific background, I can add a piece to this very difficult puzzle.
Healthy aging and longevity is a particularly interesting space, as it aims to transform our thinking about the human aging process from something that has been accepted as a fact of life to something that we control, and potentially reverse .
What advice would you give to someone entering the field?
Longevity is still a young field, and a lot of things are happening simultaneously. Follow the science closely, but don’t limit yourself to just healthy aging and longevity companies. The field of longevity will ride the wave of technical innovations that propel advances in biotechnology, like any other medical advance.
What are the main challenges as a business developer in the rejuvenation sector?
In my opinion, the main challenge for healthy aging is to improve our perception of preventive medicine and its development. This problem is shared by the general public through to drug developers and regulatory agencies.
Our healthcare system is simply not optimally designed to prevent disease, with the exception of communicable diseases, but it is likely that preventing age-related diseases would have a greater impact than trying to prevent disease. reverse a hallmark of aging.
As a business developer, I often see projects that aim to prevent disease, and although I share the vision behind these projects, it is difficult to turn them into opportunities.
What new approaches would you like to see emerge?
I believe, and hope, that we will see many innovative approaches for low-grade systemic inflammation. Its importance has been recognized for a very long time and has an impact on many key disease areas such as age-related cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.
How do you see the future of the longevity industry?
I expect to see an accelerated maturation process in the longevity industry in the near future. There’s a lot of momentum in the field right now, with great support from investors and academic groups identifying as organizations inspired by healthy aging or longevity.
This will widen the pyramid from academic inventions to pharmaceuticals. We will likely learn which business model best suits this industry and successful companies could attract a lot of attention, with IPOs, clinical development milestones and overcoming regulatory hurdles in the (near) future.
In the long term, longevity and healthy aging will become an integral part of drug development.