Longevity Tech fund as the name indicates invests in startups focussed in Longevity Therapeutics and diagnostic companies. These companies are carefully selected based on their human impact size, leading teams and the innovation impact on the vertical. We have invested in 40+ companies out of fund one and are currently raising our fund 2.
We are proud of our portfolio companies and our specialty is portfolio care. We are currently conducting a series of webinars to showcase some of our exemplary portfolio companies and their founders. The series will also be interspersed with experts from the field of Longevity discussing various sub sectors within Longevity, gaps and their impact on human life including both lifespan and healthspan extension.
In the second LTF webinar of the series, Daniel Georgiev, CEO of Sampling Human spoke to Jyothi Devakumar and Raghav Sehgal from LTF about the exciting advances Sampling Human has been making. Sampling Human has built a novel diagnostic technology which harnesses engineered microbes to perform single cell analysis and detect miniscule number of disease driving cells thereby enabling personalised medicine.
Cells are the fundamental units of life and disease. Many cell types maintain our bodies’ normal functions. Other anomalous cell types emerge to initiate disease. Association of cells with outcomes is largely missing because “diagnostically speaking” important cell types are very rare and routine identification and analysis of single cells is economically impractical. Sampling Human has built a breakthrough platform for clinically relevant access to the full spectrum of single cell data. The platform which uses “living cellular analyzers” or engineered microbes is: comprehensive, specific, sensitive and effective.
Given the relevance of their technology, the webinar had some very interesting insights. Here are a few excerpt from the discussion:
Daniel cofounded Sampling Human with two other scientists. Personally for him the change from being a professor in Mathematics to being the CEO of a biomarker platform company was quite a dramatic change but was primarily driven by his love for Biology and improving Human Lives.
Daniel and his co-founders motivation to work on their novel single cell technology comes from their experience of seeing single-cell analysis being run on primitive glass slides, way back in 2016. This really opened their eyes to the possibility and potential for advancements in the field.
The team at Sampling Human believes in the ideology that cells are at the very bottom of the hierarchy of human biology, rather any cellular component does not have homeostasis, which is why if one really has to solve and detect a disease they need to go to the very bottom of the biological hierarchy. This ideology is at the core of why they believe single-cell technology is the future of drug and biomarker discovery.
A more deep dive on the technology of Sampling Human by Daniel revealed that they use engineered yeast to perform DOT or Diagnostic on target workflow. Daniel explained that the DOT workflow is a simple yet powerful method used for biological identification of cell types. It's one of the easiest tests on the market which requires no additional instrumentation. At the core a dot library binds to the target cell type which switches to an active state when bound to a target and can then be easily readout.
Daniel also gave insights into comparisons of their technology with other technologies present in the market. For example, he talked about the comparison between DOT and enzymatic methods which are both relatively easy to use but DOT has the added advantage of measuring a combination of antigens as well measuring the identified cells as compared to total antigen in case of enzymatic methods. The latter proves as a great advantage as experiments are scaled where the signal in case of enzymatic methods goes down as cell count increases, DOT’s signal stays the same, providing an added advantage. When compared to more developed technologies like flow cytometry, DOT has the advantage of linearity in very low cell counts.
On a more practical level DOT can process a million cells in under 3 hours while flow cytometry will take almost 1.5 months to do the same. Rather DOT is 1000X more sensitive, can scale to 300X, replicable 1000X and costs upto 100X cheaper as compared to flow cytometry.
Sampling Human’s technology is in its’ beta testing phase where it has gotten some great reception in third party validations. At this point their focus on research use such as cytotoxicity assays and more.
Interestingly, a poll amongst the webinar audience showed that greater than 57% were willing to pay upwards of 100s of dollars for the technology with 29% willing to pay upwards of 1000s of dollars.
Daniel also talked about the implications of their technology in the context of longevity, specifically epigenetic clocks. He also mentioned the overall market for this technology is 2.5B dollars and can be used in a variety of applications beyond longevity as well. Given the potential of the technology, Daniel and his team are looking forward to raising their Series A round worth $15 million with the goal of accelerating the growth and reach of their technology.
All in all the webinar was hugely insightful and is best represented by the final of the webinar where audience members were asked about their understanding of the technology and more 85% said they understood the technology fairly well, rating their understanding a 4 on a scale of 5 with almost 56% rating their understanding a complete 5!
contact address: 540 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301, USA