Return on Mission

"Unlike Return on Investment, Return on Mission is dictated by how many lives are saved and how many people are not suffering that otherwise would be..." 

– David Gobel

Why 2030?

We changed our strategic goal from "Extending the Healthy Human Lifespan" to "Making 90 the New 50 by 2030" because we need our mission to be falsifiable and testable. It helps us maintain a daily sense of urgency when making decisions and carrying out our mandate. 

We believe that no one is a mere statistic. No one dies statistically. We know there is good in trying to decrease suffering by hastening breakthroughs that give us all longer and healthier life. We invite you to join us in achieving this monumental goal.

 
I am happy to report that we are winning!

It has always been the fervent desire of the Methuselah Foundation to find itself with nothing left to accomplish. Over the years, we have been focused on seeking the point of greatest leverage to prevent or reverse the damage associated with aging to finish the mission.

We treat aging the way a medieval diamond cutter would face the challenge of cleaving one of the most valuable and hardest substances known to man. In an era when tools were primitive, the gem cutter would carefully examine the internal crystalline structure, as well as the faults in the diamond. After careful and methodical analysis, the gem cutter would strike the diamond with a cleaver, which would result in the large diamond breaking into predictable and useful smaller pieces, ready for polishing and setting in jewelry.

Aging has been, not just an engineering problem, but a cultural one. One of our "first strikes at the diamond" was aimed not just at scientific progress, but also at publicly celebrating advances in the field. This was the Methuselah Mouse Prize, designed to reward scientific advances and simultaneously overcome the reluctance of the biogerontology community to deliberately explore extending healthy human lifespan.

As a social engineering effort, the prize has been spectacularly successful. Efforts to engineer life extension have gone from practically zero dollars worth of investment when we began, to well over a billion dollars in investment. When we started, the very idea of working on increasing the human lifespan would result in career suicide for a scientist. Now, the worldwide gerontology community is publicly focused on extending lifespan and reversing aging.

Due to these early successes, more and more investors are giving attention to and funding for the mission. In anticipation of this sea change, the Methuselah Foundation created the Methuselah Fund to help curate and direct investments into projects and startups that will significantly move the needle in the near future as we prosecute our mission to extend healthy human lifespan. None of this would have happened without the incredible support of our donors over the years.

In the following pages, you will see highlights of our work through the years. We hope you enjoy some of the diamonds that we have cut and been polishing over the years in pursuit of our shared goals as we move towards the crowning achievement of having made 90 the new 50 by 2030.

 David Gobel, CEO

David Gobel, CEO

 

Invest with us in longevity's best opportunities.


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About Us

The Methuselah Foundation is a biomedical charity co-founded by David Gobel and Dr. Aubrey de Grey in 2001. The foundation was named after Methuselah, the grandfather of Noah in the Hebrew Bible, whose lifespan was recorded as 969 years. Our mission is to make 90 the new 50 by 2030.

We chose that mission because it’s falsifiable and most importantly, it keeps us committed to “return on mission.”  Having a falsifiable mission keeps our staff and community of researchers, entrepreneurs, investors, and donors focused. It drives a mindset based on urgency and action. We never want to become the type of charity that exists for existing's sake.

 

Approach

Our approach is to put the mission first and money second. We treat aging like a medieval diamond cutter would face the challenge of cleaving one of the most valuable and hardest substances known to man. After careful and methodical analysis, the gem cutter would strike the diamond with a cleaver, resulting in the large diamond breaking into predictable and useful smaller pieces, ready for polishing and setting in jewelry.

In similar manner, the Methuselah Foundation looks for, examines, carefully tests, and implements high-leverage interventions that spur concrete progress in the short term and causes synergistic ripple effects over time. Essentially, we realized that aging is not just an engineering problem, but a cultural problem as well.  We have built a record of spotting and betting early on people and projects that, with our significant incubation and strategic services, have gone on to produce remarkable results.

 

Against the Odds

When we began in 2001, it was widely considered both foolish and immoral to work on extending healthy human life. For scientists, it was academically dangerous to even discuss the possibility.  

17 years later, Methuselah, its partners, and donors have played an unmistakable role in transforming the scientific and cultural outlook. Click on our progress report below for all the details.


Strategies

Our carefully designed pathfinding strategies are meant to be accessible to everyone since elegantly simple ideas can move masses. Click each strategy for details.

 

NEW PARTS FOR PEOPLE

As we age, the wear and tear we put on our bodies begins to take a toll. As one body component begins to weaken, this leads to an exponential strain on the body that stresses remaining parts, leading to failure and eventual death.

This strategy focuses on technologies that create replacement parts of our bodies, such as organs, cartilage, bones, and vasculature. We would like to make replacing biological parts as easy as replacing parts in a modern car. Some of our projects and ventures in this space include: NASA-Methuselah Vascular Tissue Engineering Challenge, New Organ Alliance, Organovo, Volumetric, and Organ Preservation Alliance.

GET THE CRUD OUT

Cellular processes of life result in by-products that are harmful if not cleared by the cell. Lifestyle and environmental factors add to the gradual accumulation of toxic substances in the body. As we age, there is an increasing amount of DNA damage, which leads to ineffective cellular processes, intracellular damage, and senescent cells. Outside of the cell, wastes such as amyloids can accumulate, negatively affecting organ function.

This strategy focuses on technologies that clear harmful substances from the body at both the microscopic (cellular), and macroscopic (organ) level. Destruction of ineffective or harmful cells, as well as removal of toxic proteins and metabolites is essential to the restoration of youthful health. Some of our projects and ventures in this space include: Leucadia Therapeutics, Oisin Biotechnologies, OncoSenX, and Antoxerene.

RESTORE THE RIVERS

As an individual ages, the circulatory system becomes less effective due, in part, to vessel stiffening, less effective pumping, insufficient waste clearance, oxygen exchange, and inadequate angiogenesis. In effect, the human body becomes starved for oxygen, which affects every process of the body, down to the sub-cellular level.

This strategy addresses the need to improve these factors in the aged, including accelerated angiogenesis, more effective carriage and transfer of vital particles, and restored function of the circulatory system to youthful competence. Some of our projects and ventures in this space include: Leucadia Therapeutics, NASA-Methuselah Vascular Tissue Engineering Challenge, Organovo, and Volumetric.

DEBUG THE CODE

Fundamentally, we are built from codes. As we go through life, insults and damage happen to this code. The code includes DNA, and also the "action code", RNA, and proteins that actually do the work of the cells.

This strategy deals with the informational life of the cell and its expression. Over time these activities degrade with age. Our first goal is to create actionable metrics that can illuminate just what is happening in your cells due to changes in your habits, food intake, age, supplements you take, stresses from work and family life and etc. If you can't measure it you can't fix it. Once measured, we will need to return the code to a youthful state. Some of our projects and ventures in this space include: ReverCell, MyOmics Labs, Society for Gerontological Engineering and Technology (SGET).

RESTOCK THE SHELVES

Each person is constantly being dismantled, destroyed, and rebuilt at the cellular level. As we age, our ability to successfully "retire" harmful cells weakens, as does our ability to rebuild. Stem cells continue to be active and present in adult tissue, but become fewer and less effective as we age. Senescent cells become more prolific, sapping and straining the body systems. Additionally, with advanced age comes a weakened immune system; due to a combination of more onslaughts to the body and less effective defenses.

This strategy addresses the need to provide the aged body with the tools required to rebuild and protect. It is essential to increase the number of stem cells and restore them to a youthful state, stimulating them to differentiate accurately. Other targets to "restock" include the immune system, the hypothalamus, and bone marrow. One of our ventures in this space is: ReverCell.

LUST FOR LIFE

Among the aged, depression, loss of purpose, and social isolation are serious problems. Losing athletic competence often results in fear of injury, limited independence, and loneliness. Social isolation and physical disability lead to feelings of uselessness and hopelessness. Loss of acuity of the senses endangers the elderly and limits their ability to savor the little things in life that add up to happiness.

This strategy addresses the need to help older ones to want to increase their longevity, and to empower them to make the most of longer life. By restoring the senses, cognition, and physical ability, older ones will be capable of independence and productivity. They will be free to explore the world and themselves through new experiences, friends, and skills. One of our ventures in this space is: Leucadia Therapeutics.


Our Achievements

"I am happy to report that we are winning!"

—David Gobel


Our Partners


Team

Comprised of many dedicated, experienced, and talented advisors.

 

Media Articles


Financials

Click on the link to view the PDF of our finances from that year.