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I'm only 33 now, and I can already feel myself getting older. My shoulder has been hurting me for a few weeks, I can't sit for as long as I used to without getting a bit of pain in my lower back and I don't recover quite as quickly as I used to from being sick. I'm not anywhere close to old but I can already tell I'm not 20 anymore.
Silicon Valley has been trying to unlock the secrets of aging, and how to prevent it, for a while now. One startup, life sciences company Elysium Health, thinks it may have the answer: a pill, called Basis, that increases a person's NAD+ level.
"Scientists have made incredible progress in understanding how cellular health works in the last 25 years, and one thing they’ve learned is that a molecule called NAD+ is hugely important. It’s indispensable for life, and levels decline as we age. Now it’s possible to get more cellular NAD+ with Basis," the company writes.
On Monday, Elysium announced that it raised $40 million in Series C equity and debt financing. The round was led by GISEV Family Office and joined by Mayo Clinic Ventures and venture lender Western Technology Investment (WTI). Returning investors General Catalyst, Morningside Ventures, and Breyer Capital also participated. Despite being a mix of debt and equity, the majority of the current round was equity.
The company had previously raised about $30 million, giving it a total of roughly $70 million in funding.
The new money raised will be to expand Elysium Health's product portfolio and pipeline, including Index, which the company says can show a person their biological age, as well as to grow its customer base, and to add additional human clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of its products.
Eric Marcotulli, CEO at Elysium Health, spoke to VatorNews about what makes Elysium different from other biotech companies, why aging is a problem worth solving and where he wants to take the company next.
VatorNews: What is the problem that you have identified? How are you solving it with Elysium?
Eric Marcotulli: Historically, major innovations in the area of life sciences have been made available to consumers through the treatment of diseases, as opposed to the active maintenance of health. While that is undoubtedly a worthwhile pursuit, the platform that Elysium Health has built is one that is unique and differentiated and allows for the world’s best scientists institutions to come together to explore new ways to make these innovations available to consumers more quickly and more directly—with the overall mission to help keep healthy people healthy.
Furthermore, our vision for the products that we develop is based on our belief that we’re on the cusp of a number of breakthroughs in research in the field of aging that will have a profound impact on healthcare.
VN: Who is the typical customer for you? Walk me through some typical use cases.
EM: Our typical customer tends to be over 40 but the age range is expanding as we introduce new products. More importantly, members of the Elysium Health community are people who are actively interested in their own health. They are individuals who are seeking information- and product-based interventions that may help support their health beyond the traditional means offered by diet and exercise, and they’re attracted to Elysium Health because of our commitment to scientific rigor and to developing the highest quality products possible.
VN: What kind of ROI have you been able to calculate for your customers? Do you have hard numbers you can share?
EM: As a private company, we don’t disclose financial information, however, we can share the following in regard to retention: 94 percent of our customers are subscribers, and our Basis retention is on par with, or better, than statins based on public information.
VN: What are some of the product offerings you plan to rollout now that you have this funding?
EM: With the launch of Elysium’s most recent product, Index, we have entered into the exciting field of bioinformatics. Following the public launch of Index in early 2020, we will be further developing both our testing and supplement platforms.
VN: Why are additional human clinical trials important to complete the company's long term goals?
EM: As a company, we believe that advancements in aging research present the greatest opportunity to support human health. We also believe that consumers should have the benefit of knowing all of the potential applications for a product, so conducting rigorous clinical trials is a critical component of the work that we do.
VN: What is your ultimate goal? What will success look like for you?
EM: Ultimately, Elysium Health’s mission is to help keep healthy people healthy.
As a company, in support of that mission, our goal is to be among the leading, if not the leading, healthcare companies.
VN: Is there anything else I should know about the company or the new funding round?
EM: Over the last several years, Elysium has invested millions in R&D for products that will be launched in 2020 and 2021. Some of this funding will support the launch of these products, and some will be invested in the further development of the products currently in our pipeline.
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