December 1, 2023
On November 29, entrepreneur and bestselling author Peter Diamandis announced a new XPRIZE—a $101 million global competition for technologies that combat aging and extend health span, reports Fortune Magazine.
Diamandis, founder of the XPRIZE Foundation—which creates incentives for technological and health innovation—introduced the first competition of its scale for reducing biological age at the Global Healthspan Summit in Saudi Arabia sponsored by Hevolution, a nonprofit investing in aging
“I hope we will see breakthroughs for extended life and health span,” said Diamandis—calling for researchers, technologists, physicians, and AI experts, among others, to participate.
The multimillion-dollar competition will ask teams to test and verify therapeutics that can restore a decade of muscle, immune, and cognitive functioning for people age 65 to age 80 in one year or less. Judges will assess participants’ muscle, immune, and cognitive function before and after the therapeutic.
“The team has got to deliver a minimum of a ten-year restoration of function with a target of 20 years,” Diamandis told Fortune. “We’re talking about the potential for therapeutics to have a massive impact on humanity.” A 2021 study found that one extra year of life expectancy due to slowed aging equates to $38 trillion in economic gain.
The goal of the competition is to extend health span—the number of years people live healthy and free of disease. Experts have estimated that the health span and life span gap is about a decade or more—meaning people live the last of their lives disabled and in pain.
“Regaining muscle function is one of the key elements because it gives you mobility and the ability to navigate and enjoy life,” Diamandis said.
He adds, “The two most powerful capabilities are the universal human brain and the human immune system.”
“We’ve extended [life expectancy] over the last century from antibiotics, better sanitation, pasteurization, all kinds of things like that,” he says. As the number of people 65 and older will more than double in the next 40 years, and more people have an extra third tacked onto their later years, Diamandis feels there’s no better XPRIZE for the current moment. “I think it is science that’s going to enable us to continue to extend it.”
Research contact: @FortuneMagazine