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Saudi’s Billion Dollar Fight Against Aging

These narratives underscore a dynamic period in the longevity investment market, characterized by its potential to yield high economic returns and profound societal benefits.
Saudi’s billion-dollar Hevolution holds inaugural summit - Al Arabiya

The focus of today’s cover is threefold: the ambitious initiatives of the Hevolution Foundation, which represent a geopolitical dimension to longevity funding; the burgeoning influence of luxury brands like Dior entering the reverse-aging market; and the overall implications of such investments on the global economic and health frameworks.

Saudi Arabia’s Hevolution Foundation has emerged as a major player in this field, pledging over a billion dollars annually to spearhead global anti-aging research. This initiative is not merely an influx of funds; it is a strategic maneuver that places the Kingdom at the heart of a crucial international dialogue on aging. The foundation’s efforts are geared towards creating a global impact that transcends the scientific community, aiming to foster a worldwide shift in how aging is perceived and managed.

Parallel to this, the entry of Dior into the anti-aging domain illustrates a significant trend where traditional boundaries between industries blur, merging luxury branding with hardcore science. Dior’s move is emblematic of a larger shift in the consumer goods sector, where companies are increasingly leveraging scientific research to meet consumer demands for products that not only enhance aesthetics but also promise genuine health benefits. This trend reflects a deeper cultural transformation in consumer expectations and market offerings, where the quest for longevity becomes intertwined with daily lifestyle choices.

The implications are vast, as the sector promises to touch on multiple aspects of economic activity, from healthcare costs and labor markets to wellness industries and global health policies.

We aim to unpack these complex interactions and provide a cohesive overview of the strategic opportunities emerging within the longevity landscape, offering actionable insights into the future trajectories of this promising sector.

Global fight against aging: Saudi’s billion-dollar Hevolution

The Hevolution Foundation’s inception and its monumental funding strategy represent a critical pivot in the global approach to aging and healthspan. With Saudi Arabia injecting over a billion dollars annually into this initiative, the foundation has set a robust agenda to extend the healthy human lifespan significantly, thereby aiming to inject trillions of dollars into the global economy. 

The foundation’s inaugural Global Healthspan Summit in Riyadh marked a historic moment, being the largest gathering in the field of geroscience, which attracted over 2,000 attendees including top scientists, innovators, entrepreneurs, and policymakers from around the globe.

During the summit, Dr. Mehmood Khan, the CEO of the Hevolution Foundation, articulated the foundation’s ambitious vision. Established by a royal decree from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the initiative is not merely a substantial financial investment into aging research but a declaration of intent to lead globally in extending human healthspan. 

Al Arabiya

The foundation’s approach is democratizing access to cutting-edge anti-aging science, making pivotal breakthroughs accessible worldwide. Dr. Khan emphasized the foundation’s rapid ascent to becoming the second largest funder in aging science globally, highlighting its significant impact just a few years after its establishment.

The strategic investments of the Hevolution Foundation are particularly focused on academic research and biotech startups that pioneer methods to decelerate the aging process and counteract age-related diseases. This aligns with a broader vision to transform how the world addresses aging, shifting from mere management of age-associated diseases to actually extending the vibrant years of human life. 

The summit served as a platform to discuss, develop, and disseminate innovative aging interventions that could lead to real-world applications across the globe.

Dr. Khan also touched upon the societal and economic imperatives that frame the foundation’s mission. He discussed the demographic shifts anticipated globally, with the number of individuals over 60 expected to double by 2050. This demographic inversion, he noted, presents a formidable challenge where fewer young people will bear the economic and societal responsibilities of supporting an older population. 

The Hevolution Foundation’s strategy is designed to mitigate these challenges by fostering global collaborations that enhance the healthspan of aging populations, thereby reducing the societal and financial burdens of aging.

Read the full article here.

Saudi Arabia Is Dangling Billions for Research on Aging

Hevolution’s funding strategy, has however generated a mix of anticipation and skepticism within the scientific community and beyond, largely due to the political backdrop of Saudi Arabia. It comes with transformative potential of this substantial financial investment and the nuanced reactions it evokes, highlighting the complex interplay between geopolitical considerations and scientific advancement.

Dr. Mehmood Khan, the chief executive of Hevolution, expresses that the primary goal of this investment is to catalyze global advancements in aging research by supporting both established institutions and innovative startups.

This strategic infusion of funds is poised to substantially expand the research and development of treatments that could decelerate, prevent, or even reverse human aging. According to Khan, the initial focus will likely be on projects and entities within the United States, where a large portion of pioneering scientific work on aging is being conducted.

Wall Street Journal

Despite the promising outlook, the article delves into the broader implications of accepting substantial funds from a nation like Saudi Arabia, which has been criticized for its human rights record and political governance. 

The kingdom’s involvement in high-profile international sectors, including sports and technology, has previously sparked debates about the ethical dimensions of accepting Saudi investments, termed by some as attempts to ‘sportswash’ or improve its global image through high-visibility ventures.

The article points out that while the potential for groundbreaking scientific advancements is significant, the longevity field itself remains relatively small and underfunded compared to other areas of medical research, such as cancer or cardiovascular diseases. This disparity underscores the urgent need for increased support, which Hevolution aims to address. 

Read the full article here.

Dior is getting into the reverse-aging business

The venture of luxury brand Dior into the anti-aging market marks a significant shift in the intersection between high-end consumer products and longevity science.

Dior is not just expanding its brand into the health and beauty sector; it’s aiming to pioneer a revolution in reverse-aging through significant scientific research and development. Last week, the company announced the formation of its first International Reverse Aging Scientific Advisory Board at the prestigious 21st Aesthetic and Anti-Aging Medicine World Congress in Monaco, signaling its serious commitment to the field.

The advisory board, comprising 600 researchers and 18 experts from diverse scientific backgrounds, indicates Dior’s strategy to blend cutting-edge scientific research with its established prestige in luxury goods. Among the notable figures on the board is Dr. Nicola Neretti, a biologist at the Institute for Brain & Neural Systems at Brown University, and Dr. David Furman, director of the 1000 Immunomes Project at Stanford University. 

This fusion of high-profile scientific talent underscores Dior’s intent to create products that do more than mask the signs of aging; they aim to fundamentally alter the biological processes of aging.


Dior’s approach involves looking beyond traditional cosmetics to explore the potential of stem cells, inflammation management, and cellular communication in reversing skin aging. The brand’s shift towards scientifically validated methods represents a broader industry trend where beauty products are increasingly expected to deliver verifiable health benefits. 

According to Claudia Marcocci, brand general director of perfumes at Christian Dior, this initiative reflects Dior’s dual identity as both a house of beauty and a house of science, striving to achieve long-lasting beauty through scientific innovation.

The implications of Dior’s entry into the anti-aging market extend beyond mere product development. 

It represents a shift towards a more proactive approach to health and longevity in the consumer space, aligning with growing consumer expectations for products that not only enhance appearance but also contribute to overall well-being. Dior’s initiative could pave the way for other brands to follow, potentially transforming the landscape of the beauty industry and making advanced scientific research a key component of product development.

Read the full article here.

Final Thoughts

As we survey the evolving landscape of the longevity investment market, it is evident that the field presents both significant opportunities and unique challenges.

The initiatives spearheaded by Saudi Arabia’s Hevolution Foundation and the strategic entry of luxury brands like Dior into the anti-aging space exemplify the multifaceted nature of this sector. These developments not only redefine traditional approaches to health and aging but also open up new avenues for economic growth and innovation.

The Hevolution Foundation’s commitment to funding longevity science on a scale previously unseen illustrates the potential for public and philanthropic funds to catalyze advancements in healthspan technologies. This massive influx of capital is poised to accelerate research and development activities, reduce the time to market for promising therapies, and expand the overall market for aging-related products and services.

Concurrently, Dior’s foray into the reverse-aging market signals a growing consumer demand for products that not only enhance appearance but also contribute to longevity and health. This trend towards integrating scientific research into consumer products broadens the scope of investment possibilities, extending beyond traditional healthcare sectors into consumer goods, technology, and services. It reflects a broader shift in consumer behavior and market demand, suggesting that investments in longevity will increasingly touch various aspects of the economy.

As the longevity sector continues to grow, it presents compelling opportunities for those who are prepared to engage with its complexities.

The convergence of increased funding, scientific breakthroughs, and expanded market demand creates a potent environment for growth.

“Aging is the world’s most important unsolved problem. It is the root cause behind all of the biggest killers in developed nations. If you care about solving heart disease or cancer, you should focus on aging.”

Laura Deming

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