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Pfizer Ventures is among the investors in VitaDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) focused on funding longevity research.
The pharma major joined Shine Capital, L1 Digital, BeakerDAO, Spaceship DAO, Balaji Srinivasan (former CTO of Coinbase and General Partner at a16z) and Joe Betts-LaCroix (CEO, Retro Biosciences) and more in a US$4.1 million funding round that will support longevity research projects and the creation of VitaDAO's first biotech start-up, to be announced in Q1 2023, VitaDAO said in an announcement posted on its blog this week.
Apart from being able to vote on DAO proposals and participate in VitaDAO projects, Pfizer's participation also includes dealflow, scientific evaluation, incubation, and commercialization.
Founded in 2021 by Tyler Golato of decentralized biotech protocol Molecule to fund longevity research, VitaDAO says it is a "DAO collective for community-governed and decentralized drug development." The DAO collectively funds and digitizes research in the form of IP-NFTs, and spins out new biotech companies. It monetizes the IP it generates through research, the proceeds of which return to the DAO and go on to finance future research.
VitaDAO primarily funds translational R&D, and is particulary keen on so-called moonshots: projects with potential revolutionary contributions to science, though it occasionally funds more "basic" research and other projects in the interests of the LongBio community, it said.
VitaDAO's community include over 9,000 enthusiasts, researchers, and contributors, and it has deployed over US$3.5 million in more than 15 projects researching the diseases of ageing, and the repair of damage associated with the hallmarks of ageing.
The organization, which is governed by its native VITA token, said it will continue to grow its NFT intellectual property through its partnership with Molecule via "commercialization and licensing."
An increasing number of big crypto names are joining the ranks of longevity investors, not least Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who is a previous investor in VitaDAO.
Buterin has donated an estimated US$336 million into this field, including to SENS Research Foundation, Impetus Grants, and US$25 million in SHIB to the Future of Life Institute in 2021 alongside his longevity fund donation of US$130,ooo, according to aging research news site Lifespan.io.
Juan Benet, Protocol Labs founder, is also a donor to Impetus Grants, while Justin Sun also recently donated US$51,000 to the Longevity Prize, and Brian Armstrong, CEO and founder of the crypto exchange Coinbase, has said he will invest 2% of Coinbase stock into longevity science.