Towards Priorities for Aging Research

Over the past five years we have invested in businesses that manufacture and market biological reagents and assays for use in biomedical research. Our transition to the life sciences field was driven by an interest in aging research and, in 2013, we decided to focus our future investments in this area. With an investor’s mindset, we first set out to better understand the marketplace and were surprised to find that no specific resources were available to rank the importance of the various subsets of aging research. In an attempt to move towards priorities for aging research, we developed an approach for ranking age related diseases.  The abstract, proceedings paper, complete priorities in spreadsheet format and video for the paper presented at the SENS6 conference held at Queens’ College, Cambridge, UK are provided below.


The global population is aging and although age remains the primary risk factor for all major causes of death, no priorities for aging research exist. After reviewing the literature on mortality modelling we found that different chronic processes underlie mortality before and after reproductive age. To identify priorities in aging research, we propose a simple ranking method that uses the percentage of deaths attributable to each disease for the over-60 population, on the basis that, rather than being the result of individual risk factors, these deaths are largely due to underlying senescent processes. Our ranking suggests that vascular aging, led by ischaemic heart disease and stroke, is the most important focus for aging research. The availability of funding, however, is not currently aligned with health priorities and we believe that rectifying this disconnect may improve societal health outcomes.

Trends in Age Related Disease - Towards Priorities for Aging Research

Trends in Age Related Disease – Towards Priorities for Aging Research

Link to Paper

Link to Presentation Given at SENS6

Towards Priorities for Aging Research – Scott Needham – 20130930.pptx

Towards Priorities for Aging Research – Scott Needham – 20130930.pdf

Link to Talk Video

Complete Priorities Download

The following downloadable spreadsheets provide the complete prioritisation of all diseases and major categories.

Diseases Ranked by Mortality – V1.3 updated 1st of November 2013

Diseases Ranked by DALY – V1.3 updated 1st of November 2013

Please feel free to contact us if you have questions or require further information.

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