By 2029, the United States will spend $3 trillion dollars every year — half its federal budget — on adults aged 65 and older. By the same year, nearly 20 million Americans will die from age-related illnesses. Yet research on the biology of aging remains overlooked. Despite a 70-fold increase in funding for aging research since the last decade, the incentives of governments and for-profit investment do not always lend themselves to early bets on ambitious science or field-building.
In 2022, the Amaranth Advisory Board — a group of leading experts in longevity and neuroscience — convened to address the bottlenecks hindering progress in extending healthy human lifespan. The 12 bottlenecks they prioritized are:
Priority #1: Accelerating the path to market for aging drugs
Priority #2: Understanding the aging brain
Priority #3: Replacing damaged tissues and organs
Priority #4: Activating talent
Priority #5: Advancing biopreservation technology
Priority #6: Additional therapeutic targets to extend lifespan
Priority #7: Increase in aged models to study longevity and disease
Priority #8: Characterizing age-related damage accumulation
Priority #9: Deciphering mechanisms of germline immortality
Priority #10: Applying new tools towards fundamental problems in aging
Priority #11: Forging new narratives for aging
Priority #12: Economic data collection and analysis
To read more detail on each of the bottlenecks, you can go to the full report on the Amaranth website.
Disclosure: I worked on the report, and am happy to answer questions about it to the extent I can.