Elysium Health

Elysium Health is a company founded in 2014 by biologist Leonard Guarente, Dan Alminana, and Eric Marcotulli to market dietary supplements. The next year, the company started selling a dietary supplement called Basis that packages two supplements, nicotinamide riboside (NR), a form of B vitamin found in yeast, and pterostilbene, a polyphenol found in blueberries, into one capsule. The company says that these two ingredients help cells make nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and that they stimulate sirtuins. The company is widely described as being in the anti-aging field and similar to Sirtris Pharmaceuticals which was developing resveratrol.

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Elysium Health
Private
IndustryDietary supplements
Founded2014; 5 years ago (2014)
FoundersLeonard Guarente, Eric Marcotulli, Dan Alminana[1]
Headquarters
Websiteelysiumhealth.com

Elysium Health is a company founded in 2014 by biologist Leonard Guarente, Dan Alminana, and Eric Marcotulli to market dietary supplements.[1] The next year, the company started selling a dietary supplement called Basis that packages two supplements, nicotinamide riboside (NR), a form of B vitamin found in yeast, and pterostilbene, a polyphenol found in blueberries, into one capsule.[2] The company says that these two ingredients help cells make nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and that they stimulate sirtuins.[1] The company is widely described as being in the anti-aging field and similar to Sirtris Pharmaceuticals which was developing resveratrol.[1][2][3]

Elysium has tried to differentiate the product within the dietary supplement industry as being more scientific and exclusive, by means of the product's minimalist packaging, by not selling the product in drug stores but rather only through its website, and by getting several Nobel prize winners to join its scientific advisory board.[4][5][6] The company has been criticized for using this advisory board to lend credibility to its product.[5] Like other companies in the supplement industry, Elysium marketed the product heavily on social media.[1][4]

Elysium originally bought the ingredients in Basis from ChromaDex, which as of December 2016, sold the two ingredients to other supplement companies that also marketed products containing them.[1][4][7][8] The two companies had an agreement under which Elysium Health didn't have to acknowledge ChromaDex as the source of the ingredients, but then after Elysium recruited the head of business development from Chromadex and allegedly stopped paying Chromadex, Chromadex sued Elysium and the information became public.[9][10] In September 2018, Dartmouth College and ChromaDex sued Elysium for infringement of two issued patents[11][12] exclusively licensed by ChromaDex on use of NR to increase NAD that were invented by Charles Brenner.[13]

Elysium is one of several companies founded at around the same time by people with backgrounds in the tech industry and Silicon Valley who saw opportunities in the health and biomedical industries, often focused on anti-aging.[1][14][15]

As of December 2016, Elysium had raised $26.2 million from investors including General Catalyst, Robert Nelson from ARCH Venture Partners, and Morningside Ventures.[5][8][10]

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Wallace, Benjamin (August 23, 2016). "An MIT scientist claims that this pill is the fountain of youth". New York Magazine.
  2. 1 2 Weintraub, Karen (February 3, 2015). "The anti-aging pill". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  3. Stipp, David (March 11, 2015). "Beyond resveratrol: the anti-aging NAD fad". Scientific American Blog.
  4. 1 2 3 Zhang, Sarah (July 6, 2016). "The weird business behind a trendy "anti-aging" pill". Wired.
  5. 1 2 3 Weintraub, Karen (January 6, 2017). "Critics blast star-studded advisory board of anti-aging company". MIT Technology Review.
  6. Vinluan, Frank (6 December 2016). "First clinical trial done, Elysium lands $20M for health supplements". Xconomy.
  7. Lowe, Derek (25 April 2016). "Subtle changes can be yours, for fifty dollars a month". In the Pipeline.
  8. 1 2 Buhr, Sarah (December 6, 2016). "Anti-aging pill startup Elysium Health inks at least $20 million in Series B funding". TechCrunch.
  9. Buhr, Sarah (January 16, 2017). "A new lawsuit alleges anti-aging startup Elysium Health hasn't paid its sole supplier". TechCrunch.
  10. 1 2 Weintraub, Karen (14 December 2017). "The life extension death match". NEO.LIFE.
  11. Nicotinamide riboside kinase compositions and methods for using the same, 2006-04-20, retrieved 2018-09-18
  12. Nicotinamide riboside kinase compositions and methods for using the same, 2012-04-12, retrieved 2018-09-18
  13. "ChromaDex and Dartmouth College File Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Elysium Health - NASDAQ.com". NASDAQ.com. Retrieved 2018-09-18.
  14. Friend, Tad (April 3, 2017). "Silicon Valley's quest to live forever". The New Yorker.
  15. de Magalhães, JP; Stevens, M; Thornton, D (November 2017). "The business of anti-aging science". Trends in Biotechnology. 35 (11): 1062–1073. doi:10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.07.004. PMID 28778607.open access
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