Joe Betts-Lacroix, CEO of Retro Biosciences

His goal is to add 10 good years to your life

Joe Betts-Lacroix, age 61, wants to use $180 million of Sam Altman’s money to add 10 good years to your life

Who we're talking about: Joe Betts-LaCroix, the CEO of secretive longevity startup Retro Biosciences. Betts-LaCroix has a colorful life history that includes almost failing out of high school... years spent living in a shared house with “musicians, artists and weirdos”... studies at Harvard and Caltech... and then a series of entrepreneurial roles that culminated with co-founding Retro in 2021.

Betts-Lacroix's goal with Retro is to add 10 good years to your life. And he might be in a better position than most to accomplish it, because as I wrote back in March, Betts-Lacroix and Retro Biosciences got $180 million of funding from OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.

And the news is: Retro Biosciences was just profiled in a long article in Bloomberg. Until now, and in spite (or because) of the intense media interest due to Altman's involvement, not much was known about what Retro is actually working on or what Betts-Lacroix's plans are to get to that 10 extra years of healthy life.

It turns out Retro is using a multi-pronged approach, and is planning to get to multiple clinical studies using multiple longevity mechanisms, including artial cell reprogramming, autophagy, and young blood plasma. As Betts-Lacroix put it:

“Usually in this field, you get to pick one idea and spend nine years on it, and then, at the end, maybe it works and maybe it doesn’t. Sam was willing to do something different and throw lots of money at a bunch of things in parallel.”

- Joe Betts-Lacroix, CEO, Retro Biosciences

So what's next? $180 million in funding might sound like a lot. But as one of Betts-Lacroix's co-founders said, "Sam will not be able to fund this all the way."

Retro Biosciences will need real results to attract other investors to have a good shot at its ambitious goal. In case you're curious whether Joe Betts-LaCroix and Retro might actually do it, the Bloomberg article is worth a read.