“By developing therapies for diseases driven by muscle aging, we’re addressing one of the greatest fears about growing old – loss of autonomy. Ultimately, we are working toward a world in which we can keep our loved ones out of nursing homes, and older people can continue to live fully independent lives.”
Kristen Fortney, PhD, is the co-founder and CEO of BioAge Labs, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing therapeutics that target the molecular causes of aging to extend healthy human lifespan.
Fortney is taking a unique approach to aging research and therapeutic development by using longitudinal human biobank data and multiomics to map and pinpoint the key molecular pathways involved in healthy aging.
Her company, BioAge, is one of the few woman-founded, VC-backed, and clinically validated companies in the longevity space. In a world first, the company announced in late 2022 positive Ph1b human clinical trial data for an investigational therapy designed to treat muscle atrophy. Loss of muscle mass and strength is a universal characteristic of the aging process that shortens lifespan and diminishes quality of life, but for which no treatment currently exists.
Prior to BioAge, Fortney received her undergraduate degree in Mathematics and her doctorate in Medical Biophysics from the University of Toronto. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University, where she studied the genomes of centenarians and “supercentenarians” (people who had lived over 110 years) to identify the genetic basis of exceptional long lifespan. Her unique research experience continues to inform how her team at BioAge develops therapies for age-related diseases.
Fortney believes that the vast predictive power of omics can unlock our understanding of the aging process and identify the special biological features of the most successful agers. Her goal at BioAge is to accelerate drug discovery for muscle, brain, and immune aging and introduce these new medicines into the clinic rapidly and cost-effectively in order to benefit as many patients as possible.
Fortney also serves as an advisor to several biotech companies, including Retro Biosciences, Insilico Medicine, Humanity Inc, and Known Medicine.