Dr. Gregory Bailey is the CEO and co-founder of Juvenescence, a UK biopharmaceutical company founded in 2017 to build a pipeline of therapeutic assets to target aging, regeneration and age-related diseases. Juvenescence’s goal is to extend both lifespan and healthspan, by developing therapeutics that slow down and even reverse the aging process. Dr. Bailey hopes to harness his many years of medical and financial expertise to drive the longevity revolution. He has over 15 years of experience in investment banking and has founded several companies. Along with comprehensive experience in healthcare, finance and medicine, Dr. Bailey brings an extensive involvement in corporate governance. He has co-founded and served on multiple public and private company boards of directors, such as Palantir Group, Inc., Ascent Healthcare Solutions, VirnetX Inc. (VHC:AMEX), Portage Biotech Inc. (PTGEF: OTCBB), DuraMedic Inc., and MediqVentures Ltd. Dr. Bailey was the initial financier and an independent director of Medivation, Inc. (MDVN:NASDAQ), recently acquired for $ 14 billion by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer. Dr. Bailey holds a medical degree from the University of Western Ontario, and practiced Emergency Medicine for ten years before entering finance. He also served as the Managing Director and co-Head of Life Sciences at MDB Capital Group LLC.
What is your motto?
I do yoga and I do meditation. In meditation they ask you for a “sankalpa” that you have to say actively (‘sankalpa is the sanskrit term for “resolution” and it means an intention formed by the heart and mind. A sankalpa is made before beginning any yogic practice or meditation,and it is a brief positive statement repeated three times about something that is important to the person’), therefore my personal motto is “I’m realizing my potential, I’m achieving my goals and I’m pursuing extreme health”.
What are three words to describe yourself?
Inquisitive, disciplined and passionate.
What is the best part about your job?
There are so many parts of my job that are incredible. I have a hard time differentiating. Fundamentantally, I get to work with some of the smartest people in the world, and if we’ll be right, we’ll literally change the world, we ‘ll change how humans live their lives; wouldn’t it be amazing if we find a therapy that allows you to live twenty years longer but “healthily”?! It’s an extraordinary opportunity that I have to be able to influence this aspect of people’s life.
What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done – your greatest challenge?
It was in business finding the right niche; like you, I was a practicing Physician and that was a very interesting and exciting period of time, doing Emergency Medicine in Canada, where I am from, and then transitioning into business was fascinating, it was just a all new thing!
How do you define success?
I go back to the sankalpa, and if you are realizing your potentials and achieving your goals… if you’ve done that, you’ve done well. This obviously is unique to every person because every person has different goals and potentials.
What are you working on now that you are excited about?
I have a company called “Juvenescence” and we are trying to find therapies to modify aging but specifically that means that we want to increase “healthy aging”. Globally healthspan (‘healthspan is the part of a person’s life during which they are generally in good health’) has gone from 51 year down to 49. We are actually going in the wrong direction. I am excited about the unique opportunity that I have to work on increasing healthy lifespan, on giving people healthy years so they can enjoy a high quality of life as they age; it would be extraordinary if people were healthy until the week or the day before they pass away! We have unlicensed 15 products that I think have the potential to play that role. I have structured an amazing team of people that are working on creating, not only conventional pharmaceuticals, but also non-prescription products that can go straight to the consumers. To have done this in just two years, has been an amazing journey and keeps me excited every day.
What are you grateful for?
I’m really grateful to my mother who let in me the belief that I could do anything I wanted with hard work. I never felt constrained, she never pushed me and she let me find my own path. I failed in high school because it did not make sense to me, it did not challenge me; but then when I went into univeristy, I did very well accademically and I went into medical school. That was extraordinary, well done on her!
What is your bad day backup plan?
I go to the gym. Exercise is both my physical and mental therapy.
What gives you goose bump?
When human beings do the extraordinary. I remember two episodes in my life that gave me goose bump. The first one is when I was asked to set up a triage in groud zero after the World Trade Center came down: remembering what the firefighters did, is still astonishing to me and it brings tears to my eyes. The second episode happened to me when I was working for a cancer drug developer company called “Medivation”, during the launch of one of our cancer drugs, “Xtandi” (Enzalutamide): the chief medical officer of that company one day came over to me asking if I could meet a couple, Bill and Sara. Bill told me that he was in my first clinical trial for that cancer drug… and, at that point, I felt emotional because I realized that the trial was in 2006 and we were in 2012… and Bill was still alive. Bill had 6 months to live in 2006. When you do drugs discovery is like making a film. You are not in the odiens but you get millions of people to see what you have done. When I suddenly had the individual, Bill, in front of me, that was very powerful.
What is a rule that is made to be broken?
When people try to constrain children’s imagination.
What woman has inspired you the most and why?
My mother. What has inspired me about her the most is how thoughtful she was about empowering a child. I was blessed to have her as a mother.
PERSONAL HEALTHY LONGEVITY PROGRAM
- EXERCISE: I make sure I do, every week, a mix of high intensity interval training, endurance training, weight bearing and flexibility.
- MENTAL EXERCISE: reading many scientific papers every day.What I discovered that is interesting is that, exercise increase the brain-derived neurotrophic factor BDNF (‘BDNF is a protein that act on certain neurons of the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system, helping to support survival of existing neurons, and encouraging growth and differentiation of new neurons and synapses’) but particularly BDNF increases when you are exercising and, at the same time, doing something that is intellectually challenging.
- DAILY SUPPLEMENTS AND HEALTHY AGING MEDICATIONS: as supplements, vitamin B12, calcium, Astaxanthin, fish oil, vitamin D and zinc. As medicines, Metformin 500 mg (if I am doing extensive working out during the week) or 1000 mg (if I am not doing extensive working out during the week), DHEA.
- DIETARY PROTOCOL: 10-12 servings of vegetables a day; 3-5 servings of fruits; monitoring proteins intake. I do intermittent fasting 8:16 daily (‘8:16 means fasting 16 hours and eating within 8 hours’).
- SLEEP: 7 hours. I believe in what Professor Matt Walker (‘UC Berkeley professor of Psychology and Neuroscience’) said during his famous TED Talk, that is “sleep is your super power”. The opener of his TED talk is not exactly what you’d expect to hear in a lecture about sleep, in fact he said that “men who sleep five hours a night have significantly smaller testicles that those who sleep seven hours or more”. Sleep deprivation is linked to such diseases as cancer, Alzheimer’s, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and stroke, as well as anxiety and depression.
- RELAXATION AND STRESS RELIEF: exercise and reading.
- BEST HABIT TO CULTIVATE: fitness
- PERSONAL SECRET: I don’t fear failure.