Two prominent anti-aging scientists are betting the farm over who will buy the farm first.
Dmitry Kaminskiy, a senior partner at Deep Knowledge Ventures in Hong Kong, and Alex Zhavoronkov, Ph.D., the CEO of the anti-aging drug company Insilico Medicine Inc. in Russia, signed a wager last month at a large anti-aging science conference stating that the one who died first owed the other a million dollars in stock or cash.
“If one of the parties passes away before the other, $1 million in Insilico Medicine stock will be passed to the surviving party,” the agreement stated, adding that if the company is no longer in existence the other has to pony up the dollar amount in cash.
This life-or-death gamble will kick in on Feb. 24, 2079, Zhavoronkov’s hundredth birthday -- he turned 36 today and is just over a year younger than Kaminskiy. Zhavoronkov said the competition came about as a way combat psychological aging and ensure each man’s continued desire to live.
Zhavoronkov told ABC News that there are a few ground rules for the bet.
“We are not allowed to contribute to each other’s demise and I cannot recommend any treatments to Dmitry,” he said. “Each one of us will have his own strategy for testing the various interventions.”
Kaminskiy could not be reached for comment.
Zhavoronkov is supremely confident he will win the bet.
He has been taking low-dose aspirin since 1998 plus an anti-aging cocktail of statins and other supplements for over four and a half years. He’s had an HPV shot to prevent cancer and takes other drugs to avoid getting the flu. He has a diagnostics lab on speed dial to quickly triage any signs of health trouble.
But he admitted that Kaminskiy may have an edge due to an enviable family history for longevity, stable sleeping patterns and a regular exercise routine.
“Access to a few hundred million dollars, state of the art information systems and a venture fund investing in longevity companies also helps,” he said. “But I still believe in the power of simple, affordable and reasonably safe interventions.”
Science is on the cusp of some huge breakthroughs in anti-aging science, said Zhavoronkov. For example, he said he believed that Insilico will be the first to deliver a set of working solutions to significantly and conclusively slow down aging within the next 12 to 24 months.