Genescient was founded in 2006 to genomically sequence the Methuselah flies. These flies were selectively bred for health and longevity over 27 years by Dr. Michael Rose. The objective of the sequencing experiment was to determine the genomic differences between the Methuselah flies and normal flies.
The analysis revealed significant differences in the gene expression patterns of the Methuselah flies when compared to normal flies. The company’s co-founders, Cristina Rizza and Gregory Benford, then directed efforts to identify and verify these findings in humans.
Over 100 genes have already been verified in humans. These genes are involved in many of the diseases of aging such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases. Genescient subsequently began laboratory development of therapeutic substances which would positively act upon the many proprietary genes and genetic pathways identified by Genescient.
These efforts involved many biologists, including Rose, Anthony Long, and Lawrence Mueller. From 2006 to 2008 the corporation pursued laboratory work, and secured patents on its discoveries. In 2008 Damian Crowe joined the company as CEO. With a growing business staff and expanding laboratory capabilities, the company continued work on therapeutic substance discovery. Its success with “proof-of-concept” experiments resulted in Genescient’s move into pharmaceutical services and drug discovery.