Michael Greve and Ela Crain
Ela Crain 00:00
Welcome to the Nonconventional, where we interview unconventional people and people with unconventional careers. My name is Ela Crain, and in this episode, we are going to have Michael Greve with us. Michael started Web Day back in the days, one of Germany's biggest internet portals. He also started a hugely popular travel site called Last Minute Day. Later on, he sold both ventures and founded a venture capital firm called KIZOO, which funded startups like Babel, you may know that one. He then started a foundation called Forever Healthy to treat the causes of ageing and overcome age-related diseases. So Michael, welcome to the Nonconventional.
Michael Greve 00:49
Hi, Ela. Thanks for having me.
Ela Crain 00:52
So, first of all, I would like to mention one more thing that you did, which is an inspiration to me, you committed $300 million to help rejuvenate biotech startups? Is that right?
Michael Greve 01:04
Yeah, that's true. We just made the decision beginning of the year. Yep.
Ela Crain 01:09
And what exactly will you be supporting in this area?
Michael Greve 01:13
Well, as part of my forever healthy initiative, I turned my venture capital company that is KIZOO. We did internet investments in the past, but about four years ago, I decided that we're going to do only rejuvenation biotech. So this is basically companies or startups that work on reversing the root causes or repairing the root causes of certain age-related diseases. And right now, we're invested in 14 startups. And in order to understand what we're doing, actually, there's a small revolution going on right now our basic basic, it's going to be a big revolution. In the field of medicine, it's a bit unvisible invisible. But basically, it's the world has started the transition from one where we were completely helpless about age related diseases, to one where we have ageing on the full medical control, and can eradicate a tray diseases such as heart attack, stroke, cancer, and so on.
In order to advance this field, I have committed another 300 million now, to advance our key startups, we have several startups that work on root causes. One, for example, is working on a heart attack stroke. So if we succeed, we probably get rid of heart attacks and strokes, which which are one of the major killers in the world. And in order to forward them through all clinical phases, we need more than a few million dollars. So we made a decision to support a key startups to invest this 300 million euros or $360 million over the next five years, in order to bring extra therapies to people.
Ela Crain 02:58
So I would like to step back for a moment because for many people, age related diseases are the norm when you age you get sick. So what you're offering is a very different, unconventional perspective of the world. Is it really possible to get older and remain healthy without any health issues coming up?
Michael Greve 03:21
Yes, if you mean older in terms of ageing years from the calendar, yes. But there is no such thing as healthy ageing. So if the body physically ages, you will have age related diseases. The reality is that if we would be old enough, or would become old enough, everybody would get all the age related diseases that are out there. Then in reality, of course, one person dies of cancer, the next one dies of a heart attack, the next one dies of a stroke, or a neurodegenerative disease. Yeah, but that's basically it. So the science that we're working on is called rejuvenation biotechnology. Very smart scientists have asked them why do we have these age related diseases and they really went back through the chain and they came to the amazing fact that there are certain root causes that can be treatedin isolation, that are the root cause, whether age related disease or ageing originates.
Of course, it's a complex field. Depending on how you see it, you can classify this as like six, eight or 10 categories of root causes. They have sub causes as well. But basically, these are all physical processes that are going going on and that can be treated individually. And to give you an example, what we're doing one of the heart attacks and strokes they happen because you're there, there's plaque building up in the arteries. As we age for some people faster for some people are slower, but it's happening for everybody. And this block at some point in the artery wall is that the block is too much the arterial ruptures spills the plug into the artery, then blood clot forms with all that stuff, and then the Artery is blocked, and then you have a heart attack. So basically what we are working on is specific therapy on rejuvenation, rejuvenating the cardiovascular system in a way that we can remove the block from the artery walls, and no plot no heart attacks or strokes, basically.
Ela Crain 05:40
So you said, there is no healthy ageing? So are we talking about not ageing at all with these treatments?
Michael Greve 05:49
Yes, but that's basically the goal that we would not age in a physical way.
Ela Crain 05:54
Is this possible? Are there any examples in any form on this planet? Whether it's with bacteria or, you know, single-celled organisms or anything like that?
Michael Greve 06:04
Yes, absolutely. There are several examples, like, special sauce of lots of lobsters, but also some aquatic life forms, which are basically immortal. So they, of course, they're simple life forms, but they have what science call natural with innocence. So basically, their body does not age. So it's nothing unknown.
Ela Crain 06:30
But they still die, right?
Michael Greve 06:34
Yes. of course, you can still die. I mean, you can die as a young person, you can die off of all reasons, like viruses, diseases, accidents, trauma, violence, and whatever. But it would be that our body, at least, we slow down ageing by these therapies a lot. Of course, this is not immortality, it's just slowing down ageing, repairing stuff. We don't know whether we can repair everything. So this is simply not proven. We just did this small industry that is starting, it's just taking it step by step, for example, getting blocked out of the artery to avoid heart attacks. And then that's the next thing that's cancer, and so on, and so forth. So you have to really tackle one thing by the other. And we actually don't know whether we can get rid of all age-related diseases. That's still unproven, unknown.
Of course, we don't know what the life expectancy will be then. But it will definitely be longer. Basically, we want to help to develop tech technologies that get rid of the age related diseases, I don't think that we can prevent that. So you're going to die. It's not immortality, you can't say this often enough. It's simply getting rid of hopefully, all age related diseases. That would be the end goal. Even if we're not getting rid of all age related diseases, it's a huge difference even on an individual level, whether you die of a heart attack at the age of 65, or you live up to 85 or 90, makes a huge difference, of course,
Ela Crain 08:20
How many years? Are we talking about adding to our lifetime right now? Is it 20? Is it 200?
Michael Greve 08:27
Yes, we don't know yet. What we know is if, for example, this treatment succeeds, we are probably going to eradicate like 80% of heart attacks and strokes. 20% of those things have other reasons. But that's what we're talking about. We're talking about hundreds of 1000s of people that I have that every year, and these deaths can be avoided. For that reason, maybe people die, or probably people going to die of other things. And even if you would keep the body in perfect shape. We still don't know what this makes with our brains. So we don't know what 200 years of heartbreaks and losses and ups and downs would do to up psyche. We simply don't know, but rather find out then than die at the age of 75.
Ela Crain 09:19
That's true. As a teenager, I was a big fan of vampire stories. And I read the analyses entire vampire trilogy and the series actually. And there were beings there who lived since the Roman times 1000, 2000 years old beings, and they were actually dying to die because they were so tired of losing everyone they loved and getting their hearts broken so many times then also the adaptation to changing times nonstop. Like imagine just what happened during our lifetimes here with the technology internet Mobile phones, and just take that kind of trend and apply it into the future. And then imagine being exposed to that for 1000s of years. I mean, that must be in some ways, exhausting. So do you think this is for everyone? How do you see some individuals?
Michael Greve 10:19
I think it's not quite comparable, because these therapies will be available to everybody, also to your loved one, so you can take them with them on the journey. And I mean, if you go back in history, like, in the 15th century or so people were, the average life expectancy was 35. And people were dying of infectious diseases and all really grew some stuff. Now our average life expectancies almost 80 years old. And let's not talk about 1000s of years. But wouldn't it be great like to live to 120, 150, in perfect health, just to double our lifespan? And then see what it comes? And the other thing is, yes, we're living in exponential times. And we have to deal with that anyhow. The nation or not, times are changing so fast, and the speed of change is even increasing. So we have to deal with this anyhow.
Ela Crain 11:23
Yeah, that's true, then the next question that comes to my mind is what would be the societal impact of everyone living together longer?
Michael Greve 11:33
Yeah, that's a very good question. I think you have to give this question even the wider context, because longevity or healthy longevity is not going to happen on its own. So I think it would be a big mistake, just to imagine our current society, our current technology, and then living longer, but you have to see it in a bigger context of artificial intelligence that's emerging, robotics, nanotechnology, all these new technologies that are exponentially.
So I think even without rejuvenation, we are developing towards at least in the civilised world, you probably only have to work for a few hours per day or even per week to make a living. And we definitely have to rethink what does it mean to be human, if you don't have to find it for survival every day, it's going to have a huge impact amplified, of course, by healthy longevity, and being here for longer. And I see a huge impact not only on society, but also on relationships, career paths, but also personally, I think we have to do a lot of self development, we have to do some spiritual development as well, because the the fundamentals of our existence are going to change radically. And we have to cope with that.
Ela Crain 12:58
Do you kind of foresee mental health crisis? Because if we are to work three, four hours a week, and and that pressure is removed to survive, but then we live 120, 130 years, as healthy beings? How do we find purpose in such a setting? What would keep us alive?
Michael Greve 13:19
That's a very good question for to answer a question. No, I don't see a crisis. I see. Maybe a challenge. Yeah, it's a challenge. But I see a huge opportunity. And this is going to be a very individual decision that everyone has to make who lives through that. So I think there is no generalizable answer to that. But yes, this challenge, everybody will face this challenge in the foreseeable future. And there will be people who do not want to deal with this. I mean, you can see it even today that there are people who have a really hard time dealing with change at all. And also, the opportunities might not be for everybody. But that really remains to be seen. I think it's a very individual decision.
For me, the future is full of opportunities. I'm super positive about that. I mean, imagine we will go to space, we were going to settle the solar system. We're going to have artificial intelligence, we're going to have humanoid robots, we're going to have self driving cars. And the thing even goes further because it also will touch architecture, art, everything will be will be changed by that. I mean, how are we going to live? If we do not screw up the planet, we're going to have maybe ecological utopia, beautiful architecture. So, all this possible.
Ela Crain 14:43
But isn't there also kind of dark potential there?
Michael Greve 14:47
As always, with all the technology depends on what you make of it, but in the end, I think it's going to be an individual decision. And then I think there also will be individuals that make a positive decision about the future that are going to form communities where they can live their positive dream.
Ela Crain 15:09
Yeah, I'm always afraid of us using any technology for the worse. And one scenario that came to my mind around longevity, like what would happen if it was used in prisons, with people who are prisons for life, and then you kind of elongate their prison sentence by elongating their life
Michael Greve 15:31
In reality, a lifetime sentence, for example, in Germany is just 30 years. So it's not a lifetime. So yes, but if you kill somebody, maybe we have to rethink that. But we have to rethink so many things. The fact is, the world is going to change whether we like it or not. So the only decision is whether we drive this change, and we use the change and we steer the change in a certain direction by contributing to it in a positive way. Or it's always stand by we are bystanders and it's going to happen, we have to accept whatever comes out. I prefer the first option to drive the change in a positive way.
Ela Crain 16:16
Exactly. But as we talk, I realised how many different areas are touched by this technology that you're so heavily investing in? Because for example, what will happen with the environment, we will live longer, and we will consume more? And what will be the kind of consequences of this? And how can we tackle this, for example?
Michael Greve 16:40
Yeah, that's a very good question. But I think we have to be honest to ourselves, and we have to answer these questions anyhow, rejuvenation or not. I mean, what we do right now to the planet is not sustainable. It's we need sustainable agriculture, we need sustainable energy, we need sustainable transportation. This has to be done anyhow. So independent of extending the healthy lifespan, we have to deal with our planet in a completely different way, or it will not have a happy end. So yes, I think we have to take care of that anyhow.
Ela Crain 17:22
With Forever Healthy care, to what degree do you feel responsible for these consequences? Or are you strictly focused on the science part of this?
Michael Greve 17:31
The consequences are already there. So you can turn the question on its head. So which disease should we not cure? So that's exactly reversing the question. So shouldn't we cure cancer? Or shouldn't we cure heart disease or stroke or neurodegenerative disease? And I would say, of course, we want to cure all the diseases, and let's do our homework ,and do the right thing to the planet by doing by by being sustainable.
Ela Crain 18:06
Can you please tell us about the works you did for our health? Because I know you evaluate a lot of scientific papers and create a snapshot of world scientific knowledge. What is the process? Exactly? With with the works? You do there?
Michael Greve 18:21
Yeah, we have two fields, and forever healthy one is the future oriented stuff, where we, where we actually fund research on basic technologies for that good serve for therapies, we run a conference and we do invest in these startups. So this is all future oriented but we also other part of a healthy is dealing with the present, what can we do today, in order to extend our healthy lifespan. And as long as we stay healthy now, the better are the chances that we can use these beautiful technologies that will come up in the future. And in this part, what we can do now we have several initiatives. The main one is called rejuvenation now, where we look at all the therapies and there are quite some therapists, of course, they're crude, the first generation that you could already do today to extend your healthy lifespan and to lower the probability to fall prey of an age related disease.
So we have a long backlog, we look at one topic after the other. And then we go in and look at all the research that's available. And we do what we call risk and benefit analysis. Usually, if we look at the topic, it's like between 2000 and 3000 scientific papers. Usually you're dealing with like 150 Study studies in humans around that. And then we do a dedicated write up. So how would this therapy look like, what's the optimal treatment protocol? What are the risks, what are the benefits? What could be a potential risk mitigation strategy? We haveopen access, our websites are freely available for everybody.
Ela Crain 20:03
Exactly. And that's also fascinating. And I think it's available in a language that you don't have to be a scientist to understand what you publish.
Michael Greve 20:10
Yeah, I mean, you have to be a bit dedicated because it's not like popular science. Because the knowledge base serves two audiences. One is really interested people who want to use the therapies. And on the other hand, it's like for interested, doctors, who might want to wonder whether they could offer such therapy to their clients, in order to help them stay healthy longer.
Ela Crain 20:38
So, is there I mean, I can imagine so many advantages to this openness. But is there any risk? Have you ever thought about any cons to sharing such summarise information in such an available way?
Michael Greve 20:54
No, not at all. I really believe information should be free and open. And that drives innovation. And when we even invite people, we have a special portal, where you can comment on all our work. And we're really happy, we have like, almost 100 top scientists on the on that portal. So they can comment on the papers that we publish, because we want, we want to have the best possible snapshot of what's available there. So I don't see a downside.
Ela Crain 21:26
How do you choose these topics? Because we are not short of illnesses caused by ageing? So where do you start?
Michael Greve 21:33
Oh, well, actually, of course, we are deep into the field. And I mean, that we on conferences and the information is really distributed about books, blogs, specialists, and we are in very good contact with lots of people. And basically, we have a long list of potential therapies that are possible, because it's not possible to do everything right now, there are lots of things that we cannot do. But there are some things that we can do already. And then, in the team, we decide, okay, which is the next topic that we want to tackle. And basically, it's our personal interest. It's the stuff that I also want to do for myself, I really want to know if I can do this therapy or not?
Ela Crain 22:19
And can you give us some examples of the topics you have examined so far?
Michael Greve 22:24
Oh, yeah, we've published like, nine papers so far in that area. One, for example, is a way to decalcify the cardiovascular system. So what happens over time is that bone material is deposited in places where it shouldn't be, where it doesn't belong. And that leads to calcification, for example of capillaries and arteries, and stiffening of those. And it was discovered, like in the 1930s, or even earlier, that people working in battery factories, had a huge issue with lead poisoning, and to de-poison or to detoxify that special protein that's called EDTA. So people were given EDTA to get rid of the lead and their blood and in the body. And it was later discovered that people using that treatment also had a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease. And so it was discovered that the EDTA actually can decalcify the body and we did a quite extensive review on that topic. And also propose a protocol because you can do infusions of EDTA over a year's time, and actually to get the calcification out of your arteries.
Ela Crain 23:50
Okay, if I remember correctly, you also published a paper on COVID-19. Is that correct?
Michael Greve 23:56
Yeah, that's true. That's, that was a side project because of when COVID came up, we stopped our work on rejuvenation. And we were wondering whether there's anything that's available that you could do to strengthen the immune system, and also to lessen the impact if you have a COVID? To lessen that. And what we did is we looked at the there were numerous websites and doctors and all proposing different things. So we took the 15 most proposed supplements or approaches to lessen the severity of the disease or strengthen the immune system so that you might even have a symptomatic disease COVID case and basically, we reviewed all these 50 and we came up with a list of eight things that most probably are going to work in order to strengthen the immune system, or even lessen the severity of the disease. A lot of stuff that has worked in other Corona viruses because this is not the first Coronavirus that we see.
Ela Crain 25:08
Can you recall a few of these things?
Michael Greve 25:11
Yes, vitamin D. There was a high dose vitamin D. Quercetin, which supplement you can get everywhere there is elderberry is working. You could have that either as a syrup or as a tablet. Echinacea, also working. Yeah, to name a few. This is on the forever healthy websites.
Ela Crain 25:37
And I haven't seen these supplements recommended officially anywhere, actually, is that right?
Michael Greve 25:44
Well, officially it's like there is the Institute for Functional Medicine that has some recommendations and others. But the all current medical system is very much geared to towards pharmaceuticals and vaccination. And that this all has its place. But of course, if you can strengthen the immune system, or lessen the severity of disease by using just some natural supplements, that's also quite helpful. So complementary thing, I think.
Ela Crain 26:14
Yeah. And that brings me to my next question, how do you filter all the all these scientific papers? Because some are funded by pharmaceutical companies or some are funded privately? So do you filter? As you kind of evaluate these papers?
Michael Greve 26:30
Absolutely. Each paper that we saw, we first processes. We screen everything that's there, that is the 3000 papers, then we pick the studies that are really relevant, not considering their their quality. And then that gets us down to depending between 150, sometimes 200, 300 studies. And then actually we read all the studies in detail and really evaluate each individual study. And each study also gets an uncertainty score, a quality score and an uncertainty score, depending on whether for example, it's a double blind study or a single or it's open labour. Open labour, for example, is when people know what they're getting some getting under control, some people are not, if you don't know whether you're the control group or not, then it's a double blind study. If only the doctors know whether you get Wait, who gets what, and a single blind study, or you can have open label studies where people actually know I'm getting the treatment, I'm getting a placebo.
The lowest case of evidence is so called case reports where doctors just report what they did, and that they had a result. So it's not a real study. But it's called a case report and just mentioned EDTA. And EDTA was used for a long time by doctors and more than 30,000 case reports on EDTA by doctor. I used that thing. And it worked. So yeah, you differentiate between these things, and we have a scoring system that goes for risks, and both risks and benefits. And for each risk benefit. Also the quality of the study is taking into account and also the magnitude of the effect that it has.
Ela Crain 28:22
Isn't this done by other institutions? Anyway, it sounds very kind of common sense.
Michael Greve 28:28
Well, it is done. There's such a thing as called systematic reviews, where you do a meta analysis of other studies. But it's not done in the way that we do it because our goal is in the end is actionable information. So the last section is always okay. For questions would we do the therapy or not? And so this goes far beyond a systematic review of a topic. And also, it's much more in detail in terms of weighting risks and benefits. Because we always come from this, do we want to do the treatment or not under which is that reasonable to do it? What is possible risk management, and particularly for rejuvenation therapies extending the healthy lifespan, and nobody's doing this because it's a lot of hard work.
Ela Crain 29:24
Once you have these actionable results, do you then move forward to actually test to see if they work or do you go further into treatments?
Michael Greve 29:37
Well, I do that stuff. So that's a very personal thing. Basically we're doing things that are already done, you know, this is like it has been done for more than 50 years, and I doing that myself. There are other things that we looked into that also come out negative for example, a treatment with a compound called Desert independently asotin to remove senescence cells, we found that it's not worth doing it and that the risks are too high and outweighed the benefits, so I'm not doing it. But we're not offering services and that are running clinical trials or so. We published the results. And then it's a very individual decision whether you do this together with your doctor or not.
Ela Crain 30:21
Okay? And do you have plans to move forward with clinical studies in the future or build a centre to kind of work with individuals,
Michael Greve 30:32
Right now we are in the information gathering phase on our own health, we are not at the point where like, we're not going to do clinical trials. This is not our thing. We just want to analyse what's out there that we can use. Because I want this I mean, I and other people want this for themselves. So the question is, really, what can I do today? And, of course, it would be helpful if you have an environment that supports you like doctors doing that. There are some doctors starting up in what they call gravity medicine, but it's really super early days. And so far, we have no concrete plans and opening or creating a centre like this, this might be something in the future, but we actually don't know yet.
Ela Crain 31:16
Do you know how this information is used by any institutions or doctors in any way? Do you get feedback for that?
Michael Greve 31:23
Only little feedback, I have to say it's really the super early days. We have some doctors that we work with that say, Hey, this is great information. But it's not so that 1000s of doctors are already doing this. So it's really the early days for the whole thing.
Ela Crain 31:40
Are you like actively marketing it right now? Or are you just doing the research releasing and letting it kind of spread by word of mouth?
Michael Greve 31:49
Well, yeah, that's word of mouth. But we have a mailing list where people can register. So we inform them if there's anything new. And what we also do is, whenever we have a new paper, we do an online meet up, we do an online presentation, one hour, like a mini conference, where we, where we talk about the results of the paper that we did, so that the whole thing is topically around EDTA. Then we also get an external specialists. And since our topics are so in depth, we so far managed to get always the word leading specialists on that topic. On EDTA, for example, on light therapy, also to give us a small talk. And then we have a q&a session. And we promote these meetups also in the longevity community to generate awareness about what we're doing. And then everybody can be can attend the meetup. So it's not exclusive to scientists or doctors.
Ela Crain 32:54
So as an individual, if I'm interested in improving my health and boosting my lifespan, I can kind of sign up to these events and like look at your paper and maybe bring up some issues with my doctor and saying, this is a concern for me, or what do you think about this? And hopefully, I will have a doctor who will respond to that and say, okay, we can take this information and use it this way to for you to benefit from it. Right?
Michael Greve 33:20
Absolutely, that's the idea. That's really one of the two major target groups is people who are really so interested in their health, they take that to the doctor says, Hey, let's talk about this, I would love to do this. And maybe he finds a doctor that's open to that, and that will help him. I think this is for us. For me. This is how I can help people everywhere on the planet. Because our research is published in English, of course, and everybody can freely take it to his doctor and have that conversation.
Ela Crain 33:50
How did you come up with this idea? This is in some ways, as you explain, it's so intuitive. And it's common sense. And in some ways it's so new because it's not done and we don't see health like the so what was your journey that led you to forever health?
Michael Greve 34:06
Yeah, basically, my journey started almost 20 years ago, after I built my big internet companies. And I was the epitome of a hacker you know, I was really overweight, no sport. Pizza, red wine, a smoking three packs of cigarettes a day.
Ela Crain 34:28
It is so hard to imagine you like that, you know, as a person.
Michael Greve 34:32
Yeah, absolutely. So I was really like, you could have me in the movie. And everybody would say no, that's not true. That's total, exaggerated. But I wasn't really that person. And at some point, I thought, oh, no, it can't go on that way. You've been so successful. It would be stupid. Like if you're, if you kick the can right now. I mean, if you have all that stuff.
Ela Crain 34:53
What was the turning point like what made you think of that?
Michael Greve 34:55
Well, it was like it was a process I thought, Oh no, it can't go on like this. I know you have to sometimes in life, I think I can't go on like this. And so I stopped smoking, I looked into changing my diet. And then I discovered I thought, Oh, that's easy, because you just go to on the internet and look up how good diet is. And then I discovered Oh, diet is more like religion than science. That's true. And then I started reading myself, because I couldn't find any useful information like on the surface, and I got into functional medicine, I got into nutrition. And at some point I thought this is really overwhelming to do it all on my own. And I thought, wouldn't it be great to have a team that would just do this research and this analyst about what is out there? And how credible is this or that information.
Yeah, and this was, when I started, I built my first website before ever healthy because I learned all this stuff myself. And I wanted to share with my loved ones, as well, why have the same talk over and over again? So I build a website, obviously, and put that on, on on the web, call it forever healthy. So people who are interested I could share, share my learnings because, you know, I'm a techie and and in technology, we have this open source, paradigm office of software's developed by a team and then given away for free. That's how the whole internet is built. And then people build business models on top of that. And yeah, and I was at a point personally, where I was where we were so successful with the building the companies, and after that going to venture capital, and we made made quite successful investments, three of the startups that we supported right from the start, but we'll be the founding investors, they now turn unicorns like Papa stuff based on mumble.
So for me, it was not the question, do I want to do an other startup and make even more money? But me? What's the question? Okay, how can I contribute so and work on something? I've been always working on the leading edge of technology. And for me, this is rejuvenation is my leading edge.
Ela Crain 37:13
Listening to you, it sounds like it wasn't like you had a little I mean, you had a heart attack. And that was a wake up call. It sounds like maybe success was a wake up call now that you're successful, you have a lot to contribute and to kind of take care of and how can you make sure that you're healthy enough. And how can you make sure that you live long enough to contribute. Is that right?
Michael Greve 37:39
Yeah, absolutely. It was also a pro process in parallel with my Hellfest. We sold our businesses we sold last minute 30. And then we sold web 30. Because it was no fun anymore. I mean, the company had grown from three people, in the end, we had 700 people working for us. And I did all the stuff that I never wanted to do. And I didn't do the stuff that I wanted to do is working in technology, but we had like HR meetings and planning meetings and finance meetings and all that stuff. And I was really like, I don't want this anymore on my life. And so we sold that. And, of course, then you are the turning point. You say, Oh, what now you know, and then I made the decision. I don't want to run a company, big company anymore. Because I had this several times. And I don't need this one more time.
Ela Crain 38:34
Yeah. And where does this entrepreneurial spirit come from? Was in your family? How did you build this up?
Michael Greve 38:41
Yes. I mean, my family was really supportive to us. So my dad was employee number three youlet Packard, and in Germany, one of the major technology companies buy then or if not the major technology company. And he always encouraged us, he helped us he gave us our first computer when we couldn't afford it. I mean, our parents were moderately wealthy, but he gave us an apple two computer, we couldn't have bought it on our own. So it wasn't 11,000. So out as it like, in your to buy something like this, but and this is how we got into the whole thing. And our parents always encouraged us to to follow our dreams. And,this is how, but for us it was always played. Somehow we like computers, and we like programming and we like hacking and developing games and software. And it was never really a work for money. So I was really happy in that, that it was always like our technology is so cool. And I wanted and it's still the same thing. I want to develop technology. I mean, technology is always being on the forefront of where humanity is.
I mean I've been through all this like the transition from no computers to computers or PCs, I mean, there was a world where there wasn't when PCs or when computer. So we made the transition from no mobile phones to mobile phones to phone, no internet to internet from no cloud services to cloud services. And right now we're in the transition from no rejuvenation to rejuvenation. Needs the logical instant extension, but in a different role, not as an CEO of a big company. I don't want
Ela Crain 40:34
Yeah. And how is this change from no rejuvenation to rejuvenation will shape the ordinary healthcare systems most people use.
Michael Greve 40:45
So in the end, I think it will completely change the paradigm in medicine, because right now, our paradigm of medicine is about making sick people healthy again. So you go to your doctor, or you go to a hospital when you're sick, and then they try to fix you up somehow. And I think the new paradigm, and that's also that we are working on the really highest level of thoughts is medicine should really be turned up on its head. Of course, for trauma, if you break your leg, if you have something severe virus, of course that has to taken care of, but for keeping people healthy, there should be a paradigm shift to keeping healthy people healthy.
So this is a completely different approach. It's preventive medicine, but much more than that, even so it's like a maintenance of Healthy People. So to say. So where you go regularly to your health and longevity doctor who's more trusted friend and advisor, who helps you to stay healthy, who advise your nutrition, who does does regular monitoring of your health as regular blood draws stool urine testing, and to detect if something is off early to counteract that. So it's a completely different approach.
Ela Crain 42:00
Yeah. And not just healthcare wise. But also, for example, insurance companies mostly don't support such checkups, not so often, right?
Michael Greve 42:09
Yeah, but I think this has to change because the, it's simply it's more economical to keep people healthy, instead of like to fix broken people. And yeah, hard to take is extremely expensive. But giving somebody a pill. Let's say for example, the product that we are working on, that gets the block out of the arteries. Personally, I envisioned that we have a product that costs $10 a month in the civilised like in the Western world, and for developing countries even less expensive. So that would be $10 a month, and that would make sure that you don't have a heart attack, or stroke, and heart attack and stroke, a big killer, but also disability after stroke is extremely expensive, compared to $10 a month for preventing it. So it's much more economically feasible preventing disease than curing.
Ela Crain 43:09
And actually, it sounds more accessible for the individual to I rather spend $10 a month preventing something than likely to get then end up with a big hospital bill.
Michael Greve 43:20
Yes, absolutely. My vision is really come out that way. Because we all age the same way. So we're talking about everybody, let's say over the age of 40 or so on the planet. That's like 4 billion people. So, this is a huge market. And you have a lot of competing companies and is always in technology is like a huge market with competing companies means that the quality will go up and the price will go down. No question in that.
Ela Crain 43:51
So yeah, exactly. That was what I was thinking actually, like, how many of these $10 pills do I need to take in order to prevent several risks?
Michael Greve 44:01
We don't know. We don't know yet. But also it's quite imaginable that you have a combination pill that you take, yeah, one pill that combines everything. And then something. Some things might be by injection. So you get an injection once a month or once every six months. Of course, we don't know yet how this will play out. But it's going to be manageable, I'm quite sure.
Ela Crain 44:22
There are insurance policies, I think towards the higher end policies that include such checkups and maybe interventions. But this is not available to the majority of public right now. Is that right?
Michael Greve 44:37
Yeah. But this is the same with every new technology. In the beginning. It's unproven, and it's super expensive. Like I mean, remember the first mobile phones that when we're right now we have the fifth generation network. We started with the B network in Germany, there was a C network, the D network, then 3g and 4g 5g and the B network you had like boxes like if you had to carry around expensive, you could only make a phone call. And you have even to dial into the tower, you have to know which is the next tower you have to ascribe to that tower. And then you can make a phone call, you know, and overtime now everybody in Africa has a mobile phone because it's cheaper than landline.
This is the same development that we are going to see. It's absolutely true. Right now, preventive medicine, for example, I'm doing a blood draw right now every week or so. And the blood draw is quite expensive. This, of course, not for everybody. But once the technology becomes more white, the use is more widespread, the price will innovate as we go down. Imagine your iPhone has more processing power now than a data centre that only that was so big that only a country could afford it. Yeah, 20 or 30 years ago, so that is about what we're talking. Same thing will happen there.
Ela Crain 45:59
In the future, when this technology is more available, how how do you see like the individual's visits to the doctor? Like, are we going to end up like seeing our doctor once a month to make sure we have some variables aligned? Or is it every six months? Or will there be such routines?
Michael Greve 46:21
Yes, I think there will be routines, I mean, look at like what we do with every other technical thing. And I really see at least part of our body is a technical thing. Of course we have or consciousness or soul or whatever. But the cells biologic, basically it's It's physics. And with all the other devices that we have, like cars, you bring them to maintenance every 20,000 kilometres, every aeroplane has maintenance regularly. I mean, if you turn it on the head, if you would treat aeroplanes like we treat our bodies, they would all fall out of the sky and fly with them.
So yes, I would go for regular check ups, though there will be blood draws. I mean, if you really go into the territory, science fiction, you could even think about implantable nano sensors that monitor your vitals. Also blood monitoring. On a daily basis, for example, you could go and think about the toilets that does a urine stool analysis every time you pee, and monitors your health on a daily basis to catch some unfortunate development. Because this doesn't mean that you won't get sick, it only means that you can catch this as early as possible. Yeah. But that's a big thing. If you catch something, even cancer, if you catch a super early, you can do something about it. If you catch it only late stage, then blade, you know.
Ela Crain 47:52
I look forward to having that toilet. It's such an interesting idea. And how do you see the mind body connection because we are not just this biological vehicle roaming on the planet, but we have the spiritual aspect and the mental aspect, what can we do in order to have those parts healthy as we live longer and longer?
Michael Greve 48:15
That's a really important aspect. And if you look at our website, also, we we have something that we call the health and longevity strategy. And that rests on five pillars, which is personal prevention, or whatever you can do by yourself. It's throughout monitoring, it's it's functional, integrative treatments, like if something is out of balance, it's rejuvenation. But the fifth pillar is mental well being. And that's hugely important. And I think in order to be really healthy, you have to have two things, one is a balanced, you have to be a balanced individual, in terms of like purpose, gratitude, all these things that usually important in order to really be healthy because our mind influences our body. Our thoughts influence our body because our thoughts control, for example, or hormones, you know, if we have happy thoughts, then we excrete other hormones and that control our bodies as if we are depressed for example.
Ela Crain 49:18
And vice versa. No hormones control thoughts.
Michael Greve 49:22
Both ways, even the food that we eat. The stuff that we digest, our gut has its own nervous system, that and the gut, for example, produces 13 hormones that influence the brain that produces hormones. So there are feedback loops everywhere between mental nutrition, exercise, it's really important and yeah, it's mental well being and it's also ridding ourselves of trauma, childhood trauma, a traumatic experience that we might not even be aware of, that subconsciously control our behaviour or our view of the world. That's really important.
Ela Crain 50:02
I guess there are two aspects there no like reading ourselves from trauma and building up positive habits that will support and stabilise our minds more like yoga meditation. I don't know if you do any research around those?
Michael Greve 50:18
Well, I did my personal research, I have my yoga routine, I have my nation routine. I write a gratitude journal every day. I do affirmations every day. I do visualisations So, I do a lot for positive mindset. And on top of that, there is self development, because I think we're the world that we are. And you mentioned that in the beginning with the radical change. And in order to cope with the changes that are already here, and the even the more the ones that are coming, I think we have all have to do self development in terms of how do we want to evolve as human beings, you know, there's a lot of philosophy involved in that as well. I think it's necessary in order to be able to cope with the change that's coming.
Ela Crain 51:10
I think what makes this very unique forever healthy is that you cover the scientific side, as well as the spiritual side, as well as the personal development side, you know, you're looking at the whole picture, which I feel we don't get much when we visit a doctor's office, we are more like a biological beings and treated like a chemical kind of mixture or elixir if we have mental issues. But what you're doing is like looking at the whole package and trying to maintain and improve the whole package.
Michael Greve 51:43
Yeah, absolutely. I think it's necessary. And I would love to have a service provider, I don't even call him a doctor. Like a personal health and longevity advisor, a more trusted friend, who also knows a lot about medicine, and who can advise me about all these things. That's one thing that I would love to happen. The other thing is I would love to live in an environment where doing all these things are totally natural. The weather's good. We have good food, where everybody meditates where everybody does yoga, where everybody tries to get rid of trauma and does a gratitude journal, and does these regular checkups. So that would make it much easier. This is one reason why it's so hard to do it right now, because only very few people do that in a holistic way. If more people would do this, and or maybe you have some something like a longevity centre, that even offers yoga and meditation classes, and talks about philosophy and and how to do how to do self actual self development, that would be a good place.
Ela Crain 52:51
Yeah. And for those who are listening to us right now and don't have access to such doctors, what would you recommend? Is there a list? Or are you putting together a list of doctors who collaborate like this?
Michael Greve 53:05
No, actually, there's no real list like Yeah, I mean, there are some doctors in Germany, there's some in the UK, it's really spread out. So this is really, really new. Most of the doctors in terms of a new treatment approach, what they do is functional medicine, that's to look for doctors, they do functional medicine, that is already a different approach. This is still about making sick people healthy again. So it's not about this keeping healthy people healthy. Viewing the person as a holistic thing, also with mental and they would also recommend yoga and meditation, and gratitude and nutrition. And so going to somebody who practices functional medicine, I think is a good start.
Ela Crain 53:57
Talking about nutrition. You published a paper recommending the paleo diet. What do you say to research that contradicts this that consumption of increased red meat causes further complications like cancer, etc?
Michael Greve 54:13
So we also moved away from calling this a paleo diet. So I would call it evolutionary nutrition. So feeding the body what the body used to so that could also be vegetarian. So this is not about you having to eat red meat. But I think the connection between red meat and increased events for example, cardiovascular disease or cancer, make the distinction between processed red meat, processed meat, which is not good, which has a lot of stuff in it that is not healthy. And but if you eat a steak that's from an organic cow, for example, I think you're not going to hurt yourself. whereas if you have a hot dog that has a wiener in it that has I don't know, what didn't you do this every day and have white bread bonds with it, then you're hurting yourself.
Ela Crain 55:13
Okay, yeah, that makes sense. And is this a new diet type, you're talking about this evolutionary diet?
Michael Greve 55:22
There was the Paleo community and the functional medicine community, and especially in the US, and it just has a lot of there was like, 510 years ago, it was paleo. And then the understanding just broadened. And the basic idea is, we should feed our body what the body was designed for by evolution, because I mean, are, we are a process of like, let's say, 2 million years of evolution. And there is new stuff like sugar or refined grains that were introduced into our diet only 1000 years ago, maybe 100 years ago, like milk or cow's milk or stuff. Our body is simply not able to process it well. And it would be like putting bad gasoline into a car, or putting diesel gasoline into a regular car. It might work, but it might have unintended side effects. This is where we stand right now.
So if you eat natural food and processed food, veggies, I think then you're doing the right thing. You don't have to be religious about that, but and then better use olive oil than any hydrogen edit, or artificially processed oils. Then you're doing the good thing. And you don't have to be obsessed about diet. I think that's also learning from the whole thing. I don't obsess about diet anymore. I mean, I go out and eat ice cream on the weekend with my friends, even if there's sugar in there, because one scoop of ice cream with sugar and milk won't kill me. But I don't do it on a daily basis.
Ela Crain 56:58
Yeah, absolutely. Although sugar I find personally is very addictive. I have a sweet tooth and and that was one of the things that I struggled the most to drop and switch to healthier versions. Where do you think the government's responsibility are around these ingredients like sugar, which is really physically addictive, I find or other compounds?
Michael Greve 57:24
I think that we shouldn't put too much weight on government, we should consider ourselves glad and happy that we have a government that provides an environment where everybody can do freely what is deems necessary for his personal health and happiness. And I think we should all use our own brain I mean, the information that sugar is not good for your health or that white bread and refined grains are not good for your health. It's openly available. And we should not wait for the government to puppet or do stuff we should just everybody could just decide stop doing this. And then the economy simply people don't buy the products anymore, they will not be sold.
Ela Crain 58:17
But it's also kind of very confusing and time consuming to really read research understand what is bad and what includes what's like when I go to the supermarket I sometimes see even green beans have sugar in them canned green beans, and I feel like cheated in a way it's just supposed to be some vegetable.
Michael Greve 58:38
Simple rules, don't buy any canned food. Because within their form for conserving or whatever, you know, you don't know.
Ela Crain 58:48
Yeah, exactly. But to arrive that I had to read a lot of labels and go to different supermarkets and test different food and see if that's right, it tastes okay with it without it, etc.
Michael Greve 58:59
It's on our website. It's my own learning I did this. I did all the board to describe the same process. And I just wrote the results down a few pages really simple. Not even religion. That's not religion about diet. It's just really basic, simple straight thoughts. So don't buy manufactured processed food. Don't like eat canned food, I only eat stuff where I know what's in it. I don't even eat complex sauces or something like this. I want olive oil. I want my steak in coconut oil or olive oil. This is what I understand. I have that on my salad and vinegar, and salt and pepper and some lemon. This is good for me. I know that and that's my real simple rule. I don't eat stuff that I don't know what's in it and should be organic Of course, if possible, but often that's not possible.
Ela Crain 59:55
So where do you think this education should come from? This is coming from your own personal experience, but not everyone has the kind of mental span and a time span to do this, where else can we receive this education?
Michael Greve 1:00:09
I think it's more and more people are doing it. I mean, you see, we have more and more organic supermarkets around. If you look back 20 years ago, there were virtually none. Now you have them everywhere. I mean, is quite easy to buy organic food now. And I think that it's a process. I mean, parents will learn about this and teach the children about that. And you have to make the basic this decision that health is important. And then you have to spend some time right now on it. So I think it's not an excuse to say, Oh, I didn't have the time to learn about health. And this is why I'm sick and the government should have protected me. This is not the reality. Reality is that woman does not protect you, but you've got the brain. And you could use that brain and follow some simple rules about good nutrition.
Ela Crain 1:01:04
Just briefly, going back to Forever Healthy, you also manage startups if you have 14 promising startups that your team is involved in managing? Can you tell us about this aspect of forever healthy?
Michael Greve 1:01:19
Sure. We started four years ago, because the the the industry, there's no industry yet, it's it was really new. So when I started, like five years ago, with a donation to the SENS Foundation to support research, I also fed in really, in order to accelerate the whole process of bringing rejuvenation biotechnology in this new form of medicine to the market. It's not enough just to have basic research and to talk about the beautiful future. Because it always sounds like science fiction, if you just talk about that. People say, Oh, yeah, but this is science fiction is not real.
In order to really prove that it's working, I think we have to deliver results, we have to deliver therapies. And once the first therapists are there, that really proved that, that it's not science fiction, that it's easy, that it's affordable. And for the finance community, that's the best business ever. But because you see, even $10 a month, but if you have 4 billion clients, that's a lot of money every month. And in order to really get people to understand what's coming, we just have to deliver products. And, and this is what we started four years ago to pick a really promising science and, and help to get teams together. So in order that they start building therapies for human use. And I mean, once we have a therapy, that, for example, rejuvenates the cardiovascular system in such a way that we can prevent heart attacks and strokes, people will understand. And then it will be normal to do that.
Ela Crain 1:03:04
And what kind of products are we talking about?
Michael Greve 1:03:07
Basically, it's we're going for the root causes of age-related diseases. So that we, we scientists did the question. So what is really the root cause all of our startups are working on a different root cause that causes age related diseases, like for example, tetanus, and cells. senesin cells are cells that are supposed to be removed. So you know, every cell has a life cycle. And it's really cool system. And if a cell comes to the end of its life cycle, it should either commit suicide, or it calls in the immune system to remove it. And this works, but not perfectly. So some cells stay around. And this suicide or immune system removal doesn't work. And they go into a sign a sign of an emergency, metal metabolic isn't and produce a lot of toxins. And this is just a statistical thing. And if you're young, of course, only a few cells, but you accumulate the cells as you age, and over time, there are more and more of those producing more and more toxins and, accelerating ageing. So we have a startup that works on or we have even two startups that work on therapies on how to remove these toxic cells from the body.
That's one thing and so there are other root causes, like the calcification that I mentioned with EDTA. We have a startup that does a very targeted therapy that allows us to remove EDTA from calcified arteries. We have the one that does the heart attack thing. We have a startup that develops in a very interesting on anti cancer therapy. Because there are people who are immune to cancer people who don't get cancer. And what we do is we use these people, we extract their immune system by a blood draw, and then we are working on multiplying this immune system they immune cells in a bioreactor. In other people, if somebody comes with a cancer diagnosis, we can inject this immune system into people with cancer and remove the cancer that way. So that's the idea. And it already works in the mouse model. So we can inject pancreatic cancer into a mouse and the mouse grows thumb-size cancer. And if we inject our multiplied immune system 48 hours later, the tumours gone.
Ela Crain 1:05:31
Wow, that's very promising and exciting.
Michael Greve 1:05:36
So we still have to transport that to humans, but in animals, it works.
Ela Crain 1:05:40
Yeah. And how do you know if someone is immune to cancer or not?
Michael Greve 1:05:45
Family history, trying. And basically, family history. You do a lot of blood draws on multiple people, and then you start testing and then you find that donor? So yeah, it's a challenging task. But we have some that works.
Ela Crain 1:06:06
Yeah. Are you continuously accepting applications from biotech startups? Yes,
Michael Greve 1:06:11
We are really into that process. But it's not just any biotech. But we what we are looking for is what we call category openness. So I said we are already have two startups working on this removal of senesin cells. And the point is, we don't we wouldn't do a third thing, or we wouldn't do something that somebody is already doing. We are really looking for something that has never been done before. And that we think should be done. But yeah, we're constantly looking at new proposals of startups in that area.
Ela Crain 1:06:48
And anyone who's interested in applying could do that via your website. Yes, absolutely.
Michael Greve 1:06:53
Yes, absolutely. Just write us an email. Hello at foreverhealthy.org or email@example.com, you find that on our websites, and just send us the proposal, what you're working on, we're gonna look at it.
Ela Crain 1:07:08
Michael, I really hope as a friend also that you will have more than 120 years to live. But let's settle with 124. Now, where do you see this technology? In several decades? Like how fast can we expect results?
Michael Greve 1:07:27
Actually, we don't know that's really true. We don't know. I know, for our startups that will will take something between five and 10 years. When we have the first product, it's really a long term thing. Developing therapy medicine.
Ela Crain 1:07:44
first product doesn't mean it's available to public, right?
Michael Greve 1:07:47
First product available to public five to 10 years. And that's already pretty exciting. And actually, we don't know. And this is also I think it's going to be an inflection point, when we have this first product, then the world will understand what's what's really possible, and people would ask what else can we do, and then we think more money will flow in, we already see now more money flowing into the market. But then when the first therapy is there and working, this is really when excessive amount of money will flow in, it's going to be attractive for more researchers to work into that market. They're hoping for an exponential development, both in research and also in company funding.
Ela Crain 1:08:29
You're saying for anyone who is in their 40s 50s. Today, they will benefit from this technology to reach 120? Or is there like a threshold that you have to be younger?
Michael Greve 1:08:42
No, I think 40 to 50, then you're still young enough to benefit of that stuff. Because then you're in use in the 10 years, you're in the 60s. And then you might have a therapy that prevents you from having a heart attack or dying of cancer. And that's already huge. I mean, I don't know whether you will make it to 120 with that. But you probably won't have a heart attack on that way. Which is also something because lots of people die, like in the age of 50 or 60 with an attack. And I'm not one of them. I don't have to worry about cancer, I don't have to worry about politics.
Ela Crain 1:09:19
Which generation would be the first to reach 120 Without any diseases caused by ageing?
Michael Greve 1:09:24
Well, maybe we are the generation who does that? We don't know.
Ela Crain 1:09:28
Maybe hopefully, fingers crossed.
Michael Greve 1:09:30
Also for myself, I reverse that question. You know, there's going to be one generation that will have the first real benefit of this therapy. You could just imagine these members of that generation sitting there thinking Could it really be us? Could it really? So it could be us. You know, we don't know. One thing I know for sure. If we don't try, it's not gonna be us. So I'm trying to do things I'm trying to accelerate the development of these therapies. On the other hand, I tried to do everything that's possibly, reasonably possibly right now to stay healthy. Because of course, it's better than when I'm still healthy to have this therapist as if I'm sick.
Ela Crain 1:10:16
Well, thank you so much for trying, Michael. Hopefully, we will all benefit from your trials. And thank you so much for also keeping such an optimistic view of human health and the future. That's really uplifting to hear all the goods case scenarios that we won't always screw things up, because there's still hope and then we will make good use of such technologies. Thank you for your time today. I really appreciate it and there is more to talk. So I hope one day we will do another episode with you.
Michael Greve 1:10:48
Cool, yeah. Thank you so much. Ela.