Our mission is to increase healthy human lifespan by ten years. This will be intensely challenging and require substantial resources. We are fortunate to have initial funding in the amount of $180 million, which will take us to our first proofs of concept, and secure operation of the company through the decade.


In the US, around 90 percent of our healthcare spending – over $3 trillion – goes toward age-related diseases and this trend is echoed throughout the world. The deeper, underlying causes of age-related diseases are the untreated mechanisms of aging itself. By focusing on the cellular drivers of aging, Retro will design therapeutics eventually capable of multi-disease prevention. This mission would have seemed too bold a decade ago but new methods such as single-cell multi-omics, pooled perturbations, and targeted delivery systems now enable us to understand and intervene directly.

We identify aging mechanisms for which interventions have shown robust proofs of concept in mammals and have a feasible path to translation to humans. To start with, we are focused on cellular reprogramming, plasma-inspired therapeutics, and autophagy. Our programs are diversified across mechanism and development stage. We have a molecule in our autophagy program that will enter the clinic in the next year. In our plasma program, we’re characterizing and optimizing plasma interventions in both preclinical and clinical settings, with the first development candidate expected in two years. Our cellular reprogramming effort is closest to fundamental research and farthest upstream in the mechanisms of aging. We will work towards a clinical proof-of-concept over the next four years. To support these three programs, we are investing heavily in single-cell multi-omics, machine-learning-based computational biology, and lab automation.


Joe Betts-LaCroix, Sheng Ding, and Matt Buckley founded Retro with the intention of building a generational pharma company proportional to the scale of our mission.

We explicitly filter for people who fit our culture: kindness and authenticity, rigor and rapid iteration, versatility and fluid intelligence. Because aging is complex we are building a team composed of multi-specialists who communicate fluently across domains and will produce therapies targeting multiple mechanisms of aging. We prioritize mission-driven team science, freed from the constraints of grant-writing. We prize speed, combining an ethos of rapid iteration with investment in vertical integration to tighten feedback loops. We bet on scientists who want to maximize themselves and their impact in this environment.


We are just over a dozen but are growing exponentially and have many open positions. If you are fabulously skilled, moved by the mission, and our culture appeals to you, we invite you to apply

Joe Betts-LaCroix Cofounder, CEO