Endless Returns: BioViva, Gene Therapy, and the Global Economy

BioViva Science
6 min readMay 8, 2024


“Time is the friend of the wonderful business. You keep compounding, it keeps doing more business, and you keep making more money.”

- Warren Buffet

Buffet was once a “cigar butt investor.” In several interviews he has lamented this phase. It is not uncommon for anyone, young or old, to want quick cash. However, the best returns come from foresight.

Profitability is a detail that cannot be overlooked in any enterprise.

Questions about an industry’s prospects are fair and expected. They should be answered when they hail from a misunderstanding of how circumstances can, will, and must change.

Concerns about the financial horizons of longevity-enhancing interventions in general, and gene therapy in particular, arise almost exclusively from a dearth of imagination.

Sneers have shifted away from “scientific” skepticism to worries about commercial viability. There may be no greater mistake in life or business than to expect more of the same. The only worse blunder is to be without an endgame.

Paul Krugman wrote that “productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run it is almost everything.” Milton Friedman noted that “only a crisis — actual or perceived — produces real change.” Krugman and Friedman, at least in these instances, are right.

Their sentiments could not be more relevant.

The Silver Tsunami will obliterate the global economy as whole generations age out of the workforce and able-bodied people are obliged to tend to them, as relatives looking after their loved ones or as professional caregivers. Productivity is lost twice: once from the aged person, and once more from those caring for them.

It’s not complicated: when people are healthy, they can make money. They can work and spend, which is good for everyone. It bakes a bigger pie, and everyone gets a piece.

But if things don’t change, it’s all going to burn to a crisp.

Neither gene therapy nor any other longevity-enhancing modality will make today’s medicines obsolete. They will radically expand options for the industry and patients while internationally magnifying consumer spending power.

It has to happen, because you can’t get blood from a stone.

A barren crag is what many nations, and their increasingly decrepit citizens, are becoming. The necessity of certain drugs and procedures ensures pains will be taken to get them, but only up to a point.

For all practical purposes, few pensioners are rich. Even substantial sums can be erased by the costs of constant care. It’s clear that these are not deep-pocketed clients–at least compared to someone who is still working–and that many of their expenditures will only enrich assisted living facilities.

Nothing is punished as harshly as short-sightedness.

Jack Welch’s decisions at General Electric came at the expense of the company’s long-term viability. By hobbling R&D and fixating on quarterly earnings, Welch eventually turned America’s premiere corporation into a shell of its former self.

His lionization was a mistake.

Myopia can be lucrative while someone has disposable income and the willingness to part with it. This will not be the case for biotech or pharma (or any other industry) if biological aging remains unmanageable. After all, it’s hard to flourish when your customers are dead or broke.

Some fear gene therapy will be too disruptive, but it’s hasty to forecast significant “creative destruction.” While indisputable examples exist, the rapid replacement of entire business models is not the norm. Regenerative medicine’s maturation will be more creative than destructive.

This is because the human body is a dazzlingly complex system and science has only begun to scratch the surface of its full capabilities.

Gene therapy will give pharma and biotech opportunities to innovate while cultivating consumers who are healthy, productive, and capable of affording further treatment–necessary or elective.

Small molecule drugs are part of the broader programme of holistic rejuvenation. For many ailments no single approach is always beneficial, and these compounds will continue to be preferable when cost, ease of administration, and immediate response are paramount.

Different patient populations will need to be serviced in different ways.

While gene therapies, like telomerase, Klotho, and follistatin, could easily become universal preventative measures against age-related diseases, personalized medicine will draw from a continually unfolding mosaic of hand-tailored therapeutics.

Gene therapy offers lasting solutions; this is one of its key strengths. Permanence, however, is not always desired. Patients may want to try several temporarily expressed gene therapy combinations before deciding on one. This could be for anything, from general wellness to specific activities like distance running.

Personalized plans will be an enormous source of income for providers catering to clients seeking to optimize health and performance. Optimization is an ongoing process. Most will want to regularly recalibrate the expression of their genes.

Bottomline: there will be plenty of repeat business.

Gene therapy has been confined to monogenic issues like hemophilia, but it’s now homing in on complex ailments like Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, and the true emperor of all maladies, aging.

However, all of this can only be accomplished with vectors like BioViva’s CMV gene delivery platform. Its large carrying capacity lets it do what other vectors cannot. Beyond cargo size, gene therapy faced several other bottlenecks due to available vectors, but BioViva’s CMV addresses them all.

We don’t know the limits of human potential because no one has reached them. The ceiling is set by our genes–whether it’s academics, athletics, or interstellar travel.

Professional athletes go to great lengths and pay exorbitant amounts for the slightest of edges. Those in competitive and intellectually taxing professions are willing to do the same. Even artists, writers, and musicians may take gene therapy to enhance the quantity and quality of their output.

Our understanding of the hallmarks of aging comes from people who have lived “normal” lengths of time and experienced “normal” age-related decline.

As few people have lived to 100, and none of them in what could be called good health, we don’t know what extraordinarily long-lived people will need to stay in their prime. The supercentenarians of the future, minted by regenerative modalities like gene therapy, may need (and continue to need) novel therapeutic strategies to keep them firing on all cylinders.

But gene therapy, including anti-aging gene therapies, are about more than lengthening life — they are also here to enhance it.

Plastic surgeons are conspicuously high on the list of highly compensated medical professionals, just below neurosurgeons and three other life-saving specializations. The fitness industry is valued at 244 billion dollars; the cosmetic market sits at over half a trillion. This should be no surprise: striving is in our nature; there will never be a shortage of demand for what helps us excel.

Now imagine how vast these markets could be with more varied, personalized, and effective interventions!

Fearfulness breeds stagnation; it’s an especially fruitless form of resistance. This aversion to change is not new. The path forward here, as Keynes quipped nearly a century ago, lies not so much in inventing new ideas as escaping from old ones.

Economies grow through the expansion of existing markets and the development of new ones. Gene therapy will be as transformative as electricity and the internet — but more unambiguously beneficial. The age of longevity will save us from catastrophe while uplifting all humanity.

Invest in the future with BioViva

References and Suggested Reading

Dall, Timothy M., et al. “An aging population and growing disease burden will require alarge and specialized health care workforce by 2025.” Health affairs 32.11 (2013): 2013–2020.

Davies, Dave. “Short-Term Profits and Long-Term Consequences — Did Jack Welch Break Capitalism?” Houston Public Media, 1 June 2022, www.houstonpublicmedia.org/npr/2022/06/01/1101505691/short-term-profits-and-long-term-consequences-did-jack-welch-break-capitalism/

Friedman, Milton. Capitalism and Freedom. Friedman. University of Chicago, 1962.

Keynes, John Maynard. The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money: With, The Economic Consequences of the Peace. Wordsworth Editions Limited, 2017.

Krugman, Paul R. The Age of Diminished Expectations: US economic policy in the 1990s. MIT press, 1997.

Mitchell, Glenn W. “The silver tsunami.” Physician executive 40.4 (2014): 34.

Schumpeter, Joseph A. Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. Routledge, 2013.

Vos, Allison E. “Falling fertility rates: New challenges to the European welfare state.” Socio-Economic Review 7.3 (2009): 485–503.



BioViva Science

BioViva Science is a gene therapy company that treats aging as a disease.