The VitaDAO community has decided to support early-stage cancer research by helping create a biotech company called Matrix Biosciences. VitaDAO is a group of people interested in studying how to live longer, and they’re using their resources to launch Matrix Biosciences, a company that will focus on finding ways to treat cancer and diseases related to aging.
The idea of using something called “high molecular weight hyaluronic acid” to fight cancer and promote longevity started being discussed in November 2022, and most members of VitaDAO agreed on it by March 2023. They made their decision by voting with special tokens called VITA tokens. Out of the 35 members who voted, 30 were in favor of the idea, 4 didn’t vote either way, and 1 voted against it.
To get the project going, VitaDAO gave Matrix Bio an initial investment of $300,000. They plan to provide more funding by creating “IP Tokens” in early 2024. These tokens represent ownership of the ideas and inventions created during the research. They are planning to do this after figuring out how much money is needed for the next phase of the project, which should be decided by early 2024.
The stuff they’re researching comes from the tissues of naked mole rats, a type of rodent known for having strong resistance to cancer, which also means they live longer. VitaDAO used some of their community funds to turn into regular dollars and sent it to Matrix Bio’s bank account to get the research started.
After the first set of experiments is finished, Matrix Bio can ask for more funding by giving away IP Tokens in exchange for sharing control over how the ideas and inventions are used. The next fundraising round will happen after they figure out how much they need for the next step, which should be around early 2024.
VitaDAO thinks that this high molecular weight hyaluronic acid could be a useful way to treat cancer, but they also say it’s still really early in the research, so they don’t know for sure what will come out of it. They believe there’s a good chance it could lead to treatments in the future.
But whether they’ll keep supporting this research depends on what happens in the experiments. In the past, VitaDAO has funded up to $1 million of a research project’s costs before getting help from professional investors and people in the pharmaceutical industry.