Nonprofit organization in Riyadh funnels billions into extending healthy human lifespan

Dr. Mehmood Khan, Hevolution Foundation CEO
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Dr. Mehmood Khan, Hevolution Foundation CEO
Nonprofit organization in Riyadh funnels billions into extending healthy human lifespan
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CEO Dr. Mehmood Khan said: “Geroscience and healthspan science are critically underfunded, which is why Hevolution is stepping up to bridge this gap. (Supplied)
Nonprofit organization in Riyadh funnels billions into extending healthy human lifespan
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CEO Dr. Mehmood Khan said: “Geroscience and healthspan science are critically underfunded, which is why Hevolution is stepping up to bridge this gap. (Supplied)
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Updated 25 June 2024
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Nonprofit organization in Riyadh funnels billions into extending healthy human lifespan

Dr. Mehmood Khan, Hevolution Foundation CEO
  • Foundation works to address the underlying causes of aging

RIYADH: Hevolution Foundation is funding research and early-stage investments to catalyze advances in extending healthy human lifespan while understanding the processes of aging.

Boasting over SR1.5 billion ($400 million) in research grants and early-stage biotech investments, the Riyadh-based global nonprofit organization is a philanthropic funder of geroscience, an area of research dedicated to advancing global human healthspan.

Hevolution Foundation is working to address the underlying causes of aging to help prevent the onset of age-related diseases.

The organization says that while the average lifespan in Saudi Arabia is about 74 years, the average healthspan is 64 — indicating a decade-long gap between life expectancy and healthy life expectancy — and many are living the final years of their lives in poor health.

Geroscience and healthspan science are critically underfunded, which is why Hevolution is stepping up to bridge this gap.

Dr. Mehmood Khan, Hevolution Foundation CEO

CEO Dr. Mehmood Khan said: “Geroscience and healthspan science are critically underfunded, which is why Hevolution is stepping up to bridge this gap.

“Hevolution is proud to be the world’s largest philanthropic funder of geroscience and, following the success of our first Global Health Summit in 2023 and the next summit planned for February 2025, we look forward to continuing the shift from lifespan to healthspan.”

Grant recipients include King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, as well as global institutions including Buck Institute, Northwestern University, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Harvard University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Haya bint Khaled, the vice president of research at Hevolution Foundation, said: “With the Kingdom’s National Biotechnology Strategy — which Hevolution made vital inputs into — Saudi Arabia is innovating in health.

“Saudi Arabia is at a perfect moment in time to outpace future demographic challenges by investing in healthy longevity now, and to lead the world in addressing age-related diseases for the benefit of all humanity.”

Hevolution aims to increase the number of safe and effective treatments entering the market; compress the timeline of drug development using the latest tools and technologies; and increase accessibility to healthspan therapeutics for all.

Leveraging its annual budget of up to SR4 billion, Hevolution is committed to increasing the number of geroscience researchers globally, expanding the number of companies working in the field and attracting funding to this vital area of science.

This includes commitment to a SR10.1 million two-year grant program to create the first cohort of researchers from King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, and other prestigious institutions, to explore areas such as the microbiome, aging biomarkers and senescence.

A SR18 million fund will support up to 15 postdoctoral fellowships to advance the careers of early-stage scientists in Saudi Arabia and the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) region.

A grant of SR75.7 million over five years will support Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, focused on senescence and aging, led by Dr. Ana Maria Cuervo, a leader in the aging field and member of the National Academy of Sciences.

The organization’s other commitments include SR121 million provided over five years to Northwestern University in Illinois, led by Dr. Richard Morimoto, with research focused on defining healthy proteostasis and maintaining proteostasis in a robust, resilient state.

Established in 2018 by royal order, Hevolution is headquartered in Riyadh with a North American hub in Boston, and plans to expand to other global locations.

 


Saudi, North Macedonia to strengthen Islamic affairs cooperation

Saudi, North Macedonia to strengthen Islamic affairs cooperation
Updated 22 July 2024
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Saudi, North Macedonia to strengthen Islamic affairs cooperation

Saudi, North Macedonia to strengthen Islamic affairs cooperation
  • The pact was inked by Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Albania Faisal bin Ghazi Hefzi and representatives of the Presidency of the Islamic Union of North Macedonia

RIYADH: The Kingdom and North Macedonia have signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation on Islamic affairs, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday.

The pact was inked by Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Albania Faisal bin Ghazi Hefzi and representatives of the Presidency of the Islamic Union of North Macedonia.

Hefzi also serves as non-resident ambassador to North Macedonia, and was representing the Kingdom’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance.

In a press statement after the signing ceremony, Hefzi said the Kingdom supports all efforts to ensure peace and prosperity for Muslims worldwide.

The signing ceremony took place on Sunday in the Macedonian capital, Skopje, and was attended by various government representatives.


KSrelief delivers essential aid to thousands in Syria and Sudan

KSrelief delivers essential aid to thousands in Syria and Sudan
Updated 22 July 2024
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KSrelief delivers essential aid to thousands in Syria and Sudan

KSrelief delivers essential aid to thousands in Syria and Sudan
  • Both efforts reflect Saudi Arabia’s commitment, through KSrelief, to support vulnerable people worldwide

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s humanitarian agency KSrelief has delivered food and other aid to thousands of vulnerable people in Syria and Sudan.

In operations carried out on Friday in the Idlib region of Syria, KSrelief distributed 1,078 food baskets and hygiene kits for 6,468 individuals, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

This was a part of the second phase of a project aimed at supporting people affected by the 2024 earthquake in northern Syria.

Also on Friday, in the northern state of Sudan, KSrelief provided 600 shelter bags for 3,450 individuals as a part of an ongoing aid project.

Both efforts reflect Saudi Arabia’s commitment, through KSrelief, to support vulnerable people worldwide, the SPA reported.


KSrelief conducts 40 orthopedic surgeries for Yemeni patients in Hadhramaut

KSrelief conducts 40 orthopedic surgeries for Yemeni patients in Hadhramaut
Updated 22 July 2024
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KSrelief conducts 40 orthopedic surgeries for Yemeni patients in Hadhramaut

KSrelief conducts 40 orthopedic surgeries for Yemeni patients in Hadhramaut

RIYADH: The Kingdom’s aid agency KSrelief carried out 40 orthopedic surgeries in Yemen’s Hadhramaut governorate from July 13 to 20.

The operations, overseen by seven specialists, were a part of a volunteer medical project in the Seiyun district, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

The KSrelief team examined 69 patients over the period of the project.

In addition, they conducted a workshop on orthopedic surgery and knee injuries for 15 doctors.

The KSrelief team examined 69 patients over the period of the project. (SPA)

Meanwhile, KSrelief’s Supervisor-General Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah met with the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen Julien Harneis in Riyadh on Sunday.

During the meeting, they discussed ways to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people.

Harneis commended Saudi Arabia for its humanitarian and relief efforts in the war-torn nation.


Saudi Arabia clears 989 explosive devices in Yemen

Saudi Arabia clears 989 explosive devices in Yemen
Updated 22 July 2024
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Saudi Arabia clears 989 explosive devices in Yemen

Saudi Arabia clears 989 explosive devices in Yemen

RIYADH: Members of Saudi Arabia’s Masam Project removed 989 explosive devices from various regions of Yemen in the third week of July.

This included five anti-personnel mines, 46 anti-tank mines, 935 unexploded ordnances, and three explosive devices, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

The Masam Project has now cleared 2,840 mines since the beginning of July in Yemen. In total, it has removed 451,908 explosive devices since it began operations in the country.

The SPA reported that these devices had been planted indiscriminately across the country to harm people, including children, women and the elderly.


Saudi Arabia wins 6 awards at 2024 International Mathematical Olympiad

Saudi Arabia wins 6 awards at 2024 International Mathematical Olympiad
Updated 22 July 2024
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Saudi Arabia wins 6 awards at 2024 International Mathematical Olympiad

Saudi Arabia wins 6 awards at 2024 International Mathematical Olympiad
  • Kingdom has now won 77 awards in total at the annual mathematics competition

RIYADH: The Kingdom won six medals at the 65th International Mathematical Olympiad 2024 held from July 15 to 21 at the University of Bath in the UK, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday.

The annual competition had teams of up to six contestants attempting to solve three complex problems in two exams of 4.5 hours each, over two consecutive days.

Hadi Al-Aithan from the Al-Ahsa education department won a silver medal. Bronze medals were won by Youssef Bakheet (Yanbu), Mohammed Rabie (Madinah), Muath Al-Qahtani (Eastern Province) and Ahmed Al-Shehri (Riyadh).

Mohammad Al-Ghamdi from the Eastern Province received a certificate of appreciation.

The Saudi Arabia team participated under the auspices of the King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity, or Mawhiba, and the Ministry of Education.

Saudi Arabia’s participation is a part of the Mawhiba International Olympiad program, one of 20 initiatives offered annually based on advanced curricula and other development programs.

These initiatives offer gifted students an opportunity to develop their skills in collaboration with local and international partners, the SPA reported.

Saudi Arabia has now won 77 awards at the annual competition including 12 silver and 46 bronze medals, and 19 certificates of appreciation.