Westphal offers optimistic outlook for regenerative medicine

Christoph Westphal is one of the biotech industry's most prominent optimists. And he showed just how bullish he could be about the potential for groundbreaking drug discovery in a new column he authored for the Boston Globe.

New stem cell technology now in the clinic could end up curing some types of diabetes, he notes. And the same kind of regenerative medicine has been in play studying the way genes respond to starvation, opening new inroads to curing other chronic illnesses and significantly expanding the average human life span.

"Several aging genes targeted by specific drugs have been shown to increase healthy life span in animal models, and appear to prevent and treat a broad range of diseases of aging, such as diabetes and Alzheimer's," writes Westphal. "A number of drugs that target aging genes, developed by several biopharmaceutical companies, are now in clinical trials. It is likely that these types of drugs, which should increase healthy life span, will reach the market over the next three decades."

Westphal's brilliant career in biotechnology has included managing Sirtris--one of the most prominent developers working on new anti-aging therapeutics--through a $720 million acquisition by GlaxoSmithKline. And his C.V. now includes the head post at Glaxo's investment arm, SR One, as well as a leading role in a new investment startup fund.

- here's the column from the Boston Globe