As reported by Heather McKenzie from BioSpace, when our backs were against the wall, the biotech/biopharma community came together to create not one, but two COVID-19 vaccines currently approved for emergency use in the U.S. The lessons learned from the global pandemic are expected to translate to existing and emerging therapeutic areas – particularly, oncology; more efficient regulatory-industry relationships; mRNA is a word we will continue to hear a lot about; and home health care is here to stay. These are just a few of the insights Ms. McKenzie discovered when she recently spoke with 12 executives from the biotech/biopharma space.
One of those individuals was McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Thomas Rando, MD, PhD, Professor, Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, the Director, Glenn Laboratories for the Biology of Aging, Stanford University, and the Deputy Director, Stanford Center on Longevity, also at Stanford University. This is what he had to say:
“The biggest risk factor for all these diseases that we want to treat–cancer, heart disease, neurodegenerative disease–the biggest risk factor is aging,” said Dr. Rando, co-founder of Fountain Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company focused on reversing aging to treat disease.
“I think that that will continue to be a real focus. Can we develop…almost a preventative therapeutic approach? There’s been a lot of movement over the last several years in terms of therapeutics targeted for the basic biology of aging, and I think that’s something that has just continued to gain steam increasingly over the last 5-10 years for sure, and even more so over the last few years I think that’s a big shift, and I think it’s moving from the academic world into the biotech and pharma world.”
In the treatment space, Dr. Rando believes that the overall viewpoint is changing for “a couple of reasons. Really, a lot of the drugs that we use in clinical practice are actually preventative medicines. So, it’s not that different. I think, number one, they’ve come to recognize that we already do this, disease by disease. Another thing is, there’s been so much investment in biotech in this area, that I think they’re just realizing there’s something here, and no one wants to miss the boat.”