April 24 2008 / by Jeff Hilford / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Health & Medicine Year: 2008 Rating: 9 Hot
Well it’s official, Big Pharma is in the anti-aging game. Yesterday’s news of GlaxoSmithKline buying anti-aging biotech company Sirtris for a whopping 84% premium over the share price marks the cloaked entry of big pharma into the anti-aging arena.
Of course they won’t or can’t admit that that is their goal – they will say that is in service of treating age related diseases – but this is the beginning of an inevitable trend that will result in billions of dollars being poured into anti-aging research.
The FDA does not consider aging a disease that requires treatment. This has stemmed the flow of capital into this area and what has come in has always been (and continues to be) under the very real guise of treating diabetes, metabolic disorders and other diseases associated with aging. This is about to change.
The demographic bubble of aging Baby boomers combined with a growing class of seniors ahead of them already benefitting from life expectancy rates that continue to approach the magical threshold of one year of gain for every year that transpires (Ronald Bailey quotes Ray Kurzweil as putting the current number at three months per year), will lead to an explosion of investment into this area. (cont.)
This will happen in much the same way we’ve seen a dramatic expansion of vc investment into alternative energy sources. These were once a third rail that no one wanted to touch due in part to social stigma, big oil money’s resistance and the perception that progress would be long in the offing. Today, those same factions, conservatives and big oil, are the loudest proponents and biggest investors in this area. The same will hold true for anti-aging technologies. In fact it’s likely to be an even bigger and swifter transformation as nothing changes minds quicker than the sober reality of ones impending mortality. Well, that and the opportunity to make a buck.