An Interview With the Departing Sirtris CEO

An interesting article: "In what turned out to be his final official engagement as CEO of Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, Christoph Westphal offered some key lessons in how to build a successful biotech company ... It's pretty amazing ... in the last 20 years, we've gone from zero understanding of the genes that play a role in aging to a pretty clear understanding that IGF1 plays a role, MTOR, the Sirtuins play a role, there's 10-15 genes play a role. Many of those are going to be druggable targets. Will Sirtris be successful? I don't know. It's still going to be very risky. But I'll be shocked if there are not drugs in the next 10-15 years that target genes that control aging. ... Westphal did not shirk from addressing the ongoing controversy surrounding the physiological activity of some Sirtris compounds. ... There's a debate in the academic world. We don't know the specific molecular mechanism of why you need a specific substrate on the in vitro screen to find Sirt1 activators. ... It's a numbers game and it's gotten harder with the FDA ... People are spending less on pharma R&D and more on consumer health care and trying to diversify into developing countries and away from Europe and the United States. Fewer drugs are getting approved, revenues are going down, margins are going to go down."

Link: http://www.bio-itworld.com/news/04/26/10/Christoph-Westphal-on-aging-pharmageddon.html

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