What happens when you pull Google’s brightest thinkers together to address human aging? Well, we’re about to find out soon. Google-funded company Calico will be setting up a research facility to analyze diseases that afflict the elderly and what modern medicine can do to treat these ailments. The company has some noteworthy names driving it. The CEO is Arthur Levinson, who currently serves as a chairman to Genentech and Apple. Levinson has also posted an impressive Calico team roster on his Google Plus profile, highlighting this company’s emphasis on health research and drug development.
Calico’s upcoming research facility is turning heads because they will be partnering with AbbVie, a pharmaceutical company based in Chicago. AbbVie will be providing experience and support to Calico’s drug development team, including late-stage drug testing trails and marketing assistance. While Calico has a relatively small team currently, AbbVie has 25,000 global employees and the ability to lend massive resources to Calico’s efforts. According to AbbVie’s website, their primary health focuses include neuroscience and oncology, running in parallel to Calico’s focus on cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. It’s likely that future Calico developments will be able to reach extensive market awareness through AbbVie’s support.
Theories Based in Genetics
So how did Google get so invested in anti-aging medical advancements? According to Fortune, Bill Maris from Google Ventures is actually the mind behind the Calico project. Maris is known for managing investments in companies like Uber and Nest. Maris noted that there was a lack of research investigating genetic indicators and causes for the diseases we suffer in old age. Instead, many medical research and pharmaceutical companies take a reactive approach, rushing to treat symptoms once a person already begins to suffer from a disease. If we’re able to identify genetic causes for maladies like Alzheimer’s disease, then it might be possible to take a more proactive approach to treatment and preventative care.
It’s not surprising that Google is throwing their weight into the quest for anti-aging medication. Modern day technology, nutrition, and healthcare allow larger populations to live for longer periods of time. As a result, we’re more likely to suffer from ailments that afflict seniors, such as cancer, diabetes, depression, osteoporosis, or a neurodegenerative disease. Many of these issues lead to long term health and financial concerns for patients and their families. According to Levinson, “Calico will set up a world-class research and development facility … where we will explore the basic biology of aging and develop new medicines for patients with aging-related diseases.” It will be exciting to see how Calico’s research and development projects impact the future of elderly care.
For now, there aren’t any confirmed dates for the Calico lab project. However, the details about the AbbVie partnership is extremely promising since this pharmaceutical company will be able to lend significant resources to this new company. Futurist thinkers and medical professionals should have a keen eye on Calico’s upcoming projects, as these researchers strive to address diseases that afflict the elderly.