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Drugs for seniors; aging an opportunity for Louisville

June 19, 2014

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PhRMA has released its Medicines in Development for Older Americans 2014 report.

From The Search for Antiaging Interventions: From Elixirs to Fasting Regimens; “The current US population reports estimate that the percentage of people aged 65 years and older in the USA will increase from 13% in 2010 to 19.3% in 2030. However, according to the WHO, age itself remains the greatest risk factor for all major life-threatening disorders, and the number of people suffering from age-related diseases is anticipated to almost double over the next two decades.”

Human Longevity, Inc. and Calico have jumped into aging in a big way.

Ninety percent of major diseases are related to agingAge-Specific Cancer Incidence Rates That Continue to Rise Through the Oldest Age Groups; colorectal cancer has the highest incidence rate, for example.

Louisville, KY hosts the largest concentration of nursing-home and extended-care companies in the nation. See Aging Care.

I believe Louisville can leverage that industry cluster, à la Louisville, aging care & “biotech”.

One way is via biobanking. Patient samples could be quite valuable for research purposes.

Another related way to leverage Louisville’s LTC sector is through clinical trials.  What better way to recruit study participants for these 435 medicines in development than by accruing them through our local LTC presence?  Indeed, the tables of Sponsors and Development Phase in the PhRMA report could be a contact list for an entity such as Signature Research Institute.

Additionally, researchers at the University of Louisville are doing work related to diseases and conditions associated with aging noted in the report.  A few select highlights:

Shlomit Schaal, MD, PhD is working on a way for patients undergoing retinal surgery to avoid the need to have subsequent surgery to remove cataracts that commonly develop afterward.

Chronic Kidney Disease
Lupus nephritis

David Powell is using proteomic approaches for the IDENTIFICATION OF DIAGNOSTIC MARKERS FOR LUPUS NEPHRITIS.

Diabetic nephropathy
Michael Merchant and Jon Klein are also using proteomic approaches to identify biomarkers of diabetic nephropathy and progressive renal decline.

Other PIs are doing work in longevity and polypharmacy.

The aging market represents big opportunity, one that Louisville should continue to capitalize upon.




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