Resveratrol goes to the clinic: a Pulitzer for David Stipp!

Truth to be told I am not really interested in the Resveratrol story neither as a researcher nor as a life extension supporter. First, it is about classical pharmacology, seeking the molecular targets of a relatively simple molecule back and forth, testing its effect on different animals with standard setups, no hint at a new type of research seeking for new methods, like stem cell biology, or tissue engineering. Secondly, it’s potential effect on healthy lifespan (more years to live, more tens of years?) is minuscule compared to a technological possibility, like systemic regenerative medicine which aims indefinite life extension via a continuous regenerative treatment, that fixes the physiological age. At least I was not interested in the story till David Stipp’s article in Fortune (19th of January), had not been published. Now I am interested in its science, its effect on life extension, its commercial consequences (Sirtris) and in the people behind that, like David Sinclair and Christoph Westphal. Stipp’s piece is a perfect coverage of the whole story through the details with an easily comprehensible and ingenious language. After reading the report I knew the author is not just a simply professional journalist.

Here are some exciting parts out of it (emphasis added): “You have to go back to the advent of antibiotics in the first half of the 20th century to find such broad therapeutic potential. …Most biotechs pioneering new science take years before testing drugs on people; Sirtris’s drug reached the clinic less than 18 months after the company’s launch….Westphal’s colleagues are accustomed to his daily barrage of e-mails, which begins around 5:30 a.m. “I must get 50 e-mails a day from him,” says Boston hedge fund manager Richard Aldrich, one of Sirtris’s founding investors. “He probably over communicates.” (Westphal says that over communication is a nonissue because “nobody reads my e-mails.”)… Continue reading