The pharmaceutical giant made it official today. It has launched a regenerative medicine unit co-located in Cambridge, UK and Cambridge, MA. It will have about 70 full-time employees, but the cheery news for stem-cell start-ups is the focus on deal-making. The company’s press release hinted that several scientific collaborations would be announced this week, and Pfizer’s head of bio-innovation reportedly said that this initiative might very well help some young companies stay alive through the financial crisis. (See the Wall Street Journal blog. For a broader view, see In search of a viable business model.)
The company press release (linked in the excerpt above) manages to go on for 500 words without mentioning aging, but I’d bet that targeting age-related decline in tissue function is near the top of the list for planned cell-based therapeutics. It is, after all, a potentially bigger market than any one disease.