Novartis researchers tackle sensory deficits and frailty as the global population grows older.
Apr 01, 2015
Each day we get a little older. For many, aging is associated with frailty or hearing and vision problems. Is this inevitable, or can we chart a different future?
“My hope is that we deliver means to have healthy aging,” says Mark Fishman, President of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, where teams are working to address hearing and vision loss as well as muscle wasting. “We really need to do our best to have people be fully capable of enjoying their environment.”
Regeneration could be the key to success. By studying embryonic development, scientists have identified ways to mimic what happens before birth to regrow sensory cells and muscle. They’re trying to turn back the cellular clock to replenish tissue that’s lost or degraded as we age.
And the timing couldn’t be better. According to the United Nations, seniors are the fastest growing segment of the global population. It’s critical to keep them healthy and independent.
In addition to pursuing novel regenerative medicine programs, Novartis continues to focus on the chronic diseases of aging, including heart failure, atherosclerosis, diabetes and cancer. New treatments for these conditions have the potential to extend and improve millions of lives.