“Turning back time addressing disease, degeneration and aging”
V Special Interest
Growing up in his native Philadelphia, Ira S. Pastor, CEO of the regenerative medicine company Bioquark Inc., was never very far from pharmaceutical products. From his first job at the age of 6, scrubbing the medicine shelves in his father’s retail pharmacy, to cashier at age 10, to pharmacy technician at age 14, Mr. Pastor went on to get a professional bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from New Jersey based Rutgers University, and a business degree from the Fox School of Business at Philadelphia’s Temple University. From that foundation, Mr. Pastor spent a 25+ year career in various aspects of the pharmaceutical industry, including roles as Vice President of Business Development for the drug development company Phytomedics Inc., Vice President of Corporate Development for the pharmacy benefit management company Prescription Delivery Systems Inc. (acquired by Cigna Health Insurance) and working in various sales, marketing, and business strategy positions in industry giant Glaxo SmithKline. As exciting and dynamic as his chosen industry was, Mr. Pastor was always bothered by one overarching, unspoken theme: in an industry that globally generates close to $1 trillion in revenue annually, why were there so few cures emerging from the development pipelines of the major pharmaceutical and biotech companies, for any of the traditional chronic degenerative diseases responsible for human suffering and death? The industry was generating plenty of treatments to attempt to slow disease progression, and had many preventative agents in the form of vaccines, but when it came to actual cures for such dreaded current day maladies such as Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Congestive Heart Failure, Diabetes, etc. , the industry was batting close to zero. Mr. Pastor wanted to take a more detailed look at where things had gone wrong with a goal of trying to correct it. And what he found was quite eye opening. Since the inception of the modern pharmaceutical industry, researchers have attempted to reduce and study human health and disease at the level of their most basic components – proteins, genes, cells, etc. continually looking for new targets to develop drugs compounds that can interfere in some fashion with biological processes. However, these targets for the most part turn out to be no more than the late-appearing indications of dysfunctional tissues and organs (symptoms of disease), and have very little connection to any of the biological factors that precede these abnormalities (real causes of disease).
In parallel, from the clinical perspective, patients have continued to be classified and studied in a very standardized fashion at the population level, primarily based on disease symptoms and on disease characterizations from literally decades ago. These inclusive definitions of disease not only obscure important differences among individuals with common clinical presentations, but completely ignore underlying disease and/or toxicity mechanisms which can be extremely varied across populations. But how to fix the current situation? To develop products that would actually alter the regulatory control mechanisms of disease, not just their symptoms, and do it on a personalized basis, would require biopharmaceuticals that look and act very different from toady’s marketed drug products. Enter Mr. Pastor’s new company – Bioquark Inc.was set up to focus on the problem from a different angle. The company’s research program is focused on the development and commercialization of a novel range of biologic based products that have the ability to alter the actual biological regulatory state of human tissues and organs, with the goal of affecting actual cures across a wide range of diseases that have for the most part been considered “un-curable”. The biologic regulatory states of our cells, tissues and organs represent the central control processes behind our health (as well as our unfortunate transition towards disease, degeneration and aging). As such, the company’s core program focuses on developing a novel class of substances termed combinatorial biologics, which take a unique approach to reversing underlying disease, degeneration or aging processes, as opposed to affecting the symptoms of such conditions, as most marketed pharmaceutical products currently do today.
Published on Jul 22, 2014