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商业 - 科技

谷歌成立新公司向衰老宣战

Dan Primack 2013年09月23日

昨天有一个消息比苹果发布iOS7系统还要重大:谷歌成立了一家生物公司,专门研究抗衰老。也就是说,谷歌正式向死亡宣战。不过,在消息宣布之前,包括业内人士在内,没有一个人听到过一丝风声。不过,《财富》还是掌握了一些蛛丝马迹,或许能够帮助大家拨开迷雾。

    昨天的重磅科技新闻【甚至超过了苹果(Apple)发布iOS7系统】实际上是一则生物技术新闻,只不过因为它牵涉到了谷歌(Google)。这则消息是,谷歌这家搜索巨头宣布成立Calico,一家“关注健康和幸福,尤其向人类衰老和疾病有关的研发领域提出挑战的全新公司”。

    或者,就如《时代》(Time )周刊所言:谷歌对抗死亡。

    Calico首席执行官阿特•莱文森曾担任Genentech的首席执行官,他也将留下继续担任Genentech和苹果两家公司的主席(和Genentech母公司Hoffmann-La Roche的主管)。大家也许还能想起,莱文森之前曾是谷歌董事会的成员,之后意识到这与他在苹果所扮演的角色发生了利益冲突,于是辞职。

    除了上面这些信息之外,谷歌和莱文森并没有任何其他有关Calico的内容。甚至在《时代》的文章中也没有更多的细节。不过下面这些线索或许可以帮助大家拨开迷雾。

    1. 这是一家独立公司,不是谷歌的子公司,也不是它的分支机构。

    2. 为这家公司进行初期投资的是谷歌而不是谷歌风投(Google Ventures)(尽管谷歌风投的合伙人比尔•马里斯为构思这个概念的雏形立下了汗马功劳)。目前尚没有任何美国证券交易委员会(SEC)的文档,不过预计初期投资的费用以千万美元计。

    3. 尽管风投公司凯鹏华盈(Kleiner Perkins)曾经对谷歌和Genetech进行了初期投资,但这次却没有参与投资Calico。

    4. 我也接触了其他几家顶级的生命科学风投公司,没有一家在昨天的声明之前听说过Calico。医疗业的猎头公司也一样。换句话说,他们一直在隐瞒消息,憋着股劲要让人大吃一惊呢。

    5. 我还联系了一些制药行业的从业人员,他们都谈了自己的猜测。下面是我发现的最有趣的的回答(当然,这个聪明的制药公司员工也没听说过Calico)。

    “我要说,阿特在生物技术和基因癌症治疗上的背景意味着他可能会专注于研究确定细胞在分子层面/驱动/信号上的老化,寻求针对这些方面的介入疗法。如果真的是这样,与20世纪80年代肿瘤学领域类似的情形(完全开放、不讲策略、没有领袖,“真正”的科学家和大多数投资者都绕着走)将会重现。”

    6. “Calico”显然是加利福尼亚生命公司(California Life Company)的简称,不过迄今为止在加利福尼亚州和特拉华州都还没有已经公布的公司文件。(财富中文网)

    译者:严匡正

    

    Yesterday's big tech story (beyond Apple's iOS7 release) was actually a biotech story, but only because Google (GOOG) was involved. The search giant announced that it has launched Calico, a "new company that will focus on health and well-being, in particular the challenge of aging and associated diseases."

    Or, as Time magazine put it: Google vs. Death.

    Calico's CEO is ex-Genentech CEO Art Levinson, who will remain chairman of Genentech (plus a director of parent company Hoffmann-La Roche) and chairman of Apple (AAPL) . You may recall that Levinson also used to be on the Google board, before being leaving due to perceived conflicts of interest with his Apple role.

    Beyond the above information, neither Google nor Levinsohn is actually saying anything about Calico. And there aren't even additional details in the Time story. So here are a few tiny nuggets to begin moving things along:

    1. This is an independent company, not a subsidiary or affiliate of Google.

    2. Google corporate is making the initial investment, not Google Ventures (even though Google Ventures partner Bill Maris Maris was instrumental in the original brainstorming). There are not yet any SEC filings, but expect that the initial investment is in the tens of millions of dollars.

    3. Venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins is not an investor in Calico, despite being the first money into both Google and Genentech.

    4. I've also reached out to several other top life sciences VCs, none of whom had heard about Calico before yesterday's announcement. Same goes for some healthcare industry headhunters. In other words, this has legitimately taken folks by surprise.

    5. I also contacted a handful of pharma folks, each of whom offered what they admitted to be uninformed speculation. Here was the response I found most interesting (again – smart pharma guy who doesn't know Calico):

    "I'd say that Art's background in biotech and gene-driven cancer therapies would mean he'd be likely focusing on identifying the molecular aspects/drivers/signals of cellular aging and looking at interventional therapies targeting those targets. If true, this would be similar to how the oncology field was in the 1980s (wide open, no strategy, no leader, shunned by "real" scientists and most investors)."

    6. "Calico" is apparently shorthand for California Life Company, but so far there are no publicly-available incorporation documents in either California or Delaware.

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