"The process of aging may be the process behind disease," said Hal Barron, Calico's head of research and development, who recently was hired away from Genentech Inc. by former boss Art Levinson.
Intervening in the underlying biology of disease can prevent certain diseases and, as a result, delay death, said Barron, the chief medical officer at South San Francisco-based Genentech, at an Xconomy forum Monday.
That may seem like a big "Duh!" but the idea of delaying or stopping a disease at the point where the move adds years to a person's life — rather than treating a disease and adding a few months of life — is the ultimate disruptive technology. In the three months since Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Levinson publicly launched Calico, the effort has ignited the imagination of researchers and the general public.