Nathaniel “Ned” David, the co-founder and president of Unity Biotechnology (UBX), is one of biotech’s big idea guys. Before starting Unity in 2011, David founded four other companies that raised $1.5 billion in financing and now employ 400 people. The idea behind Unity is particularly vast: The company is targeting the science around aging, and all the diseases that can result from it.
Its first studies, due to read out over the next few years, are in arthritis and eye diseases like glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. The goal, David says, is not to extend life, but to increase “healthspan,” the length of time during which people are healthy.