Dr. Michael D. West has more than 30 years of operational experience in biotechnology, focusing on the invention of novel platform technologies targeting aging and related drug development. He is Chief Executive Officer of AgeX Therapeutics and Reverse Bioengineering, Inc. AgeX and its subsidiaries are focused primarily on developing therapeutics for medical conditions related to human aging. He received his Ph.D. from Baylor College of Medicine in 1989 concentrating on the biology of cell senescence. He has focused his academic and business career on the application of developmental biology to the age-related degenerative disease. He was the founder and first CEO of Geron Corporation of Menlo Park, California and from 1992 to 1998 he was variously, CEO, director, and vice president, where he initiated and managed programs in telomerase diagnostics, telomerase inhibition as anti-tumor therapy, and the cloning and use of telomerase in telomerase-mediated therapy wherein telomerase is utilized to immortalize human cells. From 1995 to 1998 while at Geron he organized and managed the research collaboration between the company and its academic collaborators James Thomson and John Gearhart that led to the first isolation of human pluripotent stem cells.
From 1998 to 2007 he held positions as CEO, president, and chief scientific officer at Advanced Cell Technology, Inc., which was eventually acquired by Astellas Pharma, Inc. At ACT he managed programs in reprogramming developmental aging using nuclear transfer, retinal differentiation, and PureStem, a technology for the derivation of diverse human progenitor cell lines. From 2007 to 2018 he was a CEO of Lineage Cell Therapeutics (previously known as BioTime, Inc.), where he led efforts to acquire Geron’s stem cell assets initially residing in Asterias Biotherapeutics. During his tenure at BioTime/Lineage, he led in the development of OpRegen for age-related macular degeneration (later acquired by Roche/Genentech for $620 million), Renevia, a matrix for lipotransfer now approved for use in Europe, OPC-1 for the treatment of spinal cord injury, VAC-2, a human ES cell-derived dendritic cell vaccine targeting telomerase in lung cancer, and diverse novel preclinical programs in orthopedics and other applications in regenerative medicine.
At AgeX Therapeutics, he currently leads preclinical-stage programs in metabolic and vascular aging. At Reverse Bio he leads programs in the systemic delivery of age-reprogramming factors to induced Tissue Regeneration (iTR) and the specific targeting of cancer using genes specific to early developmental cells and cancer. He is an inventor of more than 300 patents and patent applications worldwide.