As this "gray wave" matures the need for better treatments for the myriad health problems that often accompany old age only grows stronger.
And while no one has discovered a cure for Alzheimer's, cancer, Parkinson's or other ailments that come along with old age, several biotech companies are racing to cure a long list of diseases and disorders.
The prospects are certainly daunting, but the possibilities in the biotech field are literally endless-for patients and investors alike.
With that in mind, here are six biotech companies that are working on radical and revolutionary drugs.
From A TO Z: Investing in Biotech StocksAlexion Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ALXN) is a biotech company that engages in the innovation, development and commercialization of therapeutic products for treating patients with ultra-rare and severe disorders around the globe. The Connecticut-based business focuses on developing products for the treatment of diseases in hematology, nephrology, neurology, metabolic disorders, oncology and ophthalmology.
Unlike scores of other biotech companies, Alexion boasts a strong growth trend and has plenty of cash to fund its research and development.
Most recently, the cutting-edge company received FDA and European Commission approval on its marquee drug called Soliris. Developed for the treatment of a blood disorder called atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), Soliris sales have been growing at a 45% compounded annual growth rate.
Biogen Idec Inc. (Nasdaq: BIIB) works in the worldwide discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, hemophilia and autoimmune disorders. Its key product is AVONEX for the treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS).
The company continues to advance and improve therapies for MS which afflicts roughly 400,000 in the U.S. and 2.5 million worldwide. Every week, 200 people are diagnosed with the neurological disease in America. Its MS drug Tysabri, marketed in conjunction with Irish pharmaceutical company Elan (NYSE: ELN) had sales of $1.5 billion in 2011.