The Speculist: Anti-Aging Drug Going into Human Trials


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Anti-Aging Drug Going into Human Trials

Back in 2004 I predicted that we'd have life extension by 2014. I have on several occasions reaffirmed this prediction. Last year I added:

This idea - that progress in life extension science continues regardless of its description - is part of the reasoning behind my prediction that we will have some form of life extension by 2014. Perhaps I should modify this prediction to say that it will be an off-label treatment - something gerontologists know extends life, but won't publicly admit extends life.

I was responding to the timidness of some gerontologists to admit that the they are engaged in life extension science. But there's more than timidness at work here. Life extension will, I think, turn out that the best treatment for a host of diseases. What physical problem would not benefit from a younger biochemistry?

Phil said in our most recent FastForward Radio show that solutions for diseases will "come along for the ride" when we get life extension. It could also work the other way around. Especially with the earliest incarnations, life extension could come along for the ride while we are searching for treatments for specific diseases. Case in point:

Human clinical trials to test [SIRT1 activating] compounds in diabetes are slated to begin early next year, according to Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, based in Cambridge, MA, which developed the drugs. "As far as I'm aware, this is the first anti-aging molecule going into [testing in] man," says David Sinclair, a biologist at Harvard Medical School, in Boston, and cofounder of Sirtris. "From that standpoint, this is a major milestone in medicine."

If these trials prove this drug to be effective, it will be marketed as a drug for diabetics and people who are at risk of diabetes. But the truth is that it could be good for everybody because it will duplicate the chemistry of caloric restriction for those of us who would perfer not to live on starvation rations.

For several years, scientists have been on the hunt for a drug that could bring the benefits of caloric restriction without the strict diet. Last fall, Sinclair and his colleagues took a first step when they showed that mice given resveratrol, a molecule that activates SIRT1, stayed healthy when fed high-fat foods. But there was a catch: mice were dosed with the human equivalent of more than 1,000 wine bottles' worth of the compound, an amount not possible for humans to imbibe or take in pill form.

Now a team at Sirtris, led by CEO Christoph Westphal, has identified a group of compounds that activate SIRT1 1,000 times more potently than resveratrol does. According to findings published today in the journal Nature, the compounds bind to the enzyme and dramatically increase its activity. Because the new compounds are more powerful, much lower doses are likely needed to achieve the same beneficial effects. "We believe doses needed in humans for the novel compounds are probably on the order of hundreds of milligrams, similar to many marketed drugs," says Westphal.


I would think that "people at risk for diabetes" is a pretty big tent. Isn't anybody who carries at least a few extra pounds at risk?

Exactly. If its proven to be safe and effective, this is a drug that could be prescribed to practically everyone.

I believe that the creation of anti-aging drugs (or any drug that makes a baby boomer better) has the potential to bring down the FDA as a viable agency. Once it becomes obvious that these compounds exist, and that the government is standing between a rich female and their desire to look/feel younger, then the black market for this compound will be huge. If a company decides to knowingly feed that market...look out.

I believe all it will take is one company to make a mint by ignoring the FDA, and everyone will follow. After all, if no one filed their tax returns - what power would the IRS have?

Donut, while I would love nothing more than to see the FDA's role reduced (from verifying "safety & effectiveness" to just "safety"), I think you're being overly optimistic. Absent "garage biotech" that allows for distributed (and off-the-radar) production of pharmaceutical compounds, the FDA would have the option of going after the producer at the source. It wouldn't be overly hard to find. It's not like tracking down every individual delinquent taxpayer.

I agree with Gramarye. This is why I think the path to life extension will be by way of a treatment for an FDA recognized illness like diabetes.

By whatever means, once the public gets a taste of real life extension, the dynamics will change.

I am not sure about red wine but a friend of mine told me that he had started taking resveratrol based on a doctors suggestion about six weeks ago. My friend was experiencing chronic fatigue
and was having trouble sleeping. I asked him how it was working out and he said that he was taking a type of resveratrol called biotivia transmax and that after two weeks the results were subtle but undeniable. He said that he had more energy during the day, had a reduced appetite and was more alert throughout the day and was sleeping less but waking up more refreshed. So based on his experience I decided to give it a try. I have had similiar results after just one week. It is only recently that I have heard about it anti-aging benefits.
There is something to this resveratrol, I have no idea if I will live longer but I can tell you that I am living better now.

Come on Dave, you can't just leave it at that, is biotivia transmax a prescription formulation or OTC, and under what brand/name in either case.

I'm sure you read Donut's comment upthread; don't make me go all thru the FDA at you. :)

I just recently (two nights ago) found out I have high blood pressure to the degree I now take pills daily. I'm certain this is related to my present weight, so any guidance would be much appreciated.

What are the dosages used with the biotivia transmax?

Just be wary that, without proper FDA approvals, this could turn out to be this century's Radium Water.

Personally I am waiting impatiently for either the connection of the cerebral cortex to the Internet or the amazing humanoid robot bodies. I'm not picky. I think that life as a disembodied brain in a vat of fluid would be fine as long as I was sensorily connected to the entire world. But existing as a brain implanted in a humanoid robot body would also be cool. Just as long as they develop the err naughty bits too.

Oh, Good gald to see your views about resveratrol.I'm also looking for resveratrol supplements. I found a lots of websites online.
and i have read some other idea about resveratrol-anti-aging: , are they true or not?
Anyway, I'll try resveratrol soon.

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