Anti-aging pill to undergo more testing in US

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Anti-aging pill to undergo more testing in US

Related tags Anti-aging skin care Gerontology Senescence Ageing

In laboratory testing, an FDA-approved diabetes drug has been shown to extend life and prevent wrinkles; upcoming clinical trials will look explicitly at the pill’s potential to stave off the effects of aging in humans.

Consumer-facing media of every ilk are picking up the story of Metformin, as quality of life and wellness issues are very relevant topics.

More importantly, publications that devote a fair amount of editorial and ad space to beauty are covering this. Renee Jacques, associate digital editor, of Allure.com ran an item this weekend titled, Could This Drug Prevent Wrinkles?

It just goes to show that beauty consumers trust science more than ever and many may be ready to believe in an anti-aging panacea.

Beauty of life

The Allure item foregrounds Belgian findings, which indicate that Metformin “also seems to slow down the aging process at the cellular level.”

It continues with these details, sure to pique the interest of anti-aging skin care consumers: “When researchers in Belgium tested the drug on roundworms, they aged more slowly, stayed healthier longer, and (yep) didn't develop wrinkles.”

Quality of life

Scientists researching the effects of Metformin are considering it, not as a treatment or prevention for any singular condition or illness, but rather as an approach to delay comorbidities, the ailments of aging as a whole.

“In our mind, in my mind, aging is not a disease,” ​says Nir Barzilai, who works with centenarians at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York. (His comments come from a meeting of scientists preparing to meet with the FDA, as quoted in a Science Magazine feature piece.)

“It’s, you know, humanity! You’re born, you die, you age in between … I’m kind of saying, ‘I don’t care what they want to call it, if I can delay it,’” ​Barzilai adds.

At that same meeting, S. Jay Olshansky of the University of Illinois, Chicago, explained further, “the goal is the extension of the period of healthy life.”

Testing in real life

US clinical trials will begin about a year from now to determine it Metformin can have the same effect limiting comorbidities in humans as it does in lab creatures.

The TAME trial—Targeting Aging with Metformin—is in the funding stage now: “Scientists from a range of institutions are currently raising funds and recruiting 3,000 70 to 80 year olds who have, or are risk of, cancer, heart disease and dementia. They are hoping to show that drug slows the ageing process and stops disease,” ​according to Sarah Knapton, science editor for The Telegraph.

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