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IT sounds too good to be true, but a respected Australian scientist believes he has invented a new class of superdrug that could prevent cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
What's more, Professor David Sinclair says his drugs have the potential to help some people enjoy a healthy life until the age of 150. However, this needs further research.
"My research has been criticised because it sounds too good to be true. This paper shows it is true," he says in a telephone interview from Harvard Medical School, where he is based.
Prof Sinclair's drugs target the enzyme SIRT1, which is switched on naturally by calorie restriction and exercise, but it can also be enhanced through activators such as resveratrol in red wine.
He and his colleagues have developed 4000 synthetic activators. Each one is 100 times more potent than a glass of red wine and the best three are the ones in human trials.
"Our drugs can mimic the benefits of a healthy diet and exercise, but there is no impact on weight," says Prof Sinclair, who suggests the first medicine to be marketed could be for diabetes in about five years.
"We can look at 10,000 people and see if they are healthier and living longer than the general population."
In animal tests, overweight mice given synthetic resveratrol were able to run twice as far as slim mice and they lived 15 per cent longer.
David A. Sinclair is a biologist best known for his research on the biology of lifespan extension and driving research towards treating diseases of aging.
Sinclair is Professor of Pathology and Co-Director of the Paul F. Glenn Laboratories for the Biological Mechanisms of Aging at Harvard Medical School. Sinclair obtained a Bachelors of Science (Honors Class I) at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, and received the Australian Commonwealth Prize. In 1995, he received a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at MIT with Leonard Guarente before being recruited in 1999 to Harvard Medical School.
Originally posted by nomnom
Even if it's a ridiculous cost initially, more of these class of drugs will compete and the price will end up dropping into the hands of many more. I just hit 30 and would like to start taking something for life extension before 40.