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May 11, 2010

Anti-aging drugs could be available within 2 years

An expert has claimed that a radical new class of anti-aging drugs that may extend life well beyond 100 could be available within as little as two years.
Anti-aging drugsProfessor Nir Barzilai, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, said treatments developed for heart disease, diabetes, cancer & Alzheimer's could be used to tackle the many causes of unhealthy aging, such as metabolic problems, cell-death, inflamation and cholesterol.The claim reflects his own work to identify genetic traits that predispose some towards a "ripe old age".

"Pharmaceutical companies are developing these drugs now. They will probably be available for testing from 2012", said Prof Barzilai, speaking at the Royal Society in London for a discussion meeting on the science of aging.

Among the substances being looked at are sirtuins, a family of enzymes associated with a range of age-related diseases including type 2 diabetes & cancers, & another enzyme called cholesterol ester transfer protein which affects levels of "good" cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein.

GlaxoSmithKline, the UK's biggest pharmaceutical company, Merck & Co & Roche 've launched research & drug development programmes into the drugs, with results expected in the coming years. Smaller companies, such as Massachusetts-based Proteostasis, are investigating other pathways involving the cell-growth chemical insulin-like growth factor-1.

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