First anti-aging pills to hit shelves in 2028, expert predicts


Pills that could help a person reverse the effects of aging could hit the market in the next five years, according to an expert.

Sam Altman, 37, was revealed to have funded biotech startup Retro BioScience last month to the tune of $180 million. He is the latest in a long line of Silicon Valley billionaires to throw their considerable wealth behind the science of aging.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has reportedly invested $3 billion in life-extending startup Altos Labs. PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel invested in the Methuselah Foundation, which aims to make ’90 the new 50′.

With all these resources being used to cure aging, Andrew Steele, the author of the 2020 book “Ageless: The new science of getting old without getting old,” believes that pills to prevent aging could be in pharmacies within five years. lie.

He points to existing drugs – such as the diabetes tablet metformin – that could be adapted as anti-aging treatments in the “very, very short term.”

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos funded Atlos Labs and its life extension research for $3 billion

Sam Altman (left), founder of ChatGPT maker OpenAI, has invested in a life-extending biotech. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (right) funded Atlos Labs and its life extension research for $3 billion

Tech billionaire Peter Thiel invested in the Methuselah Foundation, hoping to surpass the average person's lifespan

Tech billionaire Peter Thiel invested in the Methuselah Foundation, hoping to surpass the average person’s lifespan

Steele said, “With these billionaires, I’m sure some are doing it purely for personal gain – they have all this money and they can’t possibly spend it in a lifetime.

“But…if you’re a savvy investor, you can see that anti-aging medication is a huge business opportunity because the potential market is every human being alive.

“I think it’s going to be the biggest revolution in medicine since the discovery of antibiotics – and as a shrewd businessman you want to be at the forefront of that revolution.”

While aging doesn’t kill people directly, older people are at risk for many deadly diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and cancer.

According to the World Health Organization, about 100,000 people die every day from age-related diseases.

Mr Steele says: ‘Aging is the greatest humanitarian challenge of all time.

There are “20 to 30” companies developing new drugs called “senolytics” that kill aging cells in the body, he explained.

In mice, these drugs cause older animals to suddenly become lively and healthy.

“Many of these drugs are drugs that we already understand and use for different purposes, so we don’t need to develop new drugs,” Mr Steele said.

An example of a senolytic treatment is the combination of datasinib, used for chemotherapy, and quercetin, a molecule found in fruits and vegetables.

When used together, they remove senescent ‘senescent’ cells responsible for many of the problems associated with aging.

Another possible common anti-aging drug is metformin. The drug was first approved in 1994 for type 2 diabetes and has been proven to extend life by improving blood vessel health.

“Some of those companies are trying to develop new and more effective drugs that could do the same thing better,” said the author.

“That’s the kind of thing that’s very, very close to clinical realization. And I would be shocked if we don’t have senolytics in the clinic in five years.

“It probably won’t be to get older at first. It’ll be for a specific disease — and maybe we’ll use it for aging in 10 years.

“These things are very, very close.”

Jeff Bezos’ investment in Altos Labs — the largest biotechnology company launch of all time — has come a long way, Steele believes.

Dr.  Andrew Steele is the author of Ageless, a new book on life extension (Tran Nguyen)

Dr. Andrew Steele is the author of Ageless, a new book on life extension (Tran Nguyen)

The company specializes in finding and developing cell therapies that can halt and ultimately reverse the aging process.

Mr Steele says: ‘This relies on a process called cellular reprogramming. It’s been shown to work on cells in a dish, and there’s some evidence that it works in mice — but it’s an incredibly complicated piece of science.

“It’s like science seems to have fallen through a wormhole from the future — and even if it works, will we have the biologically applied understanding in the 2020s to turn that into a workable treatment?”

When Altos Labs was announced, Elon Musk joked about the Amazon mogul on Twitter, “If it doesn’t work, he sues for death!”

Launching labs in America and Cambridge, the company is known for paying scientists poached from the world’s top universities salaries of up to a million dollars a year.

Steele says realistically, any treatments we’re likely to see in the near term will extend the “health span” by targeting age-related diseases — delaying the onset of problems like dementia.

Dr. Cathy Slack, a biologist from the University of Aston, in the UK, agrees, telling ‘The aim is to increase the number of years of healthy longevity rather than the late life stage of ill health. extend.’

She said there are now “many” published studies showing that genetic or environmental changes can extend a healthy lifespan.

She says: ‘Many of the biological systems that have been shown to play a role in healthy aging in these animal models are also present in humans and perform similar functions – so there is every reason to believe that the same processes are influencing on human aging. .

“The ultimate goal is really to try and manipulate these systems during aging to maintain health and quality of life.”

Dr. Slack believes that successful treatments are likely to be a combination of medications and lifestyle changes — and a holistic look at all the diseases that affect people later in life.

She says: ‘Historically, we have viewed the various diseases associated with older age as separate entities – so research has tended to focus on each rather than looking at them more holistically together as a direct result of biological aging.

“We already know that there are lifestyle changes that will help maintain multiple aspects of health as we age.

‘Exercise, for example. But supplementation with drugs that target multiple physiological parameters of aging can have a huge impact on the quality of life of older adults.’