If you need proof that anti-aging drugs are going to be serious business, you only have to look at today's purchase of Sirtris, a pharmaceutical company dedicated to researching the anti-aging benefits of restricted-calorie diets, by GlaxoSmithKline. The price of the purchase? US$720 million. And they plan to make all of that money back and a whole lot more by selling you pills to make you live to 120.
Five years ago, Sirtris president and Harvard professor David Sinclair discovered the molecule resveratrol, which targets the gene activated by restricted calorie diets and extends lifespans. Now, after research has been done on monkeys and other assorted animals, it's nearly time for clinical testing on humans.
The effects of the coming drugs won't be to extend your feeble old age so you're old and helpless for longer. Instead, they'll slow the aging process down completely.
And with every major pharmaceutical company currently pouring money into researching these genes and drugs, the competition is going to be fierce once they hit the market. As Sinclair says, " "It'll be on the market as a diabetes drug. It'll have to sell for US$3 or US$4 a pill, in order to stay competitive. And once it goes off-patent, companies will be able to make it for pennies. It'll be like aspirin."
Asprin that keeps you from getting old. Welcome to the future, friends. It's awesome. [Wired Science]