17 September 2015

Scientists are preparing for the first clinical trials of the geroprotector

Science: doctors from the USA will test the "longevity vaccine" on a person

RIA Novosti (ask them why they called the good old metformin vaccine – VM).

Doctors from the Albert Einstein College announced the possible start of clinical trials of a drug that should slow down the aging of the human body, preliminary approval for the verification of which scientists have received from the US supervisory authorities, the news service of the journal Science (The man who wants to beat back aging – VM) reports.

"We have never claimed and are not saying that we are going to artificially add years of life to the period that a person should live. But still, if our experiments are successful, then we will most likely be able to live a little longer than usual, but this is not the primary goal of these experiments. Our task is to extend the term of a healthy and fulfilling life," said Jay Olshansky from the University of Illinois (USA).

As Nir Barzilai from Albert Einstein College in New York (USA) told Science, his research group will soon begin a large-scale experiment in which three thousand elderly volunteers will take metformin, a diabetes drug that has prolonged the life of rodents by 5-6% in experiments that their colleagues conducted for two years go back.

This was due to the fact that this drug changes the work of mitochondria, which put them into an energy-saving mode and forced them to oxidize fats more actively. Thanks to this, mice on a medicinal diet suffered less from obesity, cataracts of the eye and felt better in the last months of life than their relatives from the control group. In general, the effect of metformin on the body was similar to those processes that occur when eating a low-calorie diet.

As Barzilai explains, metformin, despite its relatively weak effect, has one key advantage – it has been very well studied in the last 30 years, is absolutely safe for the human body and will not kill it if you take this drug in the wrong dose. According to the scientist, he himself has been using this medicine for more than five years, which doctors prescribed to him after Barzilai developed a prediabetic condition.

These facts and other arguments of Barzilai convinced officials from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow his team, as an exception, to conduct this experiment, despite the fact that it violates the main rule of the FDA – every medical experience should have been aimed at treating one specific disease. Aging and senility, as the researchers explain, are not considered a disease.

So far, as the FDA told Science, this permission is fundamental, but not formal, and doctors have yet to modify the procedure for conducting the experiment so that it complies with all management standards. Nevertheless, Barilzai, Olshansky and their colleagues are confident that they have managed to secure the consent of medical officials.

Now scientists are raising funds to conduct such large-scale clinical trials. According to their estimates, their organization will require from 30 to 70 million dollars, and a number of private investors have already shown interest in this experiment. As biologists hope, after the final approval, the US state scientific foundations can join the project.

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