Anti-ageing superdrug could help prevent cancer and Alzheimer`s
Melbourne: An 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 said that his drugs have the potential to help some people enjoy a healthy life until the age of 150. However, this needs further research.
The researcher explains how the drugs have the ability to switch on the body`s defenses against ageing, News.com.au reported.
Three of the drugs are in human trials for the treatment of specific illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease, the University of New South Wales geneticist said.
Prof Sinclair is most excited about the potential to prevent illness and hopes to prove the drugs will have a dual purpose of treating and preventing disease at the same time.
"My research has been criticised because it sounds too good to be true. This paper shows it is true," he said 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.
Prof Sinclair suggests the first medicine to be marketed could be for diabetes in about five years.
Once a significant number of people are using the drugs, it will be possible to assess other benefits.
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.
The findings are published in the journal Science.