Sirtris and SRT501

From the MIT Technology Review, an update on progress at Sirtris Pharmaceuticals. The company continues to push forward with the next compound based on their research into sirtuins and calorie restriction biochemistry: "the drug, SRT501, reduces glucose and improves insulin sensitivity in animal and in vitro studies of the drug's effect on type 2 diabetes. In people, the drug was tested for dose, safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics--that is, how well the drug was absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and removed from the body. Phase 1b trials are already under way to test safety and pharmacokinetics on patients with type 2 diabetes. Later-phase trials will test to see if the drug actually works in diabetics. SRT501 is a proprietary chemical developed by Sirtris that's based on the naturally occurring resveratrol that company cofounder David Sinclair of Harvard University has been studying for its effects in extending life span in a number of organisms, including yeast, flies, and mice." The regulatory pipeline is painfully slow and expensive, and forces incrementalism while preventing bold strokes. So we get drugs to gently tweak metabolism to slow aging a little rather than, say, attempts to replace damaged mitochondrial DNA in humans in order to repair an aspect of aging - and those drugs are relegated to patching up a disease rather than attacking the aging process.


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