In May, many companies and researchers gathered at the Undoing Aging conference in Berlin to share their work in the anti-aging field. Biotech News spoke with some of them to find out how close these anti-aging treatments are to becoming a reality.
Anti-aging has recently begun attracting big investments, with giant companies getting involved. Google, for example, has poured money into the US biotech Calico to develop anti-aging treatments. The US company Unity Biotechnology includes the US Mayo Clinic and the CEO of Amazon amongst its investors. “Investor interest in anti-aging has already plateaued,” Timothy Cash, CSO of Senolytx, said. “I would say I can’t see it getting any higher. I think it’s at its peak now.”
That said, targeting aging is currently difficult because it’s not an official disease according to the EMA and FDA. Instead, companies are limited to targeting a specific age-related disease each time with these treatments. The American Federation for Aging Research aims to buck this trend with a planned clinical trial testing the effect of the approved diabetes drug metformin on multiple age-related conditions instead of just one.
Cash believes that it’s time to change the public consciousness to accept the aging process as an official target for drug development. “Maybe in the future, once we have motivated the FDA and EMA to start considering aging as an indication, then we can use these molecules that we’ve found for age-related diseases for aging in general,” he explained.
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