Drug Helps Obese Mice Live Longer, Human Version In Clinical Trials

Written by Timothy Ruth on Aug. 20, 2011

Researchers at the National Institute on Aging say they have found a drug to extend the lifespan of obese mice. The synthetic drug in question, SRT-1720, reportedly reduced the fat in the liver and increased sensitivity to insulin. The drug itself was developed by a pharmaceutical company in Cambridge, Massachusetts called Sirtris.

Researchers say this allowed mice to live an average 44% longer than obese mice that weren’t given the drug. However, while those mice that were given the drug had a longer overall lifespan than the obese mice that didn’t take the drug, they had a lower overall lifespan that the mice that had a “normal” weight.

Rafael D Cabo, the leader in the study said that the study demonstrates “for the first time the feasibility of designing novel molecules that are safe and effective in promoting longevity and preventing multiple age-related diseases in mammals.”

Why might this be important to us? According to the New York Times, a similar drug to SRT-1720 is currently undergoing clinical trials in humans.

An expert on aging at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, Jan Vijg, says that this is “good evidence that this compound has a positive effect on the physiology of the obsese animal” and that it is “promising for humans”.