The red wine cure, now in a pill

What excites people like Fierce Biotech is the possibility that sirtuins can actually reverse aging, not just act against specific diseases. Sinclair told Charlie Rose they enable a regimen called calorie restriction which has worked to retard aging in every species it has been tested on.

surtuins from simplyantiaging.comAre sirtuins the fountain of youth?

David Sinclair of Harvard and Leonard Guarente of MIT think so.

The latter has joined the former's Sitris Pharmaceuticals, alongside venture capitalist Christoph Westphal, and Nature now has some favorable results on their drug SRT1720.

It's the red wine cure again. (Picture from Simply Anti-aging.com.)

SRT1720 revs up an enzyme controlling metabolism called Sirt1, much like resveratrol, a chemical component in red wine. Tests on rodents show it lowering blood sugar, and restoring insulin sensitivity, with few side effects.

Human studies are planned for early next year.

This is big news for Sitris, which went public in May but was called busted in July for being speculative. The price fell in early trade today, but the market cap is still over $500 million.

What excites people like Fierce Biotech is the possibility that sirtuins can actually reverse aging, not just act against specific diseases. Sinclair told Charlie Rose they enable a regimen called calorie restriction which has worked to retard aging in every species it has been tested on.

Sounds too good to be true, especially the red wine angle. But as Sinclair told The Boston Globe, "These are real drugs. This is not something out of red wine anymore."

All the company's founders are considered serious as a heart attack, not a quack in the bunch.

Westphal chairs IDG Ventures' Life Sciences Advisory Board, has an M.D. from Harvard and says his biggest regret was spending "too much time in school." Mental bandwidth out the wazoo, in other words.

Now if they had a drug that would give me mental bandwidth out the wazoo, I'd be on that in a New York minute.

  

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