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Scientists plan to put 'anti-ageing pill' on trial soon

16th July 2015

Science fiction

Although it may sound like something out of your favourite sci-fi film, “anti-ageing pills” are said to start their first clinical trial in the US soon. The pills contain metformin which is commonly used to treat diabetics, yet it is already known to prolong life in animals. The research has stemmed from Cardiff University, where their studies have reported that diabetic patients who took the drug lived more than 15% longer on average that a group of comparable healthy people.

The director of the Institute of Ageing Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, Nir Barzillai plans to complete the first clinical tests of the drug by trialling 3,000 non-diabetics. These patients will age from 70-80 years old and their health will be monitored for seven years to understand if it is the metformin that is increasing the lifespan. "The time has come to initiate clinical trials with the ultimate goal of increasing the health span (and perhaps longevity) of human populations," Barzilai explains, who aims to persuade the agency to see ageing as a treatable disease.

Naturally, this is going to develop into a hugely controversial topic, with many feeling it is not only unnatural but immoral. However whatever your view, it will be interesting to see the results of the clinical trial, as it could be a game-changer for generations to come.

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