Metformin is a drug that is used to treat Type 2 Diabetes; it increases sensitivity to insulin by making the liver produce less glucose. For over 60 years, this drug has been used safely by diabetes patients. Now scientists are hoping that metformin will help slow the aging process and keep people healthier for longer.
Tests have been run on worms and mice that have revealed metformin increases lifespan and delays onset of deadly diseases.
A group of scientists are going to meet the FDA and ask permission for a clinical trial called Targeting Aging with Metformin (TAME). If they succeed, the drug will be given to 3,000 elderly people who have or are at a high risk of getting diseases like cancer, heart disease, or cognitive problems. Metformin is already a popular drug because it has few serious side effects.
If the clinical trial works, these elderly people will have lengthier lifespans and will have delayed getting aging-related diseases.
If the trial, which will last 5 to 7 years, succeeds, the researchers will have discovered an official anti-aging drug. Dr Nir Barzilai said in the journal ‘Nature’, “What we want to show is that if we delay ageing, that’s the best way to delay disease.” The scientists are not looking at delivering immortality but are treating aging like a disease of its own.
The only problem is that the trial will cost $50 million and it will be hard to raise the funds as the drug is not under patent anymore.