November 8th, 2008at 02:17pm Posted by Eli

Technically, they’re ordinary lab mice, but the wonder drug makes them uber:

Eat more than you should. Stay skinny. Run twice as far. Those are the big claims coming from a new drug study from Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Cambridge, Mass. This latest study clears the way for human clinical trials of SRT1720, often touted as an “anti-aging pill.”

SRT1720 activates the same receptor as the much-discussed resveratrol, the chemical in red wine that may slow some effects of aging. Both resveratrol and SRT1720 are being tested as a way to treat type-two diabetes first, and possibly other age-related diseases, later.


After 15 weeks of eating the high-calorie diet, the control mice gained significant weight. The mice taking 500 mg of the drug, however, gained no weight. The cholesterol levels of the mice on the drug also improved.

The animals’ exercise habits were also recorded. Mice without SRT1720 ran for roughly half a mile. Mice given 100 mg ran roughly seven-tenths of a mile. And mice on 500 mg of SRT1720 were able to run a full mile, twice the distance of untreated mice.


The new study echoes results published earlier in Nature with resveratrol, the chemical in red wine that led to much discussion about the “French paradox,” the seeming ability of French people to eat high-calorie meals, with a glass of red wine, and remain thin. (To get the levels in the study, a person would have to drink dozens of bottles a day.)

SRT1720 is about 1,000 times more powerful that resveratrol, say the researchers. The two chemicals are not related structurally, but both influence the same chemical pathway in the body — in particular, a type of receptor called SIRT1.


The SIRT1 receptor is also activated during caloric restriction diets, which have been shown to lengthen life span in multiple animal models, and during exercise.

Um, hey, if they need any subjects for human trials…

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Science

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