Pills that can help a person reverse the effects of aging could be on the market in the next five years, according to an expert.
Sam Altman, 37, was revealed to have funded biotech startup Retro BioScience to the tune of $180million last month. He is the latest in a long line of Silicon Valley billionaires to throw their considerable wealth behind the science of aging.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is reported to have invested $3billion in life-extension startup Altos Labs. PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel invested in the Methuselah Foundation, which has the goal of making ’90 the new 50′.
With all these resources being thrown at curing aging, Andrew Steele, the author of the 2020 book ‘Ageless: The new science of getting older without getting old’, believes pills to prevent aging may be on pharmacy shelves within five years.
He points to existing medications — such as the diabetes tablet metformin – that could be retooled as anti-aging treatments in the ‘very, very near term’.
Steele said: ‘With these billionaires, I’m sure some of them are doing it purely for personal gain — they’ve got all this money and they can’t possibly spend it in a single human lifetime.
‘But… if you’re a savvy investor, you can see that anti-aging medication is a huge business opportunity because the potential market is every living human.
‘I think it’s going to be the biggest revolution in medicine since the discovery of antibiotics — and as a savvy business person, you want to be on the leading edge of that revolution.’
While aging does not directly kill people, older people are at risk of many deadly diseases such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease and cancer.
Around 100,000 people die from age-related diseases every day, according to the World Health Organization.
Mr Steele says: ‘Aging is the greatest humanitarian challenge of all time.
There are ’20 to 30’ companies developing new drugs known as ‘senolytics’ which kill aging cells in the body, he explained.
In mice, these drugs cause elderly animals to become lively and healthy suddenly.
Read More: Expert: Anti-Aging Pills To Hit Shelves In 2028