Which Anti-Aging Drugs Are Being Tested in Humans?

Metformin: this FDA-approved drug has been used successfully to treat diabetes for more than 60 years. Studies have already shown that metformin can delay aging in animals. Metformin is the focus of the Targeting Aging with Metformin (TAME) trial and the Metformin in Longevity Study (MILES). However, several clinical trials have already demonstrated that metformin negatively impacts muscle in response to resistance training in healthy older individuals, such as the Metformin to Augment Strength Training Effective Response in Seniors (MASTERS) study.

Rapamycin: this FDA-approved drug is labeled as an immunosuppressant and used to treat kidney transplant patients. AgelessRx, in affiliation with the University of California, is launching a formalized scientific study to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of Rapamycin in healthy adults for longevity. The Participatory Evaluation of Aging with Rapamycin for Longevity (PEARL) study is a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Rapamycin showed positive effects on skin aging when applied as a cream, but there is minimal information on the long term oral administration of rapamycin in humans.

NAD+ Precursors: various NAD+ precursor molecules, such as NMN, are actively being tested in clinical studies. Some clinical studies are still establishing the dosing and safety parameters for NAD+ precursors, while others have moved ahead to looking at the effect of these compounds on aging. For example, NMN is being evaluated as an anti-aging supplement in middle-aged and older (40-65 Years) adults. There have been several recent publications based on completed trials showing effects on several age-related conditions. Even the US military is testing out the effects of NMN on aging in soldiers.

Senolytics: these senescent cell targeting drugs range from being found naturally in plants (flavonoids), such as fisetin and quercetin, to being synthesized in a laboratory like dasatinib. There are currently several clinical trials being conducted on senolytics. Fisetin is being evaluated in the Alleviation by Fisetin of Frailty, Inflammation, and Related Measures in Older Adults (AFFIRM) trial, and dasatinib and quercetin in combination are being looked at in the Senolytic Therapy to Modulate the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease (SToMP-AD) Study.

For now, we will have to do a bit of waiting to see if agents targeting basic aging processes in mice translate into interventions for major chronic diseases and age-related disabilities.