The necessarily cautious FDA has just approved the first human trial of anti aging effects of a medicine! The trial will be called TAME, Targeting Ageing with Metformin.

Within the evolution of aging research and therapeutic development the last number of years have been very significant.

The door was open a little two years ago, from the fringe and radical (even if founded on logical), by the investment of Google in their new Calico organisation. Life Extension or anti-ageing therapies became acceptable conversation.

The door was further opened by a general plethora of media coverage in the intervening period. Now this headline seems to be another important step to a very near future where big pharma as well as the giant futurist companies like Google and Facebook enter into what may well be the world’s largest industry, very quickly. The goalposts of this topic are doing laps of the field now.

This is unlikely to be an event like Jonas Salk’s Polio vaccine, there will not be an announcement of the ‘defeat’ of aging. What will most likely happen is a gradual reduction of the accumulate damage and pathologies of old age. This is likely to be a gradual extension with the need being for those aged already that the extension they get will allow them to receive the coming iterations of treatment in a race to stay ahead of the heretofore inevitable.

When this race is won is very much open for debate, though best estimates have been rapidly reducing in duration in recent years. However, in some slight symbolic sense the race has just begun.

Needless to say the implications are awesome and need much thought from society at large, planning and collaboration internationally at a level that we haven’t achieved yet will be required.

And this possibility for the most basic human right of life cannot become a commodity, nor, indeed, does it need to. This is something this website will deal with continuously. But for now we should celebrate this milestone, and maybe a nice additional note is that the company that received FDA approval, and is funding the €50 million trial, American Federation for Aging Research, is…. a nonprofit.

Martin O'Dea

About Martin O'Dea

Martin O’Dea lives in Dublin, Ireland. His interests and writings are varied and include areas relating to human development through technological and biological advances, as well as the economics and politics of rapid technological advance. His first novel is 'Beyond the Subjectivity Trap'.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments