A ‘Fountain Of Youth’ Pill? Sure, If You’re A Mouse.
The race for the cure to aging sparks hope and hype among top scientists — plus billions of dollars in investment.
Renowned Harvard University geneticist David Sinclair recently made a startling assertion: Scientific data shows he has knocked more than two decades off his biological age.
著名的哈佛大学遗传学家大卫 · 辛克莱尔最近做出了一个惊人的断言: 科学数据显示，他的生物年龄已经减少了二十多岁。
What’s the 49-year-old’s secret? He says his daily regimen includes ingesting a molecule his own research found improved the health and lengthened the life span of mice. Sinclair now boasts online that he has the lung capacity, cholesterol and blood pressure of a “young adult” and the “heart rate of an athlete.”
Despite his enthusiasm, published scientific research has not yet demonstrated the molecule works in humans as it does in mice. Sinclair, however, has a considerable financial stake in his claims being proven correct, and has lent his scientific prowess to commercializing possible life extension products such as molecules known as “NAD boosters.”
尽管他热情洋溢，但已发表的科学研究还没有证明这种分子在人类身上的作用和在老鼠身上的作用一样。然而，辛克莱尔的说法被证明是正确的，这与他的财务利益息息相关，他将自己的科学实力用于可能的延长生命产品的商业化，例如被称为“ NAD 助推器”的分子
His financial interests include being listed as an inventor on a patent licensed to Elysium Health, a supplement company that sells a NAD booster in pills for $60 a bottle. He’s also an investor in InsideTracker, the company that he says measured his age.
他的经济利益包括作为一名发明家被列入一项授权给 Elysium Health 的专利，这是一家补充剂公司，以每瓶60美元的价格出售一种 NAD 增效药。他还是 InsideTracker 公司的投资人，他说这家公司测量了他的年龄。
Discerning hype from reality in the longevity field has become tougher than ever as reputable scientists such as Sinclair and pre-eminent institutions like Harvard align themselves with promising but unproven interventions — and at times promote and profit from them.
Fueling the excitement, investors pour billions of dollars into the field even as many of the products already on the market face fewer regulations and therefore a lower threshold of proof.
“If you say you’re a terrific scientist and you have a treatment for aging, it gets a lot of attention,” said Jeffrey Flier, a former Harvard Medical School dean who has been critical of the hype. “There is financial incentive and inducement to overpromise before all the research is in.”
前哈佛医学院院长杰弗里 · 弗里尔(Jeffrey Flier)对这种炒作持批评态度，他说，“如果你说自己是一位了不起的科学家，而且有治疗衰老的方法，那么这种说法就会得到很多关注。”。“在进行所有研究之前，就存在着财务激励和诱因，促使人们承诺过高。”
Elysium, co-founded in 2014 by a prominent MIT scientist to commercialize the molecule nicotinamide riboside, a type of NAD booster, highlights its “exclusive” licensing agreement with Harvard and the Mayo Clinic and Sinclair’s role as an inventor. According to the company’s press release, the agreement is aimed at supplements that slow “aging and age-related diseases.”
Elysium 于2014年由麻省理工学院(MIT)的一位著名科学家联合创立，旨在将分子烟酰胺核糖侧(nicotinamide riboside)—— NAD 助推器的一种——商业化。它强调了自己与哈佛大学(Harvard)、梅奥诊所(Mayo Clinic)的“独家”许可协议。根据该公司的新闻稿，该协议的目的是为了延缓“衰老和与年龄有关的疾病”的补充剂
Further adding scientific gravitas to its brand, the website lists eight Nobel laureates and 19 other prominent scientists who sit on its scientific advisory board. The company also advertises research partnerships with Harvard and U.K. universities Cambridge and Oxford.
Some scientists and institutions have grown uneasy with such ties. Cambridge’s Milner Therapeutics Institute announced in 2017 it would receive funding from Elysium, cementing a research “partnership.” But after hearing complaints from faculty that the institute was associating itself with an unproven supplement, it quietly decided not to renew the funding or the company’s membership to its “innovation” board.
一些科学家和研究机构对这种关系感到不安。剑桥的米尔纳治疗研究所在2017年宣布，它将接受来自 Elysium 的资助，巩固一个研究“伙伴关系”但在听到教员抱怨该研究所将自己与一家未经证实的补充机构联系在一起之后，该研究所悄悄决定不再继续提供资金，也不再续签该公司“创新”委员会的成员资格。
“The sale of nutritional supplements of unproven clinical benefit is commonplace,” said Stephen O’Rahilly, the director of Cambridge’s Metabolic Research Laboratories who applauded his university for reassessing the arrangement. “What is unusual in this case is the extent to which institutions and individuals from the highest levels of the academy have been co-opted to provide scientific credibility for a product whose benefits to human health are unproven.”
剑桥大学新陈代谢研究实验室(Metabolic Research Laboratories)主任斯蒂芬 · 奥拉西利(Stephen o’ rahilly)称赞剑桥大学重新评估了这一安排，他说: “销售未经证实的临床效益的营养补充剂是司空见惯的事。”。“在这种情况下，不同寻常之处在于，来自中国科学院最高层的机构和个人在多大程度上被吸收，为一种对人类健康的益处尚未得到证实的产品提供科学可信度。”
The bottom line is I don’t try any of these things. Why don’t I? Because I’m not a mouse.
底线是我不尝试任何这些事情。为什么我不呢? 因为我不是一只老鼠。FELIPE SIERRA, THE DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION OF AGING BIOLOGY AT THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGING AT NIH 费利佩 · 谢拉是美国国立卫生研究院国家衰老研究所衰老生物学部门的主任
A generation ago, scientists often ignored or debunked claims of a “fountain of youth” pill.
“Until about the early 1990s, it was kind of laughable that you could develop a pill that would slow aging,” said Richard Miller, a biogerontologist at the University of Michigan who heads one of three labs funded by the National Institutes of Health to test such promising substances on mice. “It was sort of a science fiction trope. Recent research has shown that pessimism is wrong.”
密歇根大学的生物老年医学专家 Richard Miller 说: “直到20世纪90年代初，研发出一种可以延缓衰老的药物还是挺可笑的。” Richard Miller 领导着由国立卫生研究院资助的3个实验室之一，用老鼠来测试这种有希望的物质。“这有点像科幻小说里的比喻。最近的研究表明，悲观主义是错误的。”
Mice given molecules such as rapamycin live as much as 20 percent longer. Other substances such as 17 alpha estradiol and the diabetes drug Acarbose have been shown to be just as effective — in mouse studies. Not only do mice live longer, but, depending on the substance, they avoid cancers, heart ailments and cognitive problems.
给予雷帕霉素等分子药物的老鼠，其寿命可延长20% 。其他物质，如17α 雌二醇和治疗糖尿病的阿卡波糖，已被证明在小鼠研究中也同样有效。老鼠不仅寿命更长，而且，根据物质的不同，它们还能避免癌症、心脏疾病和认知问题。
But human metabolism is different from that of rodents. And our existence is unlike a mouse’s life in a cage. What is theoretically possible in the future remains unproven in humans and not ready for sale, experts say.
History is replete with examples of cures that worked on mice but not in people. Multiple drugs, for instance, have been effective at targeting an Alzheimer’s-like disease in mice yet have failed in humans.
“None of this is ready for prime time. The bottom line is I don’t try any of these things,” said Felipe Sierra, the director of the division of aging biology at the National Institute on Aging at NIH. “Why don’t I? Because I’m not a mouse.”
“这一切都还没有到黄金时段。底线是我不尝试任何这些东西，”费利佩 · 谢拉说，他是美国国立卫生研究院衰老生物学部门的主任。“为什么不呢？因为我不是老鼠。”
Concerns about whether animal research could translate into human therapy have not stopped scientists from racing into the market, launching startups or lining up investors. Some true believers, including researchers and investors, are taking the substances themselves while promoting them as the next big thing in aging.
“While the buzz encourages investment in worthwhile research, scientists should avoid hyping specific [substances],” said S. Jay Olshansky, a professor who specializes in aging at the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
伊利诺大学芝加哥分校公共卫生学院专门研究衰老问题的教授 s. Jay Olshansky 说: “尽管热议鼓励对有价值的研究进行投资，但科学家们应该避免炒作特定的物质。”。
Yet some scientific findings are exaggerated to help commercialize them before clinical trials in humans demonstrate both safety and efficacy, he said.
“It’s a great gig if you can convince people to send money and use it to pay exorbitant salaries and do it for 20 years and make claims for 10,” Olshansky said. “You’ve lived the high life and get investors by whipping up excitement and saying the benefits will come sooner than they really are.”
Subscribe to KHN’s free Morning Briefing.
订阅 KHN 的免费早间简报。 SIGN UP 注册
Promising findings in animal studies have stirred much of this enthusiasm.
Research by Sinclair and others helped spark interest in resveratrol, an ingredient in red wine, for its potential anti-aging properties. In 2004, Sinclair co-founded a company, Sirtris, to test resveratrol’s potential benefits and declared in an interview with the journal Science it was “as close to a miraculous molecule as you can find.” GlaxoSmithKline bought the company in 2008 for $720 million. By the time Glaxo halted the research in 2010 because of underwhelming results with possible side effects, Sinclair had already received $8 million from the sale, according to Securities and Exchange Commission documents. He also had earned $297,000 a year in consulting fees from the company, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Sinclair 和其他人的研究帮助激发了人们对白藜芦醇的兴趣，白藜芦醇是红葡萄酒中的一种成分，因为它具有潜在的抗衰老特性。2004年，辛克莱与人共同创立了一家名为 Sirtris 的公司，以测试白藜芦醇的潜在功效，并在接受《科学》杂志采访时宣布，这是“你能找到的最接近神奇的分子”葛兰素史克在2008年以7.2亿美元收购了这家公司。根据证券交易委员会的文件，到2010年葛兰素史克公司停止这项研究时，由于研究结果不尽如人意，而且可能存在副作用，辛克莱已经从出售中获得了800万美元。据《华尔街日报》报道，他每年还从公司获得29.7万美元的咨询费。
At the height of the buzz, Sinclair accepted a paid position with Shaklee, which sold a product made out of resveratrol. But he resigned after The Wall Street Journal highlighted positive comments he made about the product that the company had posted online. He said he never gave Shaklee permission to use his statements for marketing.
Sinclair practices what he preaches — or promotes. On his LinkedIn bio and in media interviews, he describes how he now regularly takes resveratrol; the diabetes drug metformin, which holds promise in slowing aging; and nicotinamide mononucleotide, a substance known as NMN that his own research showed rejuvenated mice.
辛克莱实践了他所宣扬的东西ーー或者说所提倡的东西。在他的 LinkedIn 个人简介和媒体采访中，他描述了他现在是如何定期服用白藜芦醇，治疗糖尿病的药物二甲双胍，二甲双胍有望延缓衰老，以及烟酰胺单核苷酸，一种被称为 NMN 的物质，他自己的研究表明这种物质可以使老鼠年轻化。
Of that study, he said in a video produced by Harvard that it “sets the stage for new medicines that will be able to restore blood flow in organs that have lost it, either through a heart attack, a stroke or even in patients with dementia.”
In an interview with KHN, Sinclair said he’s not recommending that others take those substances.
辛克莱在接受 KHN 采访时说，他不建议其他人服用这些物质。
“I’m not claiming I’m actually younger. I’m just giving people the facts,” he said, adding that he’s sharing the test results from InsideTracker’s blood tests, which calculate biological age based on biomarkers in the blood. “They said I was 58, and then one or two blood tests later they said I was 31.4.”
InsideTracker sells an online age-tracking package to consumers for up to about $600. The company’s website highlights Sinclair’s support for the company as a member of its scientific advisory board. It also touts a study that describes the benefits of such tracking, which Sinclair co-authored.
InsideTracker 向消费者销售一个在线年龄跟踪软件包，价格最高可达600美元。公司的网站强调了 Sinclair 作为其科学顾问委员会成员对公司的支持。报告还赞扬了辛克莱与他人合著的一项研究，该研究描述了这种跟踪的好处。
Sinclair is involved either as a founder, an investor, an equity holder, a consultant or a board member with 28 companies, according to a list of his financial interests. At least 18 are involved in anti-aging in some way, including studying or commercializing NAD boosters. The interests range from longevity research startups aimed at humans and even pets to developing a product for a French skin care company to advising a longevity investment fund. He’s also an inventor named in the patent licensed by Harvard and the Mayo Clinic to Elysium, and one of his companies, MetroBiotech, has filed a patent related to nicotinamide mononucleotide, which he says he takes himself.
根据他的财务权益清单，辛克莱要么是创始人、投资者、股东、顾问，要么是拥有28家公司的董事会成员。至少有18个以某种方式参与抗衰老，包括研究或商业化 NAD 助推器。他们的兴趣从针对人类甚至宠物的长寿研究初创公司，到为法国护肤品公司开发产品，再到为长寿投资基金提供建议。他还是一个发明家，在哈佛大学和梅奥诊所授权给极乐空间的专利中被命名，他的一个公司，MetroBiotech，已经申请了一个与烟酰胺单核苷酸有关的专利，他说他自己带着。
Sinclair and Harvard declined to release details on how much money he — or the university — is generating from these disclosed outside financial interests. Sinclair estimated in a 2017 interview with Australia’s Financial Review that he raises $3 million a year to fund his Harvard lab.
Liberty Biosecurity, a company he co-founded, estimated in Sinclair’s online bio that he has been involved in ventures that “have attracted more than a billion dollars in investment.” When KHN asked him to detail the characterization, he said it was inaccurate, without elaborating, and the comments later disappeared from the website.
他与人共同创立的 Liberty Biosecurity 公司在 Sinclair 的在线简历中估计，他参与的项目“已经吸引了超过10亿美元的投资”当 KHN 要求他详细说明角色塑造时，他说这是不准确的，没有详细说明，后来评论从网站上消失了。
Sinclair cited confidentiality agreements for not disclosing his earnings, but he added that “most of this income has been reinvested into companies developing breakthrough medicines, used to help my lab, or donated to nonprofits.” He said he did not know how much he stood to make off the Elysium patent, saying Harvard negotiated the agreement.
Harvard declined to release Sinclair’s conflict-of-interest statements, which university policy requires faculty at the medical school to file in order to “protect against any faculty bias that could heighten the risk of harm to human research participants or recipients of products resulting from such research.”
“We can only be proud of our collaborations if we can represent confidently that such relationships enhance, and do not detract from, the appropriateness and reliability of our work,” the policy states.
Elysium advertises both Harvard’s and Sinclair’s ties to its company. It was co-founded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Leonard Guarente, Sinclair’s former research adviser and an investor in Sinclair’s Sirtris.
极乐空间公司为哈佛和辛克莱与其公司的关系做了广告。它是由麻省理工学院(Massachusetts Institute of Technology)教授伦纳德•瓜伦特(Leonard Guarente)共同创立的。瓜伦特是辛克莱学院的前研究顾问，也是辛克莱学院 Sirtris 的投资者之一。
Echoing his earlier statements on resveratrol, Sinclair is quoted on Elysium’s website as describing NAD boosters as “one of the most important molecules for life.”
作为对早期白藜芦醇论断的回应，Sinclair 在 Elysium 的网站上将 NAD 的助推剂描述为“生命中最重要的分子之一”
The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t categorize aging as a disease, which means potential medicines aimed at longevity generally can’t undergo traditional clinical trials aimed at testing their effects on human aging. In addition, the FDA does not require supplements to undergo the same safety or efficacy testing as pharmaceuticals.
The banner headline on Elysium’s website said that “clinical trial results prove safety and efficacy” of its supplement, Basis, which contains the molecule nicotinamide riboside and pterostilbene. But the company’s research did not demonstrate the supplement was effective at anti-aging in humans, as it may be in mice. It simply showed the pill increased the levels of the substance in blood cells.
Elysium 网站的头版标题称，“临床试验结果证明了其补充剂 Basis 的安全性和有效性”。 Basis 含有烟酰胺核糖苷和紫檀二烯。但是该公司的研究并没有证明这种补充剂在人类抗衰老方面是有效的，就像在老鼠身上那样。这只是表明避孕药增加了血细胞中这种物质的含量。
“Elysium is selling pills to people online with the assertion that the pills are ‘clinically proven’” said O’Rahilly. “Thus far, however the benefits and risks of this change in chemistry in humans is unknown.”
O’ rahilly 说: “极乐世界在网上向人们销售药片，并声称这些药片是‘经过临床验证的’。”。“然而，到目前为止，这种化学变化对人类的益处和风险尚不清楚。”
“Many interventions that seem sensible on the basis of research in animals turn out to have unexpected effects in man,” he added, citing a large clinical trial of beta carotene that showed it increased rather than decreased the risk of lung cancer in smokers.
“许多在动物实验基础上看似明智的干预措施，结果在人类身上产生了意想不到的效果，”他补充说。他引用了一项大规模的 β 胡萝卜素临床试验，表明 β 胡萝卜素增加而不是降低了吸烟者患肺癌的风险。
Elysium’s own research documented a “small but significant increase in cholesterol,” but added more studies were needed to determine whether the changes were “real or due to chance.” One independent study has suggested that a component of NAD may influence the growth of some cancers, but researchers involved in the study warned it was too early to know.
Elysium 自己的研究记录了“胆固醇的微小但显著的增加” ，但是还需要更多的研究来确定这些变化是“真实的还是偶然的”一项独立研究表明，NAD 的一个组成部分可能会影响某些癌症的生长，但参与该研究的研究人员警告说，现在下结论还为时过早。
Guarente, Elysium’s co-founder and chief scientist, told KHN he isn’t worried about any side effects from Basis, and he emphasized that his company is dedicated to conducting solid research. He said his company monitors customers’ safety reports and advises customers with health issues to consult with their doctors before using it.
Elysium 的联合创始人兼首席科学家瓜伦特告诉 KHN，他不担心 Basis 的任何副作用，并强调他的公司致力于开展扎实的研究。他说他的公司监控顾客的安全报告，并建议有健康问题的顾客在使用之前咨询他们的医生。
If a substance meets the FDA’s definition of a supplement and is advertised that way, then the agency can’t take action unless it proves a danger, said Alta Charo, a former bioethics policy adviser to the Obama administration. Pharmaceuticals must demonstrate safety and efficacy before being marketed.
奥巴马政府前生物伦理政策顾问 Alta Charo 说: 如果一种物质符合 FDA 对补充剂的定义，并且以这种方式进行广告宣传，那么该机构就不能采取行动，除非它证明是危险的。药品在上市之前必须证明其安全性和有效性。
“A lot of what goes on here is really, really careful phrasing for what you say the thing is for,” said Charo, a law professor at the University of Wisconsin. “If they’re marketing it as a cure for a disease, then they get in trouble with the FDA. If they’re marketing it as a rejuvenator, then the FDA is hamstrung until a danger to the public is proven.”
威斯康星大学麦迪逊分校的法学教授 Charo 说: “这里发生的很多事情都是非常非常谨慎的措辞。“如果他们把它作为治疗疾病的药物来推销，那么他们就会惹上 FDA 的麻烦。如果他们宣传这是一种返老还童的药物，那么在公众的危险被证实之前，食品药品监督管理局就会束手无策。”
“This is a recipe for some really unfortunate problems down the road,” Charo added. “We may be lucky and it may turn out that a lot of this stuff turns out to be benignly useless. But for all we know, it’ll be dangerous.”
“这是未来某些真正不幸问题的处方，” Charo 补充说。“我们可能很幸运，事实可能证明，许多这类东西最终都毫无用处。但就我们所知，这将是危险的。”
The debate about the risks and benefits of substances that have yet to be proven to work in humans has triggered a debate over whether research institutions are scrutinizing the financial interests and involvement of their faculty — or the institution itself — closely enough. It remains to be seen whether Cambridge’s decision not to renew its partnership will prompt others to rethink such ties.
Flier, the former dean of Harvard Medical School, had earlier heard complaints and looked into the relationships between scientists and Elysium after he stepped down as dean. He said he discovered that many of the board members who allowed their names and pictures to be posted on the company website knew little about the scientific basis for use of the company’s supplement.
早些时候，哈佛医学院(Harvard Medical School)前院长弗里尔曾听到过抱怨，并在卸任院长后调查了科学家与极乐空间(Elysium)之间的关系。他表示，他发现许多允许自己的名字和照片发布在公司网站上的董事会成员，对使用该公司补充剂的科学依据知之甚少。
Flier recalls that one scientist had no real role in advising the company and never attended a company meeting. Even so, Elysium was paying him for his role on the board, Flier said.
Caroline Perry, director of communications for Harvard’s Office of Technology Development, said agreements such as Harvard’s acceptance of research funds from Elysium comply with university policies and “protect the traditional academic independence of the researchers.”
哈佛大学技术发展办公室(Office of Technology Development)公关主任卡罗琳 · 佩里(Caroline Perry)表示，哈佛接受来自“极乐空间”(Elysium)的研究资金等协议符合大学政策，并“保护研究人员的传统学术独立性”
Harvard “enters into research agreements with corporate partners who express a commitment to advancing science by supporting research led by Harvard faculty,” Perry added.
Like Harvard, the Mayo Clinic refused to release details on how much money it would make off the Elysium licensing agreement. Mayo and Harvard engaged in “substantial diligence and extended negotiations” before entering into the agreement, said a Mayo spokeswoman.
“The company provided convincing proof that they are committed to developing products supported by scientific evidence,” said the spokeswoman, Duska Anastasijevic.
“该公司提供了令人信服的证据，证明他们致力于开发有科学证据支持的产品，”发言人杜斯卡 · 阿纳斯塔西耶维奇(Duska Anastasijevic)说。
Guarente of Elysium refused to say how much he or Elysium was earning off the sale of the supplement Basis. MIT would not release his conflict-of-interest statements.
极乐世界的瓜伦特拒绝透露他或极乐世界从销售补充剂 Basis 中获得了多少收入。麻省理工学院没有公布他的利益冲突声明。
Private investment funds, meanwhile, continue to pour into longevity research despite questions about whether the substances work in people.
One key Elysium investor is the Morningside Group, a private equity firm run by Harvard’s top donor, Gerald Chan, who also gave $350 million to the Harvard School of Public Health.
极乐空间的一个关键投资者是晨兴集团，这是一家私募股权公司，由哈佛最大的捐赠者杰拉尔德 · 陈(Gerald Chan)经营，他还向哈佛大学公共卫生学院(Harvard School of Public Health)捐赠了3.5亿美元。
Billionaire and WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann has invested in Sinclair’s Life Biosciences.
亿万富翁和 WeWork 的联合创始人亚当 · 诺依曼投资了辛克莱的生命生物科学公司。
An investment firm led by engineer and physician Peter Diamandis gave a group of Harvard researchers $5.5 million for their startup company after their research was publicly challenged by several other scientists.
一家由工程师兼内科医生 Peter Diamandis 领导的投资公司向哈佛大学的一群研究人员提供了550万美元的启动资金，因为他们的研究遭到了其他几位科学家的公开质疑。
In its announcement of the seed money, the company, Elevian, said its goal was to develop “new medicines” that increase the activity levels of the hormone GDF11 “to potentially prevent and treat age-related diseases.”
在宣布种子基金时，这家名为 Elevian 的公司表示，它的目标是开发“新药” ，以提高荷尔蒙 GDF11的活性水平，“从而有可能预防和治疗与年龄有关的疾病。”
It described research by its founders, which include Harvard’s Amy Wagers and Richard Lee, as demonstrating that “replenishing a single circulating factor, GDF11, in old animals mirrors the effects of young blood, repairing the heart, brain, muscle and other tissues.”
该组织称，其创始人包括哈佛大学(Harvard)的艾米•韦戈斯(Amy Wagers)和理查德•李(Richard Lee)在内的研究表明，“在老年动物体内补充一种单一的循环因子 GDF11，可以反映年轻血液的作用，修复心脏、大脑、肌肉和其他组织
Other respected labs in the field have either failed to replicate or contradict key elements of their observations.
Elevian’s CEO, Mark Allen, said the early scientific data on GDF11 is encouraging, but “drug discovery and development is a time-intensive, risky, regulated process requiring many years of research, preclinical [animal] studies, and human clinical trials to successfully bring new drugs to market.”
Elevian 的首席执行官 Mark Allen 说，GDF11的早期科学数据是令人鼓舞的，但是“药物的发现和开发是一个时间密集、风险高、受监管的过程，需要多年的研究、临床前[动物]研究和人体临床试验，才能成功地将新药推向市场。”
Flier worries research in the longevity field could be compromised, although he recognizes the importance and promise of the science. He said he’s concerned that alliances between billionaires and scientists could lead to less skepticism.
“A susceptible billionaire meets a very good salesman scientist who looks him deeply in the eyes and says, ‘There’s no reason why we can’t have a therapy that will let you live 400 or 600 years,’” Flier said. “The billionaire will look back and see someone who is at MIT or Harvard and say, ‘Show me what you can do.’”
Despite concerns about the hype, scientists are hopeful of finding a way forward by relying on hard evidence. The consensus: A pill is on the horizon. It’s just a matter of time — and solid research.
“If you want to make money, hiring a sales rep to push something that hasn’t been tested is a really great strategy,” said Miller, who is testing substances on mice. “If instead you want to find drugs that work in people, you take a very different approach. It doesn’t involve sales pitches. It involves the long, laborious, slogging process of actually doing research.”
KHN senior correspondent Jay Hancock contributed to this report.
资深记者杰 · 汉考克对本报道亦有贡献。