Wouldn’t it be great if you could get older without getting sick? Scientists think they have a solution to common age-related diseases, and it’s a drug that already exists. On Wednesday, researchers will meet with the FDA to seek approval for a clinical trial of metformin, a pill that’s currently used to treat type 2 diabetes. Separate studies have already shown that the drug can help delay the onset of cancer, heart disease, and cognitive impairment in animals.
The proposed trial would involve giving metformin to about 3,000 people who have, or are at risk for, two out of the three conditions above (though they can’t already have diabetes). The study would follow the participants, age 70 to 80, to see if the drug helps prevent the diseases. It would take five to seven years to complete and would cost $50 million. The point here isn’t to find the source of immortality. “What we’re trying to do is increase health span, not look for eternal life,” Stephanie Lederman, executive director of the American Federation for Aging Research told Nature. But if science can make aging suck less, sign us up.