Early experiments so that the drug nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) had a dramatic rejuvenating effect on ageing mice with researchers hoping to begin testing the drug on clinical trial patients in the next six months. Clinical trials are expected to start at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston this year.
Professor David Sinclair lead scientist from the University of South Wales in Australia and Harvard Medical School in the US, said: “The cells of the old mice were indistinguishable from the young mice, after just one week of treatment.”This is the closest we are to a safe and effective anti-ageing drug that’s perhaps only three to five years away from being on the market if the trials go well.”
NMN works by boosting levels of NAD+, which helps repair DNA.
Accumulated DNA damage is a major driver of natural ageing and a primary cause of cancer as reduced levels of NAD+ in the body come with age that means DNA is not repaired as efficiently.
Recent work highlighting the anti-ageing properties of NAD+ has led to numerous supplements being sold online – though there is little evidence small doses can ward off ageing.
NASA have also been exploring the benefits of the drug hoping it could help shield astronauts from the effects of radiation on the long voyage so they can finally send astronauts to Mars.