GlaxoSmithKline Invests in Resveratrol Research
For years Life Extension magazine has been reporting on the multiple health benefits of resveratrol. We have urged members to incorporate this vital nutrient into their personal life-extension program. Now, pharmaceutical companies see the financial potential of creating a prescription drug from resveratrol compounds in order to treat age-related disease. Recently, pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline announced that it would acquire all outstanding shares of Sirtris Pharmaceuticals for $720 million
in order to cash in on the life-extending promise of resveratrol-based compounds.1
Found in red grapes and wine, resveratrol has been credited with extending life span in a variety of organisms.2,3
Resveratrol mimics the life-extending properties of caloric restriction by activating enzymes called sirtuins, which influence a variety of aging-related metabolic functions.
Sirtris was founded in 2004 after Dr. David Sinclair of Harvard Medical School began publishing findings regarding resveratrol’s remarkable potential benefits.2
Sirtris’ stated goal is to discover and develop small molecules with anti-aging potential, and its research efforts have largely focused on enhancing the potency of resveratrol-based compounds.
GlaxoSmithKline evidently hopes to modify the resveratrol molecule to further bolster its bioavailability and effects. Such a modification would also allow the drug company to patent the new molecule and market it exclusively.
1. Available at: http://www.gsk.com/media/pressreleas...ease_10038.htm
. Accessed April 30, 2008.
2. Howitz KT, Bitterman KJ, Cohen HY, et al. Small molecule activators of sirtuins extend Saccharomyces cerevisiae lifespan. Nature. 2003 Sep 11;425(6954):191-6.
3. Baur JA, Pearson KJ, Price NL, et al. Resveratrol improves health and survival of mice on a high-calorie diet. Nature. 2006 Nov