HTLS 2020: A pill that can reverse ageing? Yes, it will be possible, says Dr Sinclair
One of the leading experts on ageing, Dr David Sinclair, said on Friday that there is a possibility that people can get a pill in the near future that can reverse ageing. Speaking on the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit (HTLS), Dr Sinclair talked about the experiment carried out on older mice to improve their vision. He added that the way technology is moving, the world might get a pill to rejuvenate themselves.
“I don’t have a crystal ball but we are working on taking the epigenetic reprogramming technology (the experiment done on older mice) and treat the first patient with glaucoma in the next two years to see if we can restore vision,” said Dr Sinclair when asked about the possibility of a pill appearing in the next two or three decades.
“There are at least 20 companies which are working on medicine that can slow, and perhaps, reverse ageing. So if it doesn’t happen in the next 30 years, something must have gone terribly wrong,” he added.
When asked about reusing the epigenetic programming technology, Dr Sinclair said there is a possibility that it can be done a number of times. “I think we can do it multiple times, there’s no reason why it couldn’t be one repeatedly. Imagine, we could find a pill that could do what we did with the eyes of the mice but with the whole body. We have engineered it already to be turned on with a pill.”
“We used a molecule in those mice, we gave it to them as a drink and it turned on the genes. One day, maybe you can go to your doctor, have an injection or get a pil for three weeks and get rejuvenated - better memory, better eyesight, better healing, maybe even look better. Ten years later, you come back and have another course of that drug,” said the biologist.
Dr Sinclair appeared on the cover of the Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. He is a professor in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and co-director of the Paul F Glenn Centre for the Biological Mechanisms of Ageing.
This is the first time that the HTLS is being held virtually owing to the Covid-19 pandemic situation. And in tune with the situation, ‘Defining a New Era’ has been chosen this year’s theme. From politics to sports, from medicine to education and food - the summit has seen a wide array of views coming from the experts of the respective fields on post-pandemic world.