Expect new drugs to treat aging, researchers say

Resveratrol, substance found in red wine, benefits health

NEW YORK — Is 90 the new 50?

Not yet, aging researchers say, but medical breakthroughs to significantly extend life and ease the ailments of getting older are closer than many people think.

“The general public has no idea what’s coming,” said David Sinclair, a Harvard Medical School professor who has made headlines with research into the health benefits of a substance found in red wine called resveratrol.

Speaking on a panel of aging experts, Sinclair had the boldest predictions. He said scientists can greatly increase longevity and improve health in lab animals like mice, and that drugs to benefit people are on the way.

“It’s not an if, but a when,” said Sinclair, who co-founded Sirtris Pharmaceuticals to pursue such drugs. The company, which is testing medicine in people with Type 2 diabetes, was recently bought for $720 million by GlaxoSmithKline, the world’s second-largest drug maker.

Read moreExpect new drugs to treat aging, researchers say