Wyeth Discovers Anti-Aging Pill by Accident -- It's Rapamune, an Organ Transplant Drug

Last Updated Jul 9, 2009 4:43 PM EDT

Wyeth told the WSJ that it did not know about a study published Wednesday in Nature that claims the age of mice was increased 9 - 14 percent if they took Rapamune, a drug Wyeth markets to suppress the immune system so that organ transplants won't be rejected. A second study in Science was on monkeys.

When told it owned a potential fountain of youth by the WSJ:
A Wyeth spokesman called it an "interesting preclinical study" and said Wyeth just became aware of the finding Wednesday.
The idea that aging is a disease that can be treated is gaining ground among fringe believers. Some look at lifelong calorie restriction as a treatment. Others simply believe that technology can fix everything. An example:
"It's time to break out of our denial about aging," said Aubrey de Grey, a British gerontologist who has drawn controversy for his suggestions on how to forestall death. "Aging is, unequivocally, the major cause of death in the industrialized world and a perfectly legitimate target of medical intervention."
Yes, aging is the "cause" of death, although to be strictly accurate I'd say that "death" was the real cause of death -- humans can withstand aging for decades; but death has a 100 percent fatality rate.

Already, there will be some execs within Wyeth pondering a new indication application to the FDA. Some will be speculating about off-label promotions -- after all, Pfizer made hundreds of millions of dollars selling its human growth hormone brand, Genotropin, to anti-aging quacks (before it was caught and punished by the feds).

One major advantage of selling an anti-aging pill: If the patient dies they will be less likely to sue.


Market Data

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

Market News

Stock Watchlist

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.

The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App