Human Clinical Trials of the Anti-Aging Compound NMN to Start in Japan
Researchers at Keio University in Japan and Washington University in St. Louis are planning to begin a joint clinical study in Japan to test in humans the safety and effectiveness of a compound that is on the verge of being a proven to reverse the effects of aging. The study is to begin as early as next month.
David Sinclair was formerly associated with research of the compound, nicotinamide mononucleotide, or NMN. Sinclair has previously said the compound could lead to breakthroughs that could be used to develop drugs to restore youthfulness in human cells.
NMN is a chemical compound produced within the bodies of many living things, including people. NMN is also contained in food products. An experiment using mice is gradually showing that this compound activates sirtuin, whose functions are weakened due to aging, improving such things as symptoms of diabetes
Now, Keio University's Research Ethics Committee will check the appropriateness of the plan and other factors. If approved, researchers plan to begin giving the NMN to about 10 healthy people to confirm its safety. They will then examine whether NMN can improve functions of the human body.
A research group including Professor Shinichiro Imai of Washington University, a gerontology expert, has confirmed that NMN activates sirtuin. An experiment giving NMN to mice found that the compound can reverse age-linked declines in metabolism and eyesight.
Imai has been studying molecular mechanisms of mammalian aging and longevity at cellular and organismal levels for decades and making significant contributions to the field of aging research.
The study is planned to be conducted by researchers including Imai and Keio University, using NMN made by a Japanese producer. The central government has decided to provide full-fledged support for anti-aging studies from next fiscal year, and is also paying attention to this clinical study.
"We've confirmed a remarkable effect in the experiment using mice, but it's not clear yet how much [the compound] will affect humans," Imai said. "We'll carefully conduct the study, which I hope will result in important findings originating in Japan."