LONDON, England / The Sun / Health / News / May 12, 2010
Professor Nir Barzilai, one of the world's leading experts on ageing, said as he joined fellow scientists at a London conference: "Pharmaceutical companies are developing these drugs now.
"They will probably be available for testing from 2012."
The astonishing breakthrough follows intensive research into what makes cells die - and why some people dodge major illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and dementia to live beyond 100 still fit as a fiddle.
The New York professor's own team at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine has pinpointed genetic variants that let people live to a "ripe old age".
Those blessed with anti-ageing genes tend not to get seriously ill towards the end of their lives - but die suddenly. Professor Barzilai, among experts at a Royal Society summit on ageing, said: "I'm seeing 100-year-olds who are not only 100 years old but in great shape.
"People who die between 70 and 80 are sick in the last few years of their life. Centenarians are dying healthy."
He said people could begin taking a once-a-day longevity pill in their 40s or 50s. [rc]