SOCOM (the United States Special Operations Command), which is the organization that administers the United States special operations forces, announces that it will soon begin clinical trials of anti-aging compounds for use in an anti-aging pill. age which is suggested to halt some of the degenerative effects. of ageing.
SOCOM is investing money in clinical trials of anti-aging/regenerative compounds, the one in question is said to be a nutraceutical for all cellular signs of aging, but it’s not yet known in what specific ways it might help US military personnel.
“We have completed preclinical safety and dosing studies in anticipation of follow-on performance testing in fiscal year 2022,” said Navy Commander Tim Hawkins, a SOCOM spokesman.
“These efforts are not aimed at creating physical traits that do not already exist naturally. It is about improving the mission readiness of our forces by improving performance characteristics that typically decline with age. Essentially, we work with industry partners and leading clinical research institutes to develop a nutraceutical, in pill form that is suitable for a variety of civilian and military uses, the resulting benefits of which may include an improvement in human performance, such as increased endurance and faster recovery from injury,” Hawkins said.
According to Hawkins, the pill involves a “small human performance molecule” that will be turned into a form of nutraceutical for military personnel and civilians. A small molecule is a low molecular weight molecule, and nutraceutical generally refers to a dietary supplement. SOCOM is a partner of the biotechnology laboratory MetroBiotech for this project.
“[S]Small molecule drugs have distinct advantages as therapeutics: most can be administered orally, and they can cross cell membranes to reach intracellular targets. They can also be designed to engage biological targets through various modes of action and their delivery can be further tailored, for example to allow systemic exposure with or without cerebral penetration,” as explained on MetroBiotech’s website.
The US FDA does not currently regulate nutraceuticals, which means they are exempt from the standard regulations and procedures that pharmaceuticals must follow to gain FDA approval. It is unclear why this project is not going through the process to become an approved and regulated drug, especially since clinical trials are already planned.
Small molecule is basically a descriptive term that covers a wide range of factors that cover most pharmaceutical drugs, according to Breaking Defense, the molecule in question for this project is called NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide). MetroBiotech suggests that NAD+ may be a treatment for mitochondrial diseases. Think of mitochondria as the powerhouse of cells because they produce energy for cells in the form of a chemical called ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which is necessary for the cell to function properly. NAD+ supports the production of ATP inside the mitochondria, making it a direct mechanism at play.
“[R]Reduced NAD+ levels are linked to aging and many diseases, including mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation, and various associated diseases. These levels decline as humans age and remain depleted during disease states,” says MetroBiochem, which is an offshoot of the work of David Sinclair in his lab at Harvard University.
Sinclair suggests that the healing nature of NAD+ is not a defect, but rather a design, and maintaining optimal levels of NAD+ may allow humans to live longer, healthier lives. “This radical new thinking about medicine argues that if we can tackle the upstream cause of these diseases, we can cure them all at once (instead of relying on the current Whack-a-Mole approach)” , Boston magazine reported in 2019.
Mitochondrial diseases can be devastating, MetroBiochem works to treat these diseases as well as rare and specific diseases rather than treating healthy people with a substance that could slow the effects of aging. Aging itself is not a diagnosable disease that can be treated with prescriptions. This may be part of the reason why SOCOM chooses to call it a nutraceutical project rather than a prescription drug project.
SOCOM has “stayed out of long-term genetic engineering – which makes people very, very uncomfortable,” said Lisa Sanders, director of science and technology for special operations forces, the acquisition, technology and logistics (SOF AT&L), “but there’s a huge commercial market for things that can prevent injury, that can slow aging, that can improve sleep.
According to Sanders, this pill “has the potential, if successful, to really delay aging, to really prevent injury from occurring – which is an amazing game-changer.”
An anti-aging supplement can help anyone, including military personnel, in many ways, such as supporting essential organ functions, decreasing inflammation, increasing cardioprotection, slowing neurodegeneration, increasing energy and much more. NAD+ is suggested to help reduce the functional effects of aging on the body, this is important for factors such as speed, concentration and reaction times.
According to Hawkins, the US military has spent $2.8 million since 2018 on biotech efforts to study a type of anti-aging/regenerative pill. These planned clinical trials of anti-aging compounds will help confirm what can and cannot be treated with NAD+, and it’s understandable that many people are waiting for the results of these trials.