Viewers Hunt for Sirtris’ Anti-Aging Drugs After 60 Minutes Story

1/27/09

Apparently, there were still some people who hadn’t heard of Sirtris and its widely publicized anti-aging pills, because Sunday evening’s 60 Minutes story on the Cambridge, MA, biotech firm sparked a surge in Web searches on the company as well as requests for its experimental drugs.

The 60 Minutes story on CBS was a recap of the well-chronicled story of Sirtris, about how former venture capitalist and current Sirtris CEO Christoph Westphal and Harvard scientist David Sinclair formed the company to commercialize Sinclair’s discovery that activating certain genes can slow down the process of aging, at least in yeast.

The TV story didn’t break any news about Sirtris, but the 12-minute segment was apparently news to the droves of people who e-mailed us at Xconomy and commented on our recent posts on the company, primarily to glean more information about the firm’s drugs and, for some people, to find how they could score a supply. (Sirtris was initially developing a proprietary formulation of resveratrol, a natural anti-aging chemical found in the skins of grapes, but last year the firm announced that it would focus primarily on developing compounds 1,000-times more potent than resveratrol for diseases of aging such as diabetes.)

Indeed, we received a note on Monday from one viewer who wanted to know about Sirtris’ more potent compounds, asking: “Where can I purchase the ultra pure 250mg resveratrol made by Sirtris as seen on 60 Minutes?” And we’ve received e-mails from viewers looking to obtain Sirtris’ experimental drugs as well. (Please see the editor’s note below about such requests.)

I caught up with Sirtris’ Westphal yesterday to get his take on the TV story and the wave of interest in the company. “We got hundreds of telephone calls and e-mails,” Westphal told me. “Our Web site usually has 500 unique hits a day, which is actually fair amount for a small company, but today we’ll get 15,000 to 20,000—so it’s a huge a amount of general public interest in what we’re doing.”

London-based drug giant GlaxoSmithKline, which acquired Sirtris last spring for a tidy $720 million, stands to profit handsomely if Sirtris’ drugs succeed as well in clinical trials as they do in piquing peoples’ hunger for ways to stay young and healthy.

[Editor's note: Xconomy has no information about Sirtris's drugs beyond what we've written in our stories. You can see a rundown of all our stories mentioning Sirtris here; for additional information we suggest visiting Sirtris's website.]

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  • http://comcast nancy sogoloff

    I am so excited about resveratrol like eveyone else. I log onto Sirtri every day to see what is new.God bless david sinclair and chris Westphal. I would love to live forever. hope this resveratrol gets fda approval soon .

  • jan Brown

    What is the substance claiming to be Ultra Resveratrol and being sold over the internet at http://www.resveratrolultra.com.
    If Sirtris is not marketing the product.

  • ROSS HOCKER

    I WOULD LIKE TO BUY YOUR RESVERATROL. IF YOU DON’T SELL IT YET, I WOULD LIKE TO BE A TEST. I’VE NEVER HAD A BROKEN BONE OR BEEN SICK OTHER THAN THE COMMON FLU. I’AM 59 YEARS OLD AND HAVE WORKED IN THE OILFIELDS 45 YEARS. THANKS FOR YOUR TIME ROSS HOCKER

  • greg vedder

    I’ve ordered 3 kinds of resveratrol. certified res.,res. ultra and rezmelts. All
    claim to be the most potent. I have 15 days
    to decide which is best. My head is spinning
    from trying to figure out which one is recommended. They all show the 60 minutes
    clip. Can you help me find the one Dr. Sinclair and Westphal would recommend.

  • bill martin

    Try a product called Transmax by a company called Biotivia.
    This seems to be the best one out there.