A Pill to Make Soldiers Serve “Longer and Stronger”

August 11th, 2021 - by Inder Singh Bisht / The Defense Post

US Special Operations Forces to Conduct Clinical Trial of Anti-Aging Pill

Inder Singh Bisht / The Defense Post

 (August 5, 2021) — The US Special Operations Forces Command (SOCOM) plans to conduct clinical trials of an oral anti-aging drug next year, Breaking Defense reported, citing service officials.

The command has spent $2.8 million in a joint effort with a private biotech laboratory, Metro International Biotech, LLC (MetroBiotech), since 2018 to develop the pill. 

Lisa Sanders, director of science and technology for Special Operations Forces, acquisition, technology & logistics (SOF AT&L), told the outlet that SOCOM has completed pre-clinical safety and “dosing studies in anticipation of follow-on performance testing” of the drug, which has the potential to “delay aging” and “prevent onset of injury.”

Enhances Coenzyme Central to Metabolism

The pill is a “first-in-class nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, oxidized state (NAD+) enhancer,” according to Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. NAD is a coenzyme central to metabolism.

The MetroBiotech website further explained the significance of NAD+, describing it as a key ingredient in preserving health and metabolic function.

“NAD+ levels have been shown to decline as humans age and increasing NAD+ to preserve health and normal metabolism is believed to have broad pharmaceutical potential,” the laboratory explained.

“Metro International Biotech has assembled a team of industry-leading scientists to drive its lead compound, MIB-626, through clinical development and fuel the Company’s robust R&D engine, building a library of next-generation analogs with tissue-selective NAD+ increasing properties.”

Counters Degenerative Effects of Age

SOCOM’s Navy Cmdr. Tim Hawkins told Breaking Defense that the development of the drug is based on “human performance small molecules” that regulate biological processes and “make up 90 percent of pharmaceutical drugs (such as insulin, aspirin, and antihistamines).”

“These efforts are not about creating physical traits that don’t already exist naturally. This is about enhancing the mission readiness of our forces by improving performance characteristics that typically decline with age,” Hawkins added.

“Essentially, we are working with leading industry partners and clinical research institutions to develop a nutraceutical, in the form of a pill that is suitable for a variety of uses by both civilians and military members, whose resulting benefits may include improved human performance — like increased endurance and faster recovery from injury.”

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