Telomere Extension


The 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine was granted to researchers “for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase”.  The shortening of telomeres occurs with age, so various groups are working to develop drugs that active telomerase and extend telomeres.  This class of molecules has shown regenerative effects, but the field is complicated due to the expression of telomerase in cancer (it is well-recognized as an attractive cancer target), the differences in telomere biology between humans and model organisms, and the relative lack of clinical benefit demonstrated so far.

Here is a link to an article where Dr. Pete Estep discusses telomere extension and its prospects for life-extension in The Scientist.

Key Group(s):

Dr. William Andrews (Sierra Sciences) – Small molecules that extend telomeres have been developed, but are at the preclinical stage.

TA Sciences – A supplement, TA-65, is marketed and sold but clinical effects are controversial.

Dr. Jerry Shay, University of Texas Southwestern – Basic research.

Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn (UCSF) – Basic research.

Dr. Preston "Pete" Estep (Harvard) - Basic research. Harvard Personal Genome Project (PGP,



  1. “Sierra Sciences/proof”, n.d.,
  2. Meaghan P. Granger, Woodring E. Wright, and Jerry W. Shay, “Telomerase in cancer and aging,” Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology 41, no. 1 (January 2002): 29-40.
  3. C. B Harley, “Telomerase is not an oncogene,” Oncogene 21, no. 4 (2002): 494–502.
  4. C. B Harley, “Telomerase is not an oncogene,” Oncogene 21, no. 4 (2002): 494–502.
  5. “Telomeres: Your Key To Increase Longevity & Quality Of Life”, n.d.,
VN:F [1.9.18_1163]

Near-term Treatment Potential
Cancer Treatment Potential
Immune System Enhancement Potential
Cardiovascular System Enhancement Potential
Nervous System Enhancement Potential
Muscle or Skeletal Enhancement Potential
Life Expectancy Benefit
Maximum Lifespan Benefit
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Latest from Twitter