Sirtris logo In December 2007, we had reported that drug company Sirtris Pharmaceuticals was working on a drug that mimics the protective effects of a chemical compound found in red wine. The drug in question, SRT501, is a diabetes drug, which has the potential to substantially reduce glucose.

According to Sirtris, reports from the early stages of a clinical trial indicated that the drug was safe and well tolerated too.

The drug is being targeted at those who suffer from Type 2 diabetes who had failed to respond to other treatments.

According to Sirtris officials, the results of an oral glucose tolerance test on patients administered the drug, which is based on Resveratrol, a chemical found in red wine showed significant improvement from a statistical point of view.

There are indications of a ‘strong trend of SRT501 lowering glucose’, said Christoph Westphal, CEO, Sirtris.

In fact the results of the study, came as a surprise to Westphal, as the drug candidate was previously aimed at working on the genes controlling eh process of ageing in humans.

A spokesman for Sirtris said the company has started a phase-2 study, where it is using SRT501 in combination with Metformin. Metformin is a drug that is widely used as a first line of defense against diabetes type 2. This phase would last 90 days and involve a test group of 130 patients. The results from that study would be available only later this year, the spokesman said.

Even though the drug has so far been very successful, it has still a long way to go before hitting the market. Westphal said it would take a minimum of four years for the drug to make its way to the market.