An anonymous reader shares a report: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers aging to be a natural process. This makes it difficult to get FDA approval for drugs that seek to slow or reverse the biological process of aging. Instead, drugs intended to target aging must target a disease that often results from the aging process in order to demonstrate efficacy and gain approval. But there is growing consensus and effort among scientists to convince the FDA that aging itself should be classified as a disease and an appropriate target for drug development.
This could be a major milestone for not just industry, but society. If the FDA is swayed, the resulting regulatory shift could mean approval of drugs or treatments that slow or reverse the aging process generally, before a patient develops disease. Researchers who view aging as a medical condition aren’t referring only to the inevitable passage of time. Instead, they view aging as a process of deterioration of our structure and function at the cellular level; the hallmark characteristics of which are genomic instability and damage to our DNA. And the World Health Organization (WHO) supports this view — WHO describes the process of aging as “… the impact of the accumulation of a wide variety of molecular and cellular damage over time.”