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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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In Tokyo, a 24-karat anti-aging face mask. Photo: Junko Kimura/Getty Images

As the average age in developed economies rises in the coming years and decades, one of the next big economic disruptions may be in anti-aging medicines, according to a report by Citi.

Why it matters: Already, the anti-aging market is about $200 billion, and the new boom could be in drugs that slow, reverse or prevent age-related disease, Citi says. On the other hand, if people are aging more slowly, and diseases are slowed or prevented, then other drugs, treatments and surgeries, which earn billions of dollars, may not be necessary.

"Over human history, there has been an interest in slowing down aging," said Vanessa Colella, Citi's chief innovation officer and head of its venture capital unit.

The details:

  • Among the most promising drugs under development are ones that would attack "senescent cells," which Citi says are blamed for numerous age-related diseases including arthritis, retinal degeneration and Alzheimer's.
  • One study cited by Citi said the elimination of senescent cells could increase the human lifespan by about 35%.
  • One anti-senescent drug is in a clinical trial on humans with osteoarthritis in their knees, and researchers expect data in the first quarter of next year.

Colella tells Axios, "It's very early and there's lots more work needed to be done" on whether such drugs are effective.

The bottom line: If such drugs pass the clinical trials, they could not only become big sellers, but undercut standard anti-aging drugs that earn billions of dollars and eliminate the need for some knee replacement surgeries, the report says.

Go deeper

America is finally winning its fight against the coronavirus

Expand chart
Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

America’s battle against the coronavirus is going great.

The big picture: For the first time in a long time, nobody needs to cherry-pick some misleading data to make it seem like things are going well, and the good news doesn’t need an endless list of caveats, either. It’s just really good news. We’re winning. Be happy.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Over 70 dead in worst bombardments between Israel and Hamas for years

Palestinian Muslims exchange wishes for Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, near a razed building in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia, on May 13. Israeli forces said they had killed a senior Hamas commander in May 12 airstrikes. Gaza's health ministry said children died in the strikes. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

At least 67 Palestinians and seven Israelis have been killed in fighting between Israel's military and Hamas since Monday, per Reuters.

The big picture: The worst aerial exchanges of fire between Israel and Hamas since 2014 continued into early Thursday. It comes days after escalating violence in Jerusalem that injured hundreds of Palestinians and several Israeli police officers during protests over the planned evictions of Palestinian families from their homes.

Biden admin grants Colonial waiver to ease fuel shortages

Fuel tanks at Colonial Pipeline Baltimore Delivery in Baltimore, Maryland on Monday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration approved a temporary waiver of shipping requirements late Wednesday to help Colonial Pipeline transport fuel, as service resumes across the U.S. following last week's ransomware attack that that took it offline.

Why it matters: The century-old Jones Act requires ships to be built in the U.S. and crewed by American workers, but the waiver means foreign companies can transport gasoline and diesel to areas where there are fuel shortages.

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