Science & Tech

Pioneering drug designed to extend the lives of dogs just made a breakthrough

Pioneering drug designed to extend the lives of dogs just made a breakthrough
Study: Many Prefer to Shop For Their Dogs Over Spouses
Cheddar / VideoElephant

Our canine companions could soon be enjoying much longer lifespans, if a drug which claims it can extend dogs’ lives eventually gets approved.

The drug, made by a tech firm in California, just cleared a vital hurdle to doing just that, after it got partial approval by regulators in the US.

Loyal, a San Francisco-based company founded in 2020, has been researching how it can increase dogs’ lifespans – in particular larger breeds, which tend to die younger.

Large and “giant” breeds tend to live to between eight and 12 years. Smaller dogs, such as Chihuahuas, can keep going to the ripe old age of 20.

Loyal’s main product, the catchily-titled LOY-001, is designed not only to extend dogs’ lives but also maintain their quality of life.

Now, it has passed the “reasonable expectation of effectiveness” test, set by regulators at the US’ Food and Drug Administration.

Loyal’s chief executive, Celine Halioua, said: "Loyal was founded with the ambitious goal of developing the first drugs to extend healthy lifespan in dogs.

"This milestone is the result of years of careful work by the team. We'll continue to work just as diligently to bring this and our other longevity programs through to FDA approval."

Selective breeding of dogs has caused higher levels of hormones which help the animals grow faster.

That is also believed to reduce their lifespan, the company said. Big dogs tend to have more of this hormone than their smaller counterparts.

Animal rights activists are not yet convinced. Some experts fear it will only serve to extend animals’ suffering.

Loyal, on the other hand, says the drug aims to treat doggy diseases which are associated with ageing through preventing them, rather than waiting for the animals to get sick before treating them.

The company said that the drug could be available to US customers as early as 2026.

So that’s plenty of time for walkies between now and then.

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