Wellness

Longevity Drug For Dogs: Will This Drug Extend Your Pet’s Lifespan?

Tara Maurer

Last Updated: May 28, 2024 | 3 min read | Leave a Comment

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Person holding pill in front of an old dog laying down.
Image credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

Working at a supplement and health food store that also caters to pets, I regularly help people looking for holistic solutions for their aging pooches. Most pup parents would go to great lengths to add a few more healthy years to their pet’s life, but there are currently no lifespan-extending drugs on the market. We only have a limited number of quality years with our dogs, especially with larger breeds that don’t live nearly as long as smaller ones.

San Francisco-based biotech firm Loyal wants to change that and is currently developing an experimental drug to extend dogs’ lifespans and delay the onset of age-related diseases. A clinical study on LOY–002, an at-home daily pill intended to expand the healthspan and lifespan of older dogs, has started. Loyal’s other two products—LOY-001, a quarterly injectable, and LOY-003, a daily pill—target the lifespan of large and giant breeds. Loyal is developing all of these drugs under US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conditional approval, which confirms the drug’s safety and “reasonable expectation of effectiveness.”

How Does The Drug Work?

Loyal’s founder, Celine Halioua, emphasizes that the goal is to not just help increase a dog’s lifespan but also improve its quality of life by delaying or preventing the onset of chronic diseases.

“We’re trying to make dogs live a longer, healthier life, to not develop age-related diseases as quickly as they normally would, and that leads to lifespan extension,” Halioua said on an episode of the podcast Build The Future

Loyal designed its drugs to modulate the levels of insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1), a hormone that plays a part in growth and metabolism. Larger dog breeds show a genetic variant that leads to increased levels of IGF-1. Loyal hopes to show that reduced IGF-1 levels in large breeds improve overall health and longevity.

Research shows that inhibiting IGF-1 increases the lifespan of flies, rodents, and worms. In humans, research has linked very low and very high levels of IGF-1 with an increased mortality risk

How Does The Clinical Study Work?

Loyal is currently testing LOY-002, a daily pill designed to extend the healthy lifespan of senior dogs in all but the most miniature breeds and sizes. Dubbed the “STAY” study, this nationwide efficacy trial is being conducted at 55 veterinary clinics and includes 1,000+ dog participants. 

The study is double-blind and placebo-controlled. This means that clinicians give some dogs a placebo pill as a “control” to help Loyal researchers better identify the drug’s impact accurately. Neither the participant (dog owner) nor the clinician will know who receives the drug or the placebo to avoid bias in the results.

The study will last four years. Pending FDA approval, LOY-002 will launch in early 2025.  

You can follow the development process for each drug on Loyal’s website

Can My Dog Join The Study?

Do you want to enroll your senior dog in the STAY clinical trial? To qualify, your pet needs to:

Sign up via Loyal’s website or contact a study site directly to enroll.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve received some questions from our readers regarding Loyal’s longevity drugs for dogs. Don’t see yours? Ask us in the comments.

What Is The FDA-Approved Shot For Dogs To Live Longer?

The FDA has accepted Loyal’s Reasonable Expectation of Effectiveness application for LOY-001. Loyal designed its injectable to be administered by a vet every three to six months. FDA approval is pending. The shot must first undergo a clinical trial.

When Will Loyal’s Drugs Be Available?

Both LOY-001 and LOY-003, which focus on correcting the overexpression of IGF-1 in large dogs, are expected to be available in late 2026. LOY-002, a drug focused on correcting metabolic dysfunction and IGF-1 over-expression in senior dogs, has a projected availability in early 2025.

Tips To Enhance Your Dog’s Health

Do you want to take proactive steps to maintain your puppy’s health? We cover a variety of preventative wellness tips, from the importance of annual dog check-ups to the 12 secrets to living a long life as a dog.

Why Trust Canine Journal?

Living with a pup can be hugely rewarding to us humans, but because our pets’ lifespans are shorter than ours, it also comes with the inevitable goodbye. Tara has experienced the decline and loss of a beloved pet, which is just one of the reasons why she is dedicated to ensuring our readers have the information they need to provide the best quality of life for their furry friends. Tara is part of the Canine Journal team, which has over a decade of experience researching, testing, and writing about anything and everything dog-related. She also has 8+ years of experience in the wellness industry, with experience in pet nutrition and supplementation. 

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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