New drug extends lifespan of large dogs | Inquirer Technology

New drug extends lifespan of large dogs

08:00 AM December 13, 2023

What if you could be with your large furry companion for more years? The San Francisco-based biotech company Loyal may realize that in the near future with its new dog lifespan drug called LOY-001. Once the firm receives FDA approval, your veterinarian may recommend it to your beloved pooch. 

One advantage of large dogs over smaller ones is that there’s more of them to love. However, large breeds usually have shorter lifespans, so pet owners would likely want a solution. Fortunately, the United States may soon provide a viable solution so that they could spend more time with their fluffy pals.

This article will discuss how the first-ever dog lifespan drug works. Then, I will share other recent groundbreaking medicines.


How does the dog lifespan drug work?

Scientific illustration depicting the mechanism of action of the dog lifespan-extending drug at the cellular level.

India-based news outlet WION says LOY-001 inhibits insulate growth factor-1 (IGF-1), a growth-related hormone in various aging animals. It causes larger dogs to have shorter lifespans than smaller ones. 


The SF-based firm studied over 450 large dogs and discovered lower insulin levels correlated with improved quality of life and reduced frailty. That is why the Food and Drug Administration acknowledged LOY-001’s potential to extend pet lifespans. 

USA Today says the Loyal company received a “technical section complete” from the FDA, meaning data proves the medicine is effective. CEO Celine Halioua told ABC7, “We still have to finish manufacturing and safety, but the ‘Does it work?’ is kind of historically the most challenging, and most complex, aspect of getting a drug approved.” 

The firm hopes to release the drug to the market by 2026. “From our data, the FDA believes LOY-001 is likely to be effective for large dog lifespan extension in the real world,” Loyal stated.

“Once we satisfactorily complete safety and manufacturing sections and other requirements, vets will be able to prescribe LOY-001 to extend the lifespan of large dogs while we complete the confirmatory pivotal lifespan extension study in parallel,” the company added.

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LOY-001 would be a routine injection administered by a veterinarian every three to six months. Also, the company is developing two other versions named LOY-002 and LOY-003. 


The former will be suitable for aging dogs of all sizes. In contrast, the LOY-003 will be a pill form of LOY-001. In response, experts emphasize the importance of ensuring an extended lifespan provides animals with a high quality of life. 

Kate Creevy, Chief Veterinary Officer of the Dog Aging Project, stated experts must focus on improving the health and well-being of pets when developing any dog lifespan drug. 

Other recent medical breakthroughs

Collage of medical symbols and icons representing diverse breakthroughs in the field of medicine.

Scientists have also been creating new medicines for humans. For example, Casgevy therapy is one of the most interesting recent breakthroughs because it uses gene editing technology.

Specifically, it uses CRISPR gene editing technology to modify a patient’s cells so that they provide healthy hemoglobin. The latter is the protein that carries oxygen through the body.

This system has two parts: a protein that cuts genetic material and a molecule that guides the former where to cut. Experts start by extracting stem cells from a patient’s bone marrow.

They edit the cells and make a single cut in the  BCL11A gene to trigger the production of the hemoglobin fetal form. It compensates for the abnormal adult hemoglobin.

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Then, the experts return the edited cells into the patient’s bloodstream. Wired said 45 patients received Casgevy in a clinical trial, and then the researchers followed 31 for two years.

They discovered that 29 had been free of pain crises for a year after the CRISPR medicine. Previously, the only cure for sickle cell disease was a stem cell transplant from a closely related donor.

It was only available to a few people. Also, transplants may pose lethal risks and don’t always work. However, the first commercial Casgevy patients likely won’t get treatment until early 2024. 


A US-based Biotech firm created the first-ever medicine that extends the lifespan of large dogs. Loyal’s LOY-001 would likely become available in 2026. 

Most pet owners would likely get this drug for their furry companions, but they must be careful about its ramifications. Animal welfare experts warn that such medicines must promote a high-quality life for pets. 

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Nevertheless, it is an exciting medicine for dog lovers! Wanna see more medical news? Check out more digital tips and trends at Inquirer Tech.


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