S.F. Startup Boosting Dog Lifespan Gains FDA Support

San Francisco-based biotech firm, Loyal, has received conditional approval from the FDA for an experimental drug (LOY-001) aimed at extending the lifespan of large-breed dogs by at least one year. This marks the FDA’s first endorsement of a longevity drug, paving the way for further clinical trials. Loyal’s CEO, Celine Halioua, expects the drug to be available by 2026.

Administered via veterinarian injection every three to six months, LOY-001 targets the growth hormone IGF-1, potentially enhancing the well-being of large dogs. Despite the initial nod, Loyal must demonstrate full efficacy in a pivotal study to stay on the market beyond the five-year conditional approval period. The drug is now set for a larger study involving 1,000 older large and giant breed companion dogs.

Loyal’s broader goals include mitigating age-related ailments like cancer, arthritis, muscle atrophy, cognitive decline, and neurodegeneration in dogs. Simultaneously, Loyal is recruiting for clinical trials on LOY-002 and LOY-003. The company aims to maintain an affordable pricing structure for LOY-001, which has received $60 million in venture capital backing. In the context of canine longevity, other research at UC Davis has spotlighted the gene ERBB4 as a potential driver, emphasizing promising developments for dog lovers.

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