Progressing Towards Regulatory Approval of Veterinary Therapies Targeting Aging

Veterinary medicine is typically less impeded by FDA regulatory costs than human medicine. A cynic would note that the publicity-related incentives operating on FDA staff and leadership are quite different in these two cases, with a great deal more attention given by the media to matters regarding human medicine. With the relative costs being what they are, a number of entrepreneurs in the longevity industry chose to work towards veterinary therapies targeting mechanisms of aging. One of those companies, Loyal, here reports on progress towards the FDA essentially agreeing to a regulatory framework for therapies targeting aging rather than specific diseases. On the human side of the house, you might recall that the primary analogous effort is the TAME trial and the lobbying surrounding it, a very expensive and slow-moving process that has yet to come to fruition.

Loyal's approach involves adjusting a mechanism of metabolism that operates differently in large dogs versus small dogs, and which may provide a meaningful contribution to the well-known lifespan differences between breeds of different sizes. This treatment is thus intended for large dogs only. The FDA may or may not be considering the details of the specific approach used to be an important factor in allowing treatment of aging in dogs. The regulators may or may not reject a similar path to approval for other approaches, such as implementations of SENS-style repair of molecular damage. It remains to be seen as to whether a following company will be able to point to Loyal's regulatory progress and expect the FDA to approve a different treatment intended to slow or reverse aging in dogs, or other animals, without picking a specific disease to focus on. Still, that is the goal!

FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine agrees Loyal's data supports reasonable expectation of effectiveness for large dog lifespan extension

Loyal was only a few months old and about five people when we decided to begin by targeting the abnormally short lifespan of large breed dogs with a drug program we code-named LOY-001. LOY-001 extends lifespan in part by reducing IGF-1 to levels seen in smaller-breed dogs. The IGF-1 axis is one of the most well-studied longevity pathways. In model organisms from C. elegans to mice, reducing IGF-1 extends healthy lifespan, and increasing IGF-1 shortens healthy lifespan. In humans, certain centenarians have been shown to have genetically lower levels of IGF-1.

Today, I'm so proud to announce that Loyal has earned what we believe to be the FDA's first-ever formal acceptance that a drug can be developed and approved to extend lifespan. In regulatory parlance, we have completed the technical effectiveness portion of our conditional approval application for LOY-001's use in large dog lifespan extension. As there was no established regulatory path for a lifespan extension drug, we had to design from scratch a scientifically strong and logistically feasible way to demonstrate efficacy of an aging drug. This process took more than four years, resulting in the 2,300+ page technical section now approved by the FDA. It included interventional studies of LOY-001 in an FDA-accepted model of canine aging and an observational (no-drug) study of 451 dogs.

Our interventional studies with LOY-001 showed that the drug improved clinically-relevant aging parameters. We assessed these in laboratory studies using a dog model that represents accelerated aging. We then correlated those results with quality of life scores in the observational study, as independently measured by dog owners, and health outcomes as measured by veterinarians. This was key to show that the biological benefits of the drug are linked to clinically relevant outcomes. From our data, the FDA believes LOY-001 is likely to be effective for large dog lifespan extension in the real world. 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 world ( or at least the US) has gone to the dogs:( Soon, they'll outlive us if the research proves fruitful and FDA STILL doesn't look at aging ( of humans) same as individual diseases.

Posted by: Robert at December 8th, 2023 3:44 PM

Yes, also, do cats, that is a huge market as cats are a lot less maintenance than dogs so their owners have more time and money available!!

Posted by: Gary at December 8th, 2023 11:50 PM

Large dogs suffer from accelerated aging and the approved drug will slow down aging a little and allow them to live a little longer. This drug will not help humans to live longer , who are aging 'normally'.

How meaningful is it for dogs ? Do dogs know how old they are? Probably not !
Will extending lifespan of a dog make it happier? Extending from 10years to 11 years - by one year. If a dog doesn't know it's own age - it will not know the difference between 10 year and 11 years -and it will not make it happier.

The benefit of the drug is not for dogs but for companies that will be selling the drug and for veterinarians who will injecting it and earning profits ( earning more money)…

The dogs will not see that money and will not benefit from it.

Posted by: Nicholas D. at December 10th, 2023 3:41 PM

It would be a seemingly strange buerocractic outcome if people soon started to taking (off label) senolytic or other anti aging drugs proven to work in dogs because getting them past the FDA in humans is now to costly.

Imagine being told by a vet that your dog now has arthritis, but there is a good senolytic drug available that will reduce the symptoms to a large degree, while you yourself are suffering from arthritis but cannot legally buy the drug from a doctor.

Posted by: jimofoz at December 11th, 2023 12:29 PM

Remember, this is the FDA that emergency approved a gene therapy that has significanly REDUCED human life span (see the work of Edward Dowd). Regarding animal therapies: Every prepper knows that getting a perscription for bulk anti-biotics in impossible and the alternative is "FishMox" availble in most pet stores. It will likely come to this here.

Posted by: Tom Schaefer at December 12th, 2023 9:09 AM
Comment Submission

Post a comment; thoughtful, considered opinions are valued. New comments can be edited for a few minutes following submission. Comments incorporating ad hominem attacks, advertising, and other forms of inappropriate behavior are likely to be deleted.

Note that there is a comment feed for those who like to keep up with conversations.