Anti-aging drug for dogs in the works: Meet Boo, the 1st dog taking the pill

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Anti-aging drug for dogs in the works: Meet Boo, the 1st dog taking the pill Loyal, a first-of-its-kind anti-aging drug in the works to extend the life of dogs, has reached a key milestone: senior dogs across the U.S. are taking the pill as part of a clinical trial. Boo, an 11-year-old whippet from Pennsylvania who competes in a dog sport called scent work, is the trial’s first participant. On average, larger dogs live to be 8 to 12 years old, according to the American Kennel Club. Smaller breeds live an average of 10-15 years, though some breeds live longer than others. Chihuahuas and Chinese cresteds, for example, live 15-17 years, on average, the AKC says. MORE: South Carolina shelter rescues one-month-old dog with mouth banded shut and broken jaw Loyal developers say the large-scale clinical trial, called the STAY study, will include more than 1,000 dogs from over 50 veterinary clinics across the U.S. “It could help other dogs, including my younger dogs someday,” Boo’s owner Deb Hanna said in a blog post. “It’s very important. I think anybody that has an older dog that could participate would jump at the chance.” What is Loyal for Dogs? LOY-001, an implant being developed specifically for larger dogs, received expanded conditional approval from the FDA in November, which doesn’t bring the drug to market yet, but does mean that “a drug can be developed and approved to extend lifespan,” Loyal founder and CEO Celine Halioua explains in a blog. Loyal hopes to get full conditional approval of LOY-001 by 2026 and start selling the drug before a clinical trial is complete. LOY-001 for larger dogs targets IGF-1, a hormone that drives cell growth. Large dogs have higher levels of IGF-1, according to Loyal, and it’s believed to accelerate aging and reduce large dogs’ lifespans. LOY-001 works to reduce IGF-1 levels in large dogs. Loyal founder and CEO Celine Halioua (Courtesy of Loyal) Loyal is also working on LOY-003, a daily tablet that targets IGF-1 in large breeds. LOY-002, the daily tablet Boo is taking, is the drug in the STAY clinical trial. It’s designed for dogs 10 and older who weigh more than 14 pounds. Loyal won’t name the ingredients in LOY-002 for proprietary reasons, but Loyal’s director of clinical development, veterinarian Ellen Ratcliff, told Business Insider it works to boost metabolism “that becomes dysfunctional as dogs age.” How to enroll in the Loyal STAY trial More than 50 vet clinics are participating in the STAY study, which will ultimately enroll more than 1,000 dogs over four years. “This is an unprecedented scale for a dog drug trial like this,” Halioua wrote. “For this study to definitively demonstrate that the LOY-002 extends healthy lifespan, we need sufficient diversity — breed, age, current health, behavior, geography, socioeconomics — among the study population.” Tucker, a jack russell terrier and LOY-002 study participant (Courtesy of Loyal) Pending regulatory approval, Loyal hopes to begin marketing LOY-002 as soon as early 2025. You can check the STAY website to see if there’s a participating site near you.

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