Saturday 13 April 2024

New anti-ageing drug for dogs works on hormone IGF-1

An enterprising woman who dropped out of Oxford University started a bold and interesting company called Loyal in San Francisco five years ago with the intention of creating drugs which extend the lifespan of dogs and perhaps then leading to achieving the same result for cats and even humans which would be the Holy Grail of medicine.

New anti-ageing drug for dogs works on hormone IGF-1
New anti-ageing drug for dogs works on hormone IGF-1. Image: MikeB

She has successfully tweaked the attention of investors and raised US$120 million to grow her business and take it forward. Her name is Celine Halioua.

The science behind her project concerns a hormone called IGF-1; a hormone which drives cell growth and big dogs grow quickly because that high levels of it. The levels remain high into adulthood. In general big dogs have shorter lifespans.

Her theory is that the hormone also fuels accelerated ageing of large dogs after they achieve maturity. It is my understanding that her drug will curb the activity of this hormone and thereby extend life by up to 10% of the dog's life which for a dog with a lifespan of 10 years would be one year.

The cost of the owner would be around US$50 a month. This would equate to around six thousand dollars over the dog's life to extend it by 10%. There is a question mark over whether people would want to spend that kind of money bearing in mind the cost of living crisis today.

The US Food And Drug Administration have reasonable expectations that Loyal's therapy for large dogs will be effective and therefore she hopes to bring it to the market in 2026.

It is called LOY-001 at the moment.

It is the first attempt to do this. She has built on the work of Dr. Cynthia Kenyon, as I understand it, who showed that it is possible to double the life of nematode worms by altering only one gene in the 1990s.

And late last year I wrote about another scientist with the same objective but using different techniques which you can read about by clicking on the link below if you wish.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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