Pioneering Anti-Aging Pill for Dogs Begins Trials, with 11-Year-Old Whippet Boo Leading the Pack

Mark Landers
By Mark Landers
11-year-old Whippet (shown with her owner, Deb Hanna), Boo, is the first dog in the longevity study.

In a hopeful leap towards enhancing the lives of our beloved canine companions, the world of veterinary science is buzzing with anticipation as an innovative anti-aging pill, designed specifically for dogs, makes its debut in clinical trials. Imagine a future where our furry friends can enjoy an extended youth, bounding with the same vigor and joy of their puppy days, well into their golden years. 

This isn’t just wishful thinking anymore; it’s a possibility on the horizon, thanks to the efforts of a visionary startup named Loyal.

At the heart of this pioneering venture is Boo, an 11-year-old whippet from Pennsylvania, who has the distinguished honor of being the first dog to participate in these trials. This meat-flavored longevity tablet, if successful, promises to add more healthy years to our dogs’ lives, allowing them to stay by our sides, healthier and happier, for a little longer.

The tablet, dubbed LOY-002, is currently undergoing one of the largest and most diverse dog aging studies ever conducted. With plans to enroll over 1,000 aging dogs from across 50 different locations in the US, Loyal aims to validate the efficacy of their breakthrough formula. 

The first dog in the STAY study is Boo, an eleven-year-old Whippet.

This study, known as the STAY study, isn’t just a testament to our love for our pets but also a significant stride in understanding and potentially elongating canine lifespan.

Daniel Promislow, a leading aging expert who is at the helm of the Dog Aging Project, emphasizes the importance of such trials. “A clinical trial doesn’t mean the drug works — it means we’re going to test whether it works,” he points out.

The scientific process already underway is rigorous and time-consuming to ensure that the hope for extending our dogs’ lives rests on solid evidence.

"Boo's owner can just open her hand. It becomes kind of like a treat."
Ellen Ratcliff
Director of Clinical Development, Loyal

A month into this multi-year endeavor, early reports are promising, at least on the satisfaction front. Boo, is reportedly thriving on his new regimen, eagerly awaiting his daily dose, which comes in a savory, beef-flavored tablet that doubles as a treat. 

This clever design ensures that administering this potential fountain of youth is as easy and stress-free as possible, both for pets and their owners.

Behind this novel creation is Loyal’s CEO, Celine Halioua, who has dedicated her expertise to developing a suite of drugs aimed at combating the effects of aging in dogs. 

Loyal founder Celine Halioua. Source: Loyal

The exact composition of LOY-002 remains under wraps, but according to Loyal’s director of clinical development, veterinarian Ellen Ratcliff, the drug targets the metabolic slowdown that accompanies aging in dogs, aiming to rejuvenate their bodily functions.

The implications of this trial extend far beyond the immediate participants. With a targeted completion timeline of four years, Loyal hopes to secure conditional FDA approval for LOY-002 by early 2025, even before the final clinical results are in.

"It's going to be cash-pay accessible. It's being designed for the majority of Americans to be able to afford it, and it's not going to need insurance or anything like that."
Celine Halioua
Loyal CEO and founder

The company is committed to making this treatment accessible, with an anticipated cost described as “affordable” and “mid double-digits” per month, a small price for potentially more years with our cherished companions.

As the trial progresses, the pet care community watches with bated breath, hoping for positive outcomes. If LOY-002 proves to be a safe and effective method to extend healthy life in dogs, it could revolutionize how we approach canine care, offering a brighter, longer future for pets and their families alike. 

"I certainly hope that Loyal is successful at increasing healthy lifespan in dogs. If this is a really safe intervention — with no side effects — that adds even a few months of healthy lifespan to the average dog, that could be meaningful for some people and their dogs."
Daniel Promislow
The Dog Aging Project

As Promislow notes, even a modest extension in healthy lifespan could have a profound impact, underscoring the significance of Loyal’s endeavor in the broader quest to improve life quality for our aging dogs.

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