San Francisco-based Loyal reaches FDA milestone in creating drug that increases lifespan in dogs

SAN FRANCISCO — A San Francisco-based company is working to launch a drug that could make dogs live longer and healthier lives.

Loyal, a company developing drugs to extend dog lifespan, reached a major milestone Tuesday in its work on the drug currently called LOY-001, which would be given in the form of a routine injection.

The company announced that the FDA gave it a “technical section complete,” which means the FDA agrees with the data Loyal provided that shows the drug’s effectiveness.

Loyal provided ABC7’s sister station in San Francisco the letter it received from the FDA notifying them. It’s a major step forward, but the company isn’t past the finish line just yet.

“We can’t sell the drug yet, you can’t go ask your vet about it yet,” said Loyal CEO Celine Halioua. “We still have to finish manufacturing and safety, but the ‘Does it work?’ is kind of historically the most challenging, and most complex, aspect of getting a drug approved.”

Work is also still being done to determine just how much longer it could extend a dog’s life.

Loyal is also working on a similar drug LOY-002 that would serve older dogs of nearly every size and breed.

LOY-003 would be the same as LOY-001 but in pill form, something Halioua says is important for convenience and price accessibility, a priority for the company.

“This is not going to be a rich person drug, this is not going to be something that puts your family to bankruptcy,” she said, “I don’t know the final price yet. We’re working on finalizing that but think double digits per month. It’s not going to be thousands.”

The possibility of the drug is one that has some dog owners excited.

“He’s only 11 months, I want him to live longer,” Pierre Mabbayad said of his half-pit half-lab. “Because for bigger dogs, they don’t live as long as the smaller ones, so I’m hoping that the research and the new drug that is getting tested works.”

Others like German Shepherd owner Jilene Thompson said it wouldn’t be for them.

“Using a drug? Absolutely not,” she said, “I’m against drugs.”

Halioua says she’s heard criticisms but the larger feedback has been positive.

The company aims to have LOY-001 launched by 2026, LOY-002 by 2025 and LOY-003 by 2026.

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