Promising Drug for Large-Breed Dogs’ Longevity Nears FDA Approval

21 December 2023

San Francisco biotech company Loyal announces strides in developing LOY-001, a drug that could extend the lifespan of large-breed dogs.

A groundbreaking drug that has the potential to prolong the lives of large-breed dogs is moving closer to approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Loyal, a biotech company based in San Francisco, recently announced significant progress in the development of LOY-001, a medication designed to slow down age-related processes in dogs weighing 40 pounds or more. With an estimated 25 million large-breed dogs in the United States alone, the drug holds the promise of improving the quality of life for millions of beloved pets.

Addressing Age-Related Canine Diseases

Loyal’s LOY-001 is a drug that targets the hormone IGF-1, known to accelerate the aging process in dogs. Unlike traditional treatments that focus on managing symptoms once they appear, LOY-001 aims to prevent age-related canine diseases from occurring in the first place. By leveraging a deep understanding of the underlying mechanisms of aging, Loyal’s approach represents a paradigm shift in veterinary medicine.

FDA Clearance and Future Steps

Loyal recently announced that LOY-001 has cleared initial hurdles with the FDA, indicating promising potential effectiveness. However, several milestones must be met before the drug can be fully approved and made available on the market. These include the completion of a large clinical trial and a thorough review of safety and manufacturing data. The process, which has taken four years thus far, has involved interventional studies and observational research on canine aging.

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Large-Breed Dogs and Aging

Larger dog breeds tend to age faster than their smaller counterparts, resulting in a shorter life expectancy. This discrepancy is believed to be influenced by selective breeding practices that enhance a dog’s size and development. The hormone IGF-1, responsible for promoting growth, has been found at higher levels in large dogs compared to smaller breeds. LOY-001 specifically targets this hormone to reduce its levels and potentially slow down the aging process.

Expert Opinions and Cautionary Optimism

Veterinarians have expressed cautious optimism about the potential of LOY-001. Dr. Ivana Crnec, a veterinarian with, hailed the drug as groundbreaking, emphasizing its potential to indirectly improve the quality of life for large and giant dog breeds. However, experts like Dr. Jeffrey Krasnoff from Brookville Animal Hospital on Long Island urge the need for further research and evidence to support the drug’s claims.

Administration and Availability

Currently, LOY-001 is administered via injection by a veterinarian every three to six months. However, Loyal is actively working on developing a daily pill for easier administration. If all goes well, LOY-001 is expected to be available in 2026, pending FDA approval of Loyal’s manufacturing and safety data.


The development of LOY-001 marks a significant milestone in the quest to extend the lives of large-breed dogs. With the potential to slow down age-related processes and prevent diseases, this drug offers hope to millions of dog owners seeking to provide their furry companions with a longer and healthier life. While further research and regulatory approval are needed, the progress made by Loyal brings us closer to a future where our beloved pets can enjoy extended lifespans and improved well-being.

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