More time with your pets? San Francisco biotech company creates pills to help dogs live longer, healthier lives
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — We all love our dogs. But what if we were to love them much longer than we do now? That’s the mission of a veterinary medicine company in San Francisco.
For Céline Halioua, her love of animals has lasted a lifetime.
“I’ve had 15 cats, four dogs, squirrels, I have a horse,” she said.
But over the past few years, she’s taken her fondness for dogs to a whole new level.
In 2020, Halioua founded San Francisco-based biotech company Loyal.
VIDEO: World’s oldest dog, Pebbles, dies aged 22
This is the mission – to increase, sometimes drastically – the life expectancy of dogs, giving them more time with their owners.
“The way to think about it is to take out the healthy middle years. Those years when your dog wants to go to the park, leaps – can we have more?” said Halioua.
The idea behind it is that dog owners will be able to give their pets a series of medications, much like heartworm pills, over their lifetime.
These drugs will then work at the cellular level to help animals live longer, healthier lives.
The Halioua team has raised over $65 million in venture capital.
MORE: Abandoned dog reunited with owner who left heartbreaking note
And although it is still early, the first trials have shown encouraging results.
Loyal hopes to gain FDA approval for two drugs by 2025.
“It’s something that will be given to the dog every three to six months and will release medication over time at a steady rate,” Halioua said.
But it’s not just pets and their owners who could benefit.
Sherri Franklin is the CEO of Muttville Senior Dog Rescue – a shelter that worked with Loyal for some of their studies.
VIDEO: Bay Area No-Kill Animal Rescue at Risk of Shutdown by Owner Caltrans
She says if successful, Halioua’s work could revolutionize the way people adopt animals and potentially help save thousands more dogs.
Shelters would have a better understanding of a dog’s age and general health.
“We can save more animals if we can give clear information to adopters. That would be a game-changer for us,” Franklin said.
Halioua hopes this is just the first leg of her journey.
But she says one goal will always remain the same, to make her products affordable for everyone.
“They won’t be like the drugs of the rich. They will be widely available, and hopefully one day almost every dog will be on them,” she said.
If you’re on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live
Copyright © 2023 KGO-TV. All rights reserved.