Story at a glance:
- Scientific efforts to extend dogs’ lives are intended to reveal what might be possible in humans.
- Dogs’ lives are good models for humans’ lives, experts say.
- It is hard to have the FDA approve extended life treatments because of several factors.
A company is developing a treatment that may eventually expand the lifespan of people, but first it is testing it on dogs.
Spearheaded by founder Celine Halioua, a 26-year-old who studied neuroscience and is a venture capitalist, she explains that dogs make great test subjects to an anti-aging solution because of evolution.
“Dogs are unquestionably considered the best model of human aging,” Halioua said. “We have co-evolved with them, and they have a shared environment with us. They also develop age-related diseases over time. If we can do this for dogs, people will want it, too.”
The two compounds in the anti-aging dog drug are kept a secret by Halioua, and the trials start in early 2022.
Bloomberg reports that one of the major problems with creating anti-aging drugs and therapies is that people are already living overextended lives, with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) being more welcoming to drugs and treatments that tackle specific illness or symptoms.
This dog to human alternative is not new. An estimated 30,000 dog owners submitted their pets for a Dog Aging Project that was backed with $25 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the effects of rapamycin on aging dogs.
Matt Kaeberlein, a professor of pathology at the University of Washington and the project’s co-director, said, “Rapamycin seems to delay or reverse aging in pretty much every tissue where it has been looked at.”
However, doctors have criticized the compound for its side effects in organ transplant patients.
READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA