Anti-Aging Drugs for Your Pet?

Written by Anil Bajnath, MD
Posted August 2, 2021

Dear Longevity Insider,

Dr. Anil Bajnath here with your Monday roundup.

Here at the Longevity Insider HQ, we focus on not just a longer lifespan but a longer healthspan. And a lot of the joy that we have comes from the relationships we have.

Let’s take your pets, for example. 

Your pets are essentially your family. Studies show that people with pets tend to live longer lives. The American Heart Association has some good news for dog owners:

  • Heart attack survivors who live alone had a reduced risk of death if they owned a dog, while survivors who lived with someone else (a partner or child) had a reduced risk.

  • Stroke survivors who lived by themselves had a reduced risk of death if they owned a dog, while survivors who lived with someone else (a partner or child) had a reduced risk.

  • Dog owners are less likely to die from a heart attack or stroke than non-dog owners. 

So why not focus on expanding their lives too?

Meet Cellular Longevity Inc. It’s a startup that’s focusing all of its efforts on dogs and expanding their lifespans. 

“Dogs are unquestionably considered the best model of human aging,” says Celine Halioua, the owner of Cellular Longevity Inc. who studied neuroscience and then worked for a longevity-focused venture capital fund. “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.”

Halioua’s company has raised $11 million and plans to start trials in early 2022 on two compounds with potential anti-aging properties. Halioua declines to identify them.

This isn’t the first initiative towards longevity for dogs though.

Dog Aging Project

The National Institutes of Health backed the Dog Aging Project with $25 million. Specifically, the academic research study examines genetic and environmental factors that influence a dog’s aging process. Over the past several years, about 30,000 dogs have participated in the project.

Currently, the Dog Aging Project is running a trial on 200 middle-aged dogs with a compound called rapamycin. 

“Rapamycin seems to delay or reverse aging in pretty much every tissue where it has been looked at,” says Matt Kaeberlein, a professor of pathology at the University of Washington and the project’s co-director.

Other canine studies have shown that caloric restriction can expand a dog’s lifespan by two years. These studies have also shown that caloric restriction can also delay cancer, degenerative bone disease, and other conditions.

Scientists believe a combination of therapies could show more extreme results. “We might be talking about a 50% or 60% or 70% effect on life span,” Kaeberlein says. But he also admits that it’s hard to predict these things while doing trials.

More on Cellular Longevity’s dog treatments here.

To your longevity,

Anil Bajnath MD
CEO/Founder, Institute for Human Optimization
Chief Medical Officer, Longevity Insider HQ

P.S. Here’s my most prized longevity research for humans right here.