People have always been fascinated with the notion of stopping the aging process and extending human life. There have been numerous research projects around this, but most of them have been happening in the fringes and have not amounted to much. A woman named Celine Halioua is hoping to change this and extend onto dogs.
Through her biotech startup, Loyal, Celine wants to take anti-aging treatments mainstream, and she believes that dogs are the key to this. Her startup is developing drugs that will help dogs, especially those with short lifespan, to live longer and ensure they remain active even in their senior years.
The Motivation Behind Anti-Aging Treatment
Speaking to the press on Monday, May 24th, 2021, Celine believes that once anti-aging treatments are able to work in dogs and have become commonplace, it will be a lot easier to get consumers and regulators to accept having similar treatments for humans.
Celine and her team chose to experiment on dogs because they are the best animal for modeling human aging on. Dogs have lived in the same environments humans do for thousands of years and have basically evolved together with humans. In addition, they age very similarly to us, albeit faster, and even develop age-related heath issues like we do.
Therefore, if Celine can come up with anti-aging treatment for dogs, it will be a small leap to coming up with similar treatments for humans, and having seen the treatment in action on dogs, a lot of people will want the treatment for themselves too.
Already, Celine has raised over $11 million in funding. Celine and her team have identified two compounds they believe to contain anti-aging properties. Although she is reluctant to name the two compounds, plans are underway to start conducting trials in 2022.
Future Plans For Anti-Aging Research
We have doubled the number of study sites for the Healthspan Study! Now enrolling at:— Celine Halioua (@celinehalioua) March 25, 2021
– Quakertown & Harrisburg, PA (two PA sites in honor of @joshk 😉)
– Dallas TX
– Bristol, CT
– Decatur, IL
– Fort Collins, CO
– Springfield, MOhttps://t.co/K540ZInceC
The idea of conducting anti-aging experiments on canines is not new. Another project known as the Dog Aging Project has been running for several years now, and has already received over $25 million in funding, and over 30,000 applications from dog owners who want their dogs to be involved in the project.
Before starting work on Loyal, Celine was studying the economics of gene therapies and was on her on her way to get her doctorate at the University of Oxford. In 2019, she dropped out and got work at a San Francisco based venture capital firm known as the Longevity Fund.
It was during this time that she came up with her idea for Loyal, which she pitched to one of the managing partners at the Longevity Fund. Though skeptical at first, they eventually invested in her idea, and that’s how Loyal came to be.
Celine hopes that Loyal will have an anti-aging therapy for dogs approved by the year 2024. Of course, She also hopes that by being able to extend the life of animals that people care about, she’ll change people’s perceptions towards anti-aging drugs and get more people to be open to the idea of extending their lives.