August 26, 2021 | Dr. Michael LaCroix-Fralish and Elena Silva

This collaboration will test the effectiveness of two important pro-longevity mechanisms and support development of aging drugs for dogs and beyond.


Assessing whether or not a candidate drug increases lifespan in animals requires a great deal of planning and control. Any number of external factors can result in spurious results in a longevity study that can take 3+ years to perform. The best study is one that is carefully standardized to minimize these external factors

The Interventions Testing Program (ITP) is the standard in controlled longevity studies

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) is a division of the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH). Founded in 1974, the NIA is a national center of leadership and expertise on biology of aging research; In order to standardize the process of testing compounds for pro-longevity properties, the NIA has established the The Interventions Testing Program (ITP). The ITP program uses a rigorous protocol to test compounds across three separate research institutions (University of Michigan, the Jackson Laboratories, and the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio) using the same type of mice to ensure that the findings are robust and reproducible. [1] Over the past 17 years, the ITP has proven to be the gold standard by which potential pro-longevity compounds are evaluated, having identified seven new compounds that significantly increase lifespan in mice. A detailed introduction to the strategy behind the ITP can be found in paper by Warner, et al. [2]

ITP projects are nominated by external investigators and are rigorously vetted by a team of esteemed experts in the aging research field for the potential to extend lifespan and delay disease and dysfunction in mice. Only compounds backed by the strongest scientific ideas get approval to join the ITP program.

Due to this rigorous vetting process, the ITP has historically accepted only four or five new interventions for investigation each year.

For the 2021 cohort, we are proud to announce that two Loyal-sponsored compound proposals were accepted for the ITP program.

Loyal is committed to contributing to the fundamental biological understanding of aging and investigating novel targets for improving lifespan and healthspan. The selected compounds that our team nominated this year will help the aging research field to better understand two new targets/mechanisms that have the potential to significantly increase healthy lifespan.

Through this research collaboration with the NIA ITP we continue to make significant progress in our mission of identifying novel approaches to improve the healthy lives of dogs. We are excited by the opportunity to work with the exceptional scientists at the ITP to test these important new ideas.

[1] https://www.nia.nih.gov/research/dab/interventions-testing-program-itp

[2] Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, 115: 199–207, 2000