San Francisco startup Faithful rethink the concept of longevity and start with man’s best friend.
The company raised $ 27 million in Series A funding in a round led by Khosla Ventures, including First Round Capital, Box Group, Collaborative Fund, The Longevity Fund, and Lachy Groom – all of the companies invested in Loyals 11 million Dollar Seed Round in 2020, as well as a group of angel investors. To date, the company has raised $ 38 million since its inception in 2019 by founder and CEO Celine Halioua.
She is promoting her choice of investor makeup that is 50% female as a way to encourage more women into deep tech and longevity. Halioua itself has a background of both. She began studying neuroscience at the University of Texas and then briefly studied gene therapy at the University of Oxford before moving to The Longevity Fund as chief of staff and entrepreneur.
the global antiaging drug market was valued at nearly $ 8 billion in 2020 and is expected to double by 2027. Although botox is known in the field for its ability to smooth out wrinkles, Halioua told TechCrunch that by fighting aging, it could be a preventative medicine for age-related diseases that affect people like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
The company’s thesis is that by intent on improving the health and life expectancy of dogs, research will reveal more about how the same can be achieved in humans. Halioua explained that a dog’s lifespan is similar to that of a human because of its proximity – dogs share environmental factors, sometimes share the same diet, and can develop the same age-related diseases as humans, such as heart problems and cancer.
Loyal is building an animal pharmaceutical company that develops therapeutics that extend both the lifespan and health of dogs.
Last year, Loyal grew from a team of three to 30 people. The new funding will allow the company to build a larger computational biology team to continue to focus on its products: one that aims to extend the lives of large breed animals known to have shorter lifespans have as their smaller race counterparts, and one used to improve cognitive function.
Both will go into clinical trials next year and work toward approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Halioua said. After the company can show that its drugs do what it says it does – help dogs live longer and healthier lives – Loyal will focus on building a consumer brand that is sold directly to consumers, both to veterinarians and veterinarians Animal parents.
“Our next steps are to grow our biology team and data over time so we can address the gnarly problem of quantifying the aging process,” she added. â€œThere is an opportunity to build a pharmaceutical brand that people love instead of getting confused by it. These are drugs that are meant for something happy – to give a dog more years. “
Pets are a big industry, with American pet spending nearly equaling it $ 100 billion in 2020 versus $ 95.7 billion in 2019, according to the American Association for Pet Products. Venture capital investments in the space are also on the rise, with Embark Veterinary announcing a $ 75 million round from SoftBank in July. The company offers DNA testing with the aim of containing preventable diseases and increasing dog lifespans by three years over the next decade.
Alexander Morgan, Dr.
Because dogs are a good model for human health, many human disease studies are conducted on dogs. However, knowing if the drug is actually beneficial is a challenge, he added.
“Loyal approaches longevity with a tight mechanism,” said Morgan. â€œThey differ in that they focus on overall life and health span. The health margin is important because you don’t want to leave unhealthy life behind you for years. “