PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – KOIN 6 News is taking a closer look at the research into Rapamycin, a potential new drug that could extend your dog’s life for up to three years.

Rapamycin is a drug currently used to prevent transplant rejection. Now, researchers are testing it on dogs, after finding success in its ability to slow down aging

This means that not only could this drug increase the lifespan of a dog, but the health span – meaning the time the dog will spend free of disease and disability. 

Matt Kaeberlein is one of the lead researchers for the Dog Aging Project with the University of Washington and says they’ve found success in different treatments and therapies that slow aging – in a lab – now, it’s time to test that in the real world.

“Pretty much any major cause of death and disability in the United States has age as its greatest risk factor. Heart disease, almost every form of cancer, cognitive decline, dementias, including Alzheimer’s disease, kidney disease, diabetes, liver disease, infectious disease,” Kaeberlein explained.

He said this is testing for preventative care – how we can intervene before illness onsets. 

The Dog Aging Project still needs willing applicants for a double-blind clinical research study they hope to begin this year. 

Applications are open not only for their Rapamycin testing program but also an observational program that hopes to track healthy aging in dogs.

This drug is also being tested as a potential inhibitor of periodontal disease in humans and ovarian failure.

Visit the Dog Aging Project website to learn more and apply to the study.