— A very busy month for Aclaris Therapeutics. First the company updated its product pipeline page and added photos for each dermatological condition that the company’s various products are supposed to treat. Then they filed for Investigational New Drug Application (IND) for their oral alopecia areata product ATI-50001 with the US FDA. Then, on November 15th the company announced positive results for its topical seborrheic keratosis product (A-101) phase 3 clinical trials (webcast here); and finally, on November 16th the company announced a public offering of its common stock. If successful, the funds raised from this offering will partly be used towards research and trials for Aclaris’ JAK inhibitor products.
— In the past month, HairClone has added the well known Dr. Russell Knudsen, Dr. Robert Leonard and others to their clinic partner team.
— Dr. Christophe Guillemat updated his blog a week ago. I am still skeptical about his work, but there is a huge amount of interest. Someone commented in the past that he is not a doctor, but I am not sure. Also see my initial post on him.
— Sharp (Japan)’s plasmacluster ion technology promotes hair growth. Sounds hard to believe. The ending of the article about reduced dandruff and itching is more believable.
— Hairdresser Chad Gunter is very pleased with his PRP results from Dr. Laura Bennack. According to Dr. Bennack, “the most dramatic results are on men and women who are at the early stages of hair loss”.
— Update: A day after I wrote this post, CNN covered JAK inhibitors in a new article (in a pleasant surprise, they also looked at the androgenetic alopecia — AGA — angle). Usually, all these articles on JAK inhibitors only look at alopecia areata (AA). Yet again, Dr. Christiano says she is optimistic that JAKs could work on AGA patients (but only in a topical form). Dr. Brett King is not optimistic, but he is still testing it out (in a lotion form) on his AA patients (probably the ones who also have AGA). In the above article, the one AA patient who they show with regrown hair after being on oral JAK inhibitors did not regrow hair that he lost to AGA, although it is impossible to tell whether he did not regrow 100 percent of his AGA hair loss or not. In any event, we will only know for sure about this once they test topical JAK inhibitors out so people should not get so emotional about this subject each time there are new developments. You should also not try to test your own topical version as even the experts are having a hard time developing the appropriate version. According to Dr. Christiano:
“Though she thinks men might have the same success with an ointment, she said the trick is that it has to penetrate properly. Compared with the paper-thin skin of mice, human skin is “much thicker, and it’s oily, and it’s deep, and it’s got a fat layer — so there’s a lot to think about when making a good topical formula.”
It is well worth watching the video in the above article just to see the funky haired mice.
— In a first, myself as well as all of this blog’s commentators missed the important International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS)’s 24th Annual Congress that ran from September 28th through October 1st in Las Vegas. I did not even see any threads on the conference in any of the hair loss forums out there, which is strange. I usually cover the 2-3 most important hair loss related conferences in the world every year in separate posts, but this time I forgot to do so. You can find the detailed ISHRS 24th Congress final program guide here. As usual, there were way too many interesting presentations. For our purposes, the most important ones were:
Dr. Angela Christiano: “JAK Inhibitors, Hair Regeneration and Genetic Testing”.
Dr. Pantelis Rompolas: “Potency and Contribution of Stem Cells to Hair Follicle Regeneration”.
Dr. Rodney Sinclair: “Advancing our Understanding of the Biology of Androgenetic Alopecia and Changing the way we use Minoxidil to Treat it”.
Dr. Angela Christiano and Dr. Ken Washenik led a discussion titled “Biotechnology in Hair Regeneration”.
On Twitter, Dr. Alan Bauman told me that while Dr. Christiano did not provide any data on JAK inhibitors for androgenetic alopecia (AGA), she did hint that JAK inhibitors seem to stimulate the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle. Fingers crossed as usual when it comes to this subject. I was surprised at the number of presentations on body hair transplants (BHT), with Dr. Arvind Poswal discussing long-term ten-year plus results of his BHT patients. Also surprising were the number of presentations on platelet-rich plasma (PRP).
— In stark contrast to the above omission, in the past week at least 10 (!) people either commented under a blog post or e-mailed me about cosmetics behemoth L’oréal (France) and Poietis (France) partnering to bioprint hair follicles via laser. This news item was extremely well covered across the global media and there are hundreds of articles on the internet about this interesting subject matter. The end goal “holy grail” of this research will be to implant the new hair follicles into balding regions. Below is the official company video outlining the technology and the goals behind this partnership:
— Cassiopeia (Italy) updates us on its topical anti-androgen product Breezula (formerly called CB-03-01). Also see my past post on this subject. It seems like even if phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials succeed, this product will not come to market before 2021.
— Samumed’s Dr. Osman Kibar’s presentation (a small part of it is on hair loss) at a recent conference organized by the UK’s Royal Society of Medicine. He received many compliments on Twitter for his presentation.