Category Archives: Follica

Yet More Indian Studies Involving Microneedling

Dr. Rachita Dhurat

In late July, user “Saleen” commented that Follica had updated their website yet again. This time, they added several clinical advisers on their “our team” section, including the well known Dr. Rachita Dhurat. The reason this Indian doctor is well known is because of her groundbreaking 2013 study (with extensive before and after photos) titled: “A randomized evaluator blinded study of effect of microneedling in androgenetic alopecia: A pilot study“. In that study, she used a dermaroller of 1.5 mm sized needles (plus minoxidil) on 50 patients, and 41 of those patients showed a very favorable outcome. In the minoxidil only comparison group, just 2 of 50 patients saw similar results.

Moreover, in 2015, Dr. Dhurat published a second related study (albeit with a much smaller sample size of 4 patients), that found that microneedling led to new hair follicle growth in all patients. Moreover, none of these patients responded well to conventional therapy in and of itself (i.e., finasteride and minoxidil).

A number of extremely renowned US based scientists such as Dr. George Cotsarelis (University of Pennsylvania), Dr. Luis Garza (Johns Hopkins University) and Dr. Maksim Plikus (University of California Irvine) have undertaken research on microneedling and/or wound-induced hair follicle neogenesis and published detailed reports that I have covered on this blog before. These scientists have received coverage in dozens of popular magazines in recent years. Nevertheless, for some reason, India based Dr. Dhurat is getting almost as much respect on this subject lately despite not having the same world leading university backing and related resources that the above scientists have (nor any popular magazine articles written about her). Hopefully, fewer resources does not mean weaker research.

More Microneedling and Hair Growth Studies from India

When excluding Follica related discussion (e.g., this from “noisette” on HLT), microneedling has not been getting much coverage on hair loss forums in recent years. It used to in the past, as evidenced by one of my earliest post on this blog related to the dermarolling fad.

On the other hand, several new studies related to microneedling and hair growth have been published in India this year.

  • In January 2017, Indian scientists published a report in which they found that patients being treated with microneedling plus minoxidil plus PRP saw superior results in comparison to patients being treated with minoxidil alone.
  • And last week, scientists in India published a study in which they found PRP plus microneedling led to very favorable results when it comes to hair growth. Blurry before and after photos are in here (click on “preview article”) in case you can not access the full study via other means such as Sci-Hub.

Obviously the above two studies cannot be compared to Dr. Dhurat’s earlier work in terms of importance. Nevertheless, I find it surprising that scientists in the western world and Japan have not been focusing on microneedling and hair growth at all lately.

Side Note

One of Follica’s other newly added advisers has several videos on youtube discussing microneedling. See Dermapen review and here.

Follica Acronym’s its Hair Loss Product “RAIN” plus Other Company Updates

Follica RAIN

Who else but commentator “Mike” to make us aware of the latest news about Follica? I am a bit annoyed that my google hair related alerts never give me the Follica information that Mike gives me. Whatever happened to artificial intelligence taking over? Joking aside, in the last post Mike made a comment that during PureTech (Follica majority owner)’s latest investor forum webcast, they had a slide in which they named Follica’s androgenetic alopecia product as “RAIN“. The slide is 105-106  minutes into the presentation. I was surprised at such an acronym.

I would have assumed they any acronym for a Follica product would definitely include a “W” for “wounding” or an “SD” for “skin disruption” in there. What could RAIN mean? From browsing Follica’s website, I would guess that the “R” might stand for “regeneration” and the “N” might stand for “neogenesis”. Of course there are numerous possible relevant words that one can come up with for these letters and I am curious what readers think. Thankfully, there is no “M” in the acronym as that would have resulted in much more discussion yet again about the compound that Follica will be using being solely or largely based upon “Minoxidil”, which is highly unlikely. And no, I do not thing that the “R” stands for brand name Minoxidil product “Rogaine”!

Confirmation of First Half 2017 Pivotal Study Initiation

In the above webcast, Follica confirmed (this slide is also in the 105-106 minute section) that its delayed pivotal study would be initiated during the first half of 2017. In an earlier post from April this year, I mentioned Follica’s plans to start this study in the second half of 2016 with a best case product release date of 2018. A few months ago they then announced the delay of the pivotal study into 2017 and this is now confirmed. I would guess that the above best case product release scenario date must have now shifted to 2019?

It should also be noted that throughout this latest extremely lengthy and interesting PureTech presentation (I only skimmed through bits and pieces of it), one gets the feeling that hair loss is almost insignificant in terms of their overall focus. Medical issues take far greater precedence over cosmetic ones.

Follica Twitter Account Becomes Active Again

Recently the online hair loss world got very excited about Follica’s upgrade of its website with a goldmine of new information, including photos and product renditions. Follica also very recently restarted posting on its Twitter account after a lengthy break. They even followed this blog on Twitter after restarting the Twitter posts, so now I have to become much less skeptical about the company. How could anyone who follow’s this blog ever be fake?