Category Archives: Kerastem

Brief Items of Interest, July 2016

Hair loss news first:

— I have covered Samumed and its SM04554 product a few times on this blog in the recent past. The drug is likely not going to be a miracle hair loss cure.  I was therefore impressed that the company’s poker whiz CEO Osman Kibar still managed to recently get profiled on a Forbes magazine cover page.  In any case, a few days ago Samumed completed its Phase 2 clinical trials. Now we can only hope that they choose to continue with Phase 3 trials.

— Seems like South Korea’s Dong-A ST updated the Phase 1 clinical trials page for its DA-4001 topical finasteride product.

— If you live near Austin, Texas, Dermresearch has an ongoing hair loss drug related study in which you might be able to enroll.  Some confusion about the exact drug being tested per this HLT forum thread (see second page).

— Sweden based Follicum’s US patent was approved in July.  The patent covers the drug candidate FOL-005.

HairCell, yet another new startup in the hair loss world.  This one wants to use a “bioelectric stimulator combined with a micro infusion pump”. Even if the vast majority of these new entrants end up as outright failures or even frauds, I have never seen such frenetic activity in the hair loss world as witnessed in the past several years.  HairCell’s phase 1 clinical trials have not yet commenced.

— Seems like this Italian man is creating his own version of Dr. Brotzu’s lotion/potion.  I would not want to emulate him, but his blog is an entertaining read when you translate it into English.

HLT forum member “antydhtor” started an extremely interesting thread with a great title in March, and he updates it regularly.  I only noticed the thread in June.  Also, HLT forum member “jgray201” has a very interesting thread that he started in 2012, but updates every so often including several week s ago.

Joe Tillman has been making some great videos that he then posts on his youtube channel.  When you combine Joe with the highly respected and skilled surgeon Dr. Ron Shapiro, you get an excellent final result.

Commentator Peter Renardo gives us some more updates on his decades old artery ligation procedure.  Extremely interesting, although I would never go through with such a procedure just to save hair.

A more detailed article on Rivertown Therapeutics, a new company that I discussed in last month’s “brief items of interest” post.

— A 2015 presentation on Kerastem by Dr. David Perez-Meza (who is located in Spain) was posted on an Italian hair loss site last month. Results in 6 patients showed an improvement in all, with an average 14 percent increase in hair count at 6 months.  Not that great for the price people pay for this treatment unless results last for years I would think.

Brief mention of Follica.

— The huge increase in men wanting to become women (MTF transsexuals) in the UK will lead to many interesting before and after transition photos of scalp hair regrowth via medication and/or transplants and/or castration.  The huge increase in women wanting to become men (FTM transsexuals) is not so useful for our purposes.

El Chapo going bald, although the link between stress and permanent hair loss is tenuous at best in my opinion.

And now on to medical items of interest:

— Stem cell stimulating regenerative dental fillings could eliminate the need for root canals.

Artificial pancreas next year?

— Extremely interesting article on “pausing” people so as to then bring them back from the dead.

Growing human bones from fat cells.

Finally, a biodegradable absorbable stent for heart patients with blocked arteries.

3-parent DNA containing life-forms seem healthy when it comes to monkeys.  Note that the UK has already approved this technology for human embryos.  Below: Spindler and Spindy, two of the monkeys created from the DNA of three parents.”

3D printed jaw for cancer survivor.

3D bone graft printing getting closer.

— Recently, I read an article that referred to an interesting freely available online 3D Human Blastocyst Viewer.  You have to click on the bottom left options first and then on all the options on the right side.  Way above my head, but there are probably at least three blog commentators on here who will understand this.  Also reminds me of Dr. Michael Rendl’s Hair-GEL (gene expression library) site and Dr. Owen Rakham’s Mogrify,  both of which I have mentioned on this blog in the past.

A transparent skull implant = “window into the brain”.

Wired magazine’s Kevin Kelly: Next 30 years in technology.

— Thanks to commentator “Susana” from Portugal (who is usually quite pessimistic) for providing us with this link on groundbreaking skin replacement technology from Spain.

Brief Items of Interest, May 2016

Hair loss news first:

There have been a huge amount of hair loss related news items of interest in the past month.  Several of them probably deserved their own blog posts.

— I did not realize that GSK was launching Dutasteride in Japan via the brand name Zagallo (to treat male pattern hair loss) and that this plan was delayed in late 2015.  I did, however, cover the favorable Japanese clinical trial results last year that are mentioned in that first link.  Now comes word that Catalent’s French plant has been cleared to restart production.  So there is a very high chance that Dutasteride will finally be approved to treat hair loss in 2016 (one year later than I was hoping), 14 years after being approved to treat enlarged prostates in men. (Edit: in fact the drug was already approved for hair loss treatment in Japan on September 28th 2015, and even approved in South Korea around 2010!  Hopefully the US and EU will finally follow suit in 2016.).  It would be the third ever drug to be approved to treat hair loss, almost 20 years after the second one (Finasteride/Propecia) was approved and almost 30 years after the first one (Minoxidil/Rogaine) was approved.  Make sure to read the Dutasteride testimonials post and related comments.  FYI — If you are worried about Finasteride (Propecia) side effects, do not even consider taking Dutasteride. The side effects from the latter are guaranteed to be worse for most people.

— Since quite a few of the reader comments to my past few posts have mentioned Kerastem, I am giving high importance to Christopher1’s thread on hairsite regarding his Kerastem treatment in Switzerland.  He had the treatment in early February of this year for $8,000.  Unlike his well covered failed experiment with topical JAK inhibitor tofactinib, this time he went to a professional clinic (more reliable in my opinion) to get the Kerastem treatment. Per his latest post from three days ago (which has surprisingly still not received any replies), he has good news to share and I quote:  “After having brought you some bad news about my Jak inhibitor trial, I finally have some good news for you. It’s not great, but it’s very good.  My hair has stopped falling out. It stopped about three weeks ago, which was a bit over 2 months after my Kerastem treatment.”  Note that this is only one data point and there has been no regrowth and we do not know how long this cessation in hair loss will last.  The rest of his post indicates that this is the first time in 15 years that his hair has stopped falling out.  I find Chrisopher1 to be a highly reliable and sincere person, or else I would not mention him to start off a blog post.

— Scientists at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York recently found the molecular pathways responsible for creating the color of skin and hair.  They found that a signaling pathway known as Edn/EdnrB interacts with other pathways (in particular, with the Wnt signaling pathway), which in turn causes the proliferation of melanocyte stem cells (McSCs) that are involved in the earliest stages of skin and hair pigmentation.  This suggests that targeting Edn/EdnrB signaling in McSCs can be a therapeutic approach to promote hair pigmentation retention.

— A new paper from China titled “Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway activates melanocyte stem cells in vitro and in vivo.”  Research was done in mice.

— An update on research at Japan’s Yokohama University under the leadership of Dr. Junji Fukuda.  Translation required, and yes, it is in mice only for now.  Short interview with Dr. Fukuda in there that is partially lost in translation.  Thanks yet again to our wonderful Japanese blog reader and commentator “nosyu” who updates me regularly about developments in Japan that are not covered by the English media.  The Fukuda Lab lists hair regrowth as one of its key areas of research.

— Update on Thorn Medical’s further plans in the Bahamas.

Topical methyl vanillate (a plant derived natural ingredient) increases hair count and hair mass index by inducing Wnt10b mRNA expression in the scalp.  According to the study, methyl vanillate has recently been shown to activate the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, which has become a key target in the treatment of androgenic alopecia by numerous researchers in recent years.

— New drug BMD-2341 to target androgenic alopecia being developed by US-based BiologicsMD.  Although the company had a press release about this in July 2015, it was only brought to my attention via this recent summary by the Follicle Thought blog.  Yet again, we see a product that is targeting the beta-catenin pathway.

— I was not planning to cover this public relations type piece on Dr. James Harris, but I liked the ending: “And when Harris predicts the future of his profession, he sees stem cells and growth factors – not plucking and planting.

More good publicity for Samumed and its CEO Osman Kibar.

— I am always impressed by hair loss sufferers who go through impressive regimens and post regular updates.  The latest example is “westonci” on HLT who is supposedly going through the whole of SwissTemple’s prostaglandin protocol that I have mentioned on this blog several times before.

— Talking about PGD2, an interesting new study from South Korea just came out today and provides yet more evidence that prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) and its nonenzymatic metabolite, 15-deoxy-Δ-prostaglandin J2, inhibit hair growth.

— For those in the United Kingdom, Dr. Steven Edgar is now prescribing topical Finasteride in the UK (his e-mail address is in that thread).

— An interesting new hair product from a company named “Reason to Believe” will soon be produced in North Carolina, based on the Alpha Keratin 60ku patent.  Hard to tell how good this product will be and how long it will last (I doubt it is permanent).

Can protein shakes lead to hair loss?

— “Baldy Viking” has some videos on dermaroller and onion juice!  I just saw only part of one of those…seems interesting and not entirely crazy.  I have become more of a believer in natural treatments for hair loss having at least some minor benefit.

— An interesting story of an Irish woman’s battle with alopecia cicatricial related hair loss since age 21.

Yet one more distraction for Dr. George Cotsarelis.

— In celebrity news, Rosie O’Donnell discusses her hair loss; it seems like golfer Jordan Speith may have had a hair transplant; and Charles Barkley has asked basketball superstar Lebron James to stop painting on his hair.  Search this blog for my past mentions of Lebron James if you are interested in this kind of news.

And now on to medical items of interest:

CRISPR breakthrough is most clever yet, and increasingly relevant to humans.

Scientist turn skin cells into heart cells and brain cells just using drugs.

Regenerating brains of the dead.  A more interesting take from my favorite Daily Mail.

Japan OK’s gene editing of eggs.  As long-time blog readers know, the Japanese have already fast tracked clinical trials for newer regenerative medicine and stem cell treatments, and earlier in this post I mentioned that Japan could be the first country to approve Dutasteride for hair loss treatment.  Everything is moving along fast over there and I am glad that we have both Shiseido and Dr. Takashi Tsuji based in that country.

— As expected, the first ever penis transplant in the US got widespread global news coverage yesterday.  I first heard about it via the radio in my car yesterday, then via a text message from a friend (wonder why?), and then again today via my yahoo homepage. Bill Gates must be horrified at global priorities.

— Now just imagine if this really happens in 2017?  I doubt it, but it would be absolutely ridiculous if that came to fruition before a hair loss cure.

— Alzheimer’s cure getting closer:

— Five-year update on face transplant recipient.

— MIT scientists and others create an artificial second skin:

— Histogen is also involved in skin care products via its growth factor technology in case people forgot.  Here is an update.

Doubling lifespan of embryos in petri dishes.

Maybe vitamin supplements are useful after all?

Biohacking in Brooklyn.

— I am a bit skeptical about Liz Parrish and Bioviva, but since I have mentioned her a few times before, here is an update and some reddit comments on the subject.  I posted some of her videos on this blog before, and here is one more from January.

Rapamycin and more to make your dogs live forever.